Health and Social Care jobs fall into simple structures – public and private. Though sometimes grouped together under ‘Care’ the market structures do differ.
The Health Sector is clearly dominated by the NHS, though the private health care sector in the UK is substantial (about £5 billion per annum, with 13% of the population insured). Work in the NHS is often arranged through private companies who screen applicants on behalf of the prospective employer. Whilst private hospitals and treatment offer significant employment opportunities for healthcare professionals and administrators, there is also the contract market. For example, the ‘agency nurse’ model has been established for many years.
Nursing agencies may employ nursing staff directly, and the individual will then take up a ‘permanent’ position at a hospital, whilst employed by the agency. Alternatively, a flexible arrangement with shifts of choice at a variety of locations offers a degree of variety and independence which many health workers find suits their family arrangements.
In Social Care employment, there is no significant equivalent structure to the nursing agency model. Social Care careers may follow one of two main avenues. The first is working for a Local Authority, in the usual social worker sense, assessing needs and providing social care support for the vulnerable and needy. The alternative is social care work for the NHS. This involves assessing patient needs prior to their discharge from hospital. In some cases, patients may need further nursing or residential care after leaving hospital, and the social care worker will be responsible for making these arrangements. This will minimise the likelihood of a patient’s return to hospital – an important consideration in measuring treatment effectiveness.
About the Author : Emily Inglis is a supporter of health and social care jobs