An Empirical Overview
As briefly described in Chapter 1, health care provision may be divided into two distinct care categories — primary care and secondary care. Primary care translates into the care provided by the general practitioner (GP), supported by community-based nursing and social services personnel, including social workers and care managers. Secondary care can be summarised as institution-based care and treatment. It includes all care that takes place in hospitals, nursing homes and residential homes for people with a disability or an illness. This chapter provides an empirical overview of health care provision — both physical and mental — in the UK throughout the twentieth century, with an extended discussion on institution-based care (hospitals, nursing homes and social care facilities). Highlighting the importance of gender as a key factor in explaining differences in health care usage, we introduce census data to supplement existing research findings and official statistics. As argued in Chapter 1, the use of census data may be considered particularly appropriate in this instance, as it provides the only comprehensive account of institution-based, or secondary, care in the UK.
KeywordsNational Health Service Secondary Care Social Care Primary Care Service Health Care Provision
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