The theory is critical to the field of health and social care, as it directs all practice (Jones & Atwal, 2009). The general theories and models of care utilized within the healthcare system ultimately dictate its legislation and policy reform (Jones & Atwal, 2009). Furthermore, delivering care based on theory helps guide future health and social care research (Jones & Atwal, 2009).
Health and social care within the UK are largely based on humanistic theory (Edwards, 2012). The humanistic theory emphasizes the individual needs of each individual in designing care services, protecting clients’ individual rights, autonomy, and dignity (Levin et al., 2011). Additionally, humanistic health and social care value the significance of effective communication with clients and colleagues, as well as in inter-professional working environments (Edwards, 2012). Humanistic theory is responsible for the person-centered model of care practiced within the UK, which has subsequently directed recent policy reform (Levin et al., 2011).
Additionally, social learning theory has had a large impact on health and social care practice in the UK (Jones; Atwal, 2009). This theory highlights the importance of learning through observation and modeling in terms of adhering to a care plan (Jones; Atwal, 2009). Through understanding the significance of this form of learning, care home managers can empower clients and provide the best possible care to individuals of diverse backgrounds (Mendelstem, 2009). Theory-driven health and social care practice are generally better suited to address the multiple factors that influence practice (Mendelstem, 2009).
Finally, anti-oppressive theory and anti-discriminatory practice have shaped health and social care in the UK (Alcock et al., 2008). Anti-oppressive theory pertains to a style of professionalism that emphasizes the role of social justice and the significance of individual rights (Alcock et al., 2008). Anti-discriminatory practice refers to social work that serves a range of diverse social and ethnic backgrounds and does not limit service based on any of these characteristics (Alcock et al., 2008).