Essay on Health Care

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1.0 Background of the Study

The need for a linked environment for achieving organizational objectives is peculiar to nearly all establishments. An environment is anything that surrounds and affects a system. According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (2008), an environment is the conditions in a place that affect the behavior and development of an entity. Health and Social Care is a term that describes services that are available from health and social care providers in the United Kingdom (U.K.). Health and Social Care come under the broader term Health System which refers to all the activities whose primary purpose is to promote, restore or maintain health (The World Health Report 2000).

While Health care can be defined as the service of providing medical care, Social Care is services related to long-term inpatient care and community care services, such as daycare centers and social services for the chronically ill, the elderly, and other groups with special needs such as the mentally ill, mentally handicapped, and the physically handicapped. The borderline between health care and social care varies from country to country (WHO, 2000). Components of Health and Social Care are Health Infrastructure (General Hospitals, Specialized hospitals, Primary healthcare centers) and Health Workforce (Physicians/doctors, Midwives, Nurses, Pharmacists, Dentists, and Other Health Care Providers).

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According to the African Partnerships for Patient Safety Working definition (APPS, 2009), Partnership is a collaborative relationship between two or more parties based on trust, equality, and mutual understanding for the achievement of a specified goal. Partnerships involve risks as well as benefits, making shared accountability critical. Petch and Miller (2013) opined that several industries opted for partnership working because it helps in delivering high-quality services and products to clients. Partnership working in a health and social care environment entails a process where different organizations, departments, or individuals merge and work together to provide better service to direct and indirect care users.

According to Manthorpe (2008), partnership philosophies are independence in service delivery, empowerment in service discharge, power sharing, respect, autonomy, and making an informed choice. There are several barriers to partnership in health and social organizations. Professional barriers are barriers that refer to how an employee can provide information and keep contact and relation with people from other organizations (Clarke, 2005). Policy conflicts are barriers that refer to differences that strain partnerships due to different practices and policies. Values and attitudes of workers can lead to another barrier; some workers may be uncomfortable with adopting the standards and norms of other organizations which can ultimately give rise to attitude problems affecting partnership working.

2.0 Leadership and Management; Defining the Effective Management Need for Social and Health Care Partnership.

Leadership has been defined as what creates the systems that managers oversee and change in fundamental ways to maximize opportunities and minimize threats, whereas management is what makes systems of people and technology work well day after day (Kotter International, 2010). The main function of leadership is to direct, which includes creating vision and strategy, communicating, motivating action, aligning people, and creating systems that managers can manage and transform to allow for growth (Kotter International, 2010). In addition, leadership involves setting an organization’s or program’s priorities whereas management is ensuring those priorities are followed through. Management involves taking complex systems of people and technology and making them run efficiently and effectively, hour after hour, day after day (Kotter International, 2010) leadership and management practices together can lead to improved health outcomes. Put simply, leadership influences how successful management initiatives can be.

Managers and leaders are important for the delivery of good health services... Good managers should strive to be good leaders and good leaders, need management skills to be effective.

Management literature identifies six interlaced management functions: planning, organizing, staffing, directing, controlling, and decision-making. Planning involves deciding in advance what needs to be done. Organizing involves developing purposive patterns of relationships among people and other resources. Staffing involves recruiting, maintaining, and retaining human resources. Directing involves initiating and setting perspectives for work within the organization. Controlling entails regulating activities according to plans. Decision-making is the act of choosing between or among ranked alternatives. (Longest & Darr, 2008)

3.0 Theories of Effective Management and Partnership in Health and Social Care Contexts

There are numerous theories of management but the following theories are related to healthcare management

3.0.1 Attribution Theory

This theory was first proposed by Fritz Heider in 1958 and further strengthened by Weiner in 1947. According to Heider, human beings are like young scientists seeking to comprehend the behavior of other people by bringing together little bits of information until they get a reasonable explanation for people’s behavior (Jared Lewis, 2015). Attribution theory deals with how people build their response to emerging activities. It describes such build-up as conscious, careful, and reasonable

In relation to healthcare management, attribution theory is a way of analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of a healthcare system. It is a potential healthcare management theory that can be effective in creating a secure environment for patients. It can be used as a conceptual structure to promote safer working conditions for both healthcare givers and receivers (B. Weiner, 2013). If emphasized, healthcare workers would invest more in deciding treatment options while healthcare receivers would also accept that mistakes are not borne out of the provider’s carelessness or negligence.

