Pain is not always curable but effects the life of millions of people. This essay examines the Essence of Care 2010: Benchmarks for the Prevention and Management of Pain (DH, 2010). Particularly reflecting on a practical working knowledge of its implementation and its relevance to nursing practice. It is part of the wider ranging Essence of Care policy, that includes all the latest benchmarks developed since it was first launched in 2001.
It was produced specifically to improve localized quality in the delivery of healthcare. The document was chosen because I have a particular interest in palliative care and those suffering from chronic pain. Pain effects the quality of life effecting large numbers of the population, especially those near the end of life.
This essay will look at defining what social policy is and give a brief overview of the selected policy. Examining the need for the policy, statistical evidence supporting this. Then the pressure groups lobbying and who may have been influential in policy development.
The goals and objectives set out in the policy and subsequently analysing one aspect of the policy in particular are included. How patient care and nurses delivery of said care is improved by this policy.
Practically considering the difficulties involved in implementing the policy in nursing practice. Along with methods of delivery and evaluation.
So what is social policy? David Gill is often regarded as one of the most authoritive authors on the subject (1973 cited by Lavalette and Pratt 1997). For Gill it was “the analysis of access to life-enhancing and life-sustaining resources” In his book 'Social Policy' (Titmuss, 1974) Timuss suggested that 'policy' is action-orientated and problem-solving. Referring to the government expressing the 'will of the people' through action. While 'social' refers to society, that man is a social being. He clearly defines that social policy has three objectives. Firstly policy should be beneficial and aimed at providing for the welfare of the citizens. Secondly they have economic and non-economic goals. Finally that they to some degree redistribute resources progressively from rich to poor.
By way of comparison he cites Professor Hagenbuch's definition of social policy. “Stated in general terms, he said, 'the mainspring of social policy may be said to be the desire to ensure every member of the community certain minimum standards and certain opportunities.”.
So social policy is an attempt to change the order of society and thereby make things different from how otherwise they would have been (Baldock, Manning and Vickerstaff. 2007).
Following on from this we can see from government level down to localized trusts, social policy is important. In economic sense the financial decisions effect all aspects of healthcare. As indeed do the frameworks and benchmarks set by the Department of Health. These can effect the clinical treatment of a patient/client. Benchmarking can...