how mental health has changed towards a community care-centred approach
Care and support provided to a mental health service user or vulnerable person living in the community (i.e. [ not currently in hospital) is divided into:
health care, which is the responsibility of the NHS
social care, which is arranged by local authority social services.
In broad terms, 'health care' describes care that is needed to treat a diagnosed health condition.
In the past,
health care and social care were separate. Health care mainly happened in hospitals, clinics and general practice surgeries, while social care was run by local authority social services departments. Both services might sometimes be offered at the person's home (e.g. doctor's home visits, district nurses, visits from social workers and home helps). Voluntary sector services were a third, mainly separate, source of help which included things like drop-in centres and advice centres.
Nowadays, health and social services, and the voluntary sector, are becoming more intermingled because of government policies and new ways of financing services. For example, primary care trusts (PCTs) can pay for some social and voluntary sector services, while local authorities can pay for nursing care. Community mental health teams (CMHTs) run by the NHS employ professionals from both health and social care. However, the distinction between health care and social care is still important. This is partly because care provided by the NHS is free of charge to the person, whereas local authority social services departments can charge on a means-tested basis for the services they arrange.
Government policy is in the process of changing to enable more choice for service users, and to be more oriented towards recovery, diversity and social inclusion. In particular, the new policy direction of personalisation may lead to far-reaching changes in how social services are delivered. ]
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