3.0.2 Evidence-based management theory

It involves converting concepts established in referenced evidence to organizational activities. Under evidence-based management, managerial decisions are moved away from individual and indiscriminate preferences of the manager towards decisions based on appropriate scientific evidence. The implication of this on health care management is that managers should be conversant with methods of finding and critically analyzing evidence from research on management for their practice and decision-making.

It entails that healthcare managers should consider the scientific basis for their operations. This scientific evidence should be based on experimental research rather than on write-ups on management or recommendations of experts. It also involves the managers recording and systematically evaluating their decisions and actions (Jaana, 2013). Evidence-based management is criticized for handling evidence and scientific methods as if they were equitable and value-free qualities.

3.0.3 Utilization Management

Utilization management is a set of methods adopted by buyers of health care services, or on their behalf, to manage the costs of health care by controlling the decision-making process on patient care, using case-by-case evaluation of the necessity of care before its provision.

It is used in many organizations as an interdisciplinary approach to equating quality, cost considerations, and risk in the administration of patient care. It involves processes of assessing the medical relevance, appropriateness, and efficacy of healthcare services (Tricare, 2013). This theory has been criticized for handling health care costs in such a way that the aim of health care is not considered primary and hence reduces the quality of health care by, combining health care procedures with the results of health care.

3.0.4 Patient-centered Management Theory

This approach has been adopted by organizations in changing the behavior towards the care of patients and improving health care working conditions. This theory involves designing systems in such a way that ensures optimum healthcare services are delivered to patients (Williams, 2002).

This is done at the cost of senior managers designing the system in consideration of easier ways to supervise and cost efficiency. The main aim of this theory is that by excellence in medical services, healthcare organizations will attain optimum financial results. Collaboration between different departments and interdisciplinary procedures are applied under this approach to solve medical issues.

4.0 Importance of Partnership in Management

Partnership working enables organizations to share valuable information and resources which eventually reduce operation costs. Mostly, because of resource limitations, a single organization is unable to improve its quality of service. However, with collaborative work, every organization gains access to the resources of others which automatically helps in increasing the level of service quality. Due to partnership working, organizations get to share information such as the medical history of patients which eventually led to accurate and effective treatment.

Unlike single organizations, partnering organizations take support from each other including administrative, legal, managerial, etc. which makes their performance even better. Partnership working increases healthcare providers’ ability to provide well-coordinated and high-quality service to care users. Additionally, it also increases employment and training opportunities for health professionals. Health professionals such as doctors, nurses, and social workers get to learn about different cultures and adapt to different environments. Partnering health and social care organizations are able to provide a wide range of services and manage a broader range of services that meet the needs and demands of the patients (Graham and Steven, 2008, 7-56

It has been argued by several scholars (Clarke:2000, Graham and Steven:2008, Hertz:2012) that Partnership at different levels helps achieve a common objective, results in referral activities, increases health care providers able to provide well-coordinated high-quality service to care users, reduces cost but also enhances miscommunication because of huge employees, customers, and other inter-organizational barriers


  1. Clarke, L. (2000), Health and Social Care for Intermediate Gnvq, 2nd edition, Nelson Thornes, Pp. 205
  2. Graham, B., and Steven, P. (2008), Your Foundation in Health and Social Care: A Guide for Foundation Degree Students, SAGE. Pp. 7-56
  3. Hornby A. S. (2015) Oxford Advance Learner’s Dictionary [ 8th edition)
  4. Kotter International. (2010). Management vs Leadership. Retrieved August 2010, from Kotter International:
  5. Longest, B., & Darr, K. (2008). Managing Health Services Organizations and Systems. Baltimore: Health Professions Press, Inc.
  6. Petch, A., Cook, A. and Miller, E., (2013). Partnership working and outcomes: do health and social care partnerships deliver for users and carers?. Health & social care in the community, 21(6), pp.623-633.
  7. Manthorpe, J., (2008). Partnership Working in Health and Social Care. Pp. 10-67
  8. W.H.O. (2000). The world health report - Health systems: improving performance. retrieved from database on 09/12/19
  9. W.H.O. (2009). African Partnerships for Patient Safety Working definition. retrieved from the database on 09/12/19
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