’This is a text that is aimed at students, frontline workers and policy makers, and would be appropriate for all health and social care professionals’
Title: Understanding Health and Social Care, third edition
Author: Jon Glasby
Publisher: Policy Press
Reviewer: Lynne Partington, project coordinator and specialist advisor, The End of Life Partnership, Cheshire
What was it like?
This book offers a timely read given today’s climate of an ageing population, increased demands on services, uncertain funding, constant reviews and the persistent pressure to do ”less for more”. This guide sets out to promote an understanding of theoretical and conceptual knowledge in order to help frame some of the current policy and practice dilemmas.
Broken down into eight chapters, the book takes a methodical approach: from scene setting and an historical back view, through to current services and exploring key issues such as partnership working, independent living, and user involvement. The book presents some detailed facts and figures as well as unravelling some of the complex issues.
This updated third edition has added in new developments such as the Care Act of 2014, the Francis inquiry and considers the impact of current austerity measures.
What were the highlights?
They key purpose of the text is to increase the understanding of health and social care and it does achieve that well. It explores how the origins of community health and social care have impacted upon the present day status. It presents some clear and salient discussion and also breaks down some common misperceptions.
It is positive to see that the final chapter of the book provides a constructive discussion around support for carers, given the increased expectations that are being placed on carers.
The book concludes with a brief but interesting post-script entitled ”what happens next”, reflecting on the policy and practice changes that have occurred over the three editions of this book.
Strengths and weaknesses?
This is a book that is not a light read, given the nature of the topic, and it can be quite heavy on policy and political context at times. However, there are approaches that are utilised within the book to balance this out. Throughout, there is an engagement with practical issues, such as the inclusion of user-focussed case studies to assist with the application of theory to practice. At the end of each chapter, there are a set of reflective exercises, which are written specifically for different groups of professionals, e.g., social policy students, and health and social care professionals and students.
Each chapter also concludes with a succinct summary and a good range of additional reading and resources.
Who should read it?
This is a text that is aimed at students, frontline workers and policy makers, and would be appropriate for all health and social care professionals and especially those who are working at the cutting edge of integration (which probably means all of us…?).
understanding health and social care glasby