Monday, 7 January 2008

Health and Social Care

What is the role of health care? To indulge me in this musing, consider health care in its broadest sense. The World Health Organisation defined health in 1946 and formally adopted it in 1948 within their constitution as, "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

Their take on mental health remains broad and holistic, specifically stating that mental health is more than the absence of mental disorder.

So let's consider mental health across the health and social care communities, across primary and secondary care, across voluntary and statutory organisations. What should we all be doing to optomise mental wellbeing?

Mental Nurse postulates that care should be given to those being responsible. In comments last week, E mischievously said that payments for sex should be entertained.

Increasingly I find myself generating management plans for community patients that are broad, varied and comprehensive but are less "doctory" and biomedical. But there has to be a limit here. If I've a patient who doesn't thrive at home but would do better living in the Hilton for weeks on end, all expenses paid, this doesn't seem to be the right way to spend tax payers money despite it reducing risk, optomising physical, social and mental wellbeing and consuming very little staff time and cost.

What should be done to effect optimal mental wellbeing whilst operating an equitable and financially viable system?

Maybe it's the small things. As Linus to Charlie Brown, "The way I see it, every baby born should be issued a banjo."


Disillusioned said...

It's an interesting question you pose, Shrink. One, of course, to which there is no absolute answer. I think my only guidance would be that you should provide for other people as you would wish to be provided for yourself, or wish your nearest and dearest to be provided for, in similar situations.

the little medic said...

"awaiting social" - that is the most commonly heard phrase on medical ward rounds these days.

There must be thousnads of beds and millions of pounds spent on wasteed time trying to arrange complex social issues.