Health and Social Care Studies refers to the whole of the Health Care with complex acute care delivered in hospital settings and the social support provision infrastructure in the public and private sector. The health and social care sector is the largest sector in the UK, with nearly four million employees (1). With the growing demand for health and social care services due to the increasing and the aging population of the UK (2). The prospects of career development in the sector are enormous. It is currently anticipated that that over two million new workers will need to be trained and recruited into the health and social care sector between 2012 and 2022 (1).
The unique feature of this sector is the broad range of occupations available which may include Professional and Technical occupations, Clerical, Secretarial, Management & Administration, sales and Personal Services. Individuals with health and social care qualifications can progress into further studies to become, Social workers, Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Dieticians, Physiotherapists, Paramedics, Health and Social Care Managers/Care coordinators, Health and Social Care teachers and many more.
Thus the health and social Care subject is diverse and enormous and studying it will require a robust set of skills necessary for its assimilation and understanding as well as a more general and transferable skills. The most important and basic qualities that individuals must possess for a career in Health and Social care studies are an interest in people and respect for what makes them unique. LSME is a College that focuses its training on reiterating this fact and helping students develop skills required for growth within the sector for the wide range of available opportunities that the qualification might lead to.
Skills related to the specific nature of the BTEC HND in Health and Social Care studies programme include the ability to compare between a range of health and social care contexts; analyse health and social care related issues and data that may be drawn from a wide range of disciplines; develop coherent arguments from a range of theories relating to health and social care; reflect on personal skills and experiences and the ability to use research methodologies to locate, review and evaluate research findings relevant to health and social care.
In addition to these subject-specific skills, health and social care students should be able to communicate in a clear and articulate manner, work with others, negotiate, identify and propose solutions to problems and work independently. They should be able to use ICT to store, retrieve and produce material drawing on skills in the use of word processing, databases and spreadsheets as appropriate. The learners must be able to gather and analyse relevant information from a variety of sources and use academic referencing appropriately throughout the course.
Having acquired these skills from our intensive two year HND in Health and Social Care programme, our students are well equipped for the performance challenges within the sector.
1. Labour Force Survey (LFS) 2014. Office of National Statistics, Newport.
2. Office for National Statistics (2012), Population Ageing in the United Kingdom, its Constituent Countries and the European Union. ONS, London.