Empowering Health and Social Care Service Users

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Introduction

In health and social care services, empowering the service users is one of the essential needs required to be fulfilled. Empowering the service users can ensure that they are able to govern their own selves while receiving care. It is the right of the service users to have maximum participation while deciding upon the services they may receive. Empowering them can enhance their independence leading to more active participation. Hence, this assignment deals with the multiple aspects relating to the empowerment of the service users. The effectiveness of the same and the steps that are needed to be followed to empower the service users have been explained in the four sections of the assignment.

Task 1: Empowerment

AC 1.1            Explain how current legislation and sector skills standards influence organisational policies and practices for promoting and maximising the rights of users of health and social care services.

There are certain individual rights that any care-user holds in any healthcare organisation.  These individual rights are protected with appropriate legislative intervention. Some of the major rights that the individuals may possess are being able to stay in a safe and healthy environment that can enhance their recovery process, leading a healthy lifestyle, being able to overcome the communication barriers and their individual privacy and dignity is maintained properly (Househ, et al. 2014, p.55). In addition to this, it is also compulsory to ensure that any kind of discrimination within the organisation is avoided. It can be said that if these rights are given proper consideration, it will be easier to ensure that their participation in the care process is more and they are able to gain more confidence.

Hence, a standard organisational policy has been drafted by the organisation that incorporates suitable legislation and skill standards. With the help of these legislations, it can be maintained that the empowerment of the service-users is promoted by the organisation. These set of legislations can be helpful in effective monitoring to see whether the individual rights are protected or not. Some of the legislative policies incorporated in the Smart Care Residential Unit are Human Rights Act, Equality Act, Data Protection and National Minimum Standards of Care (Faiola and Holden, 2016, p.90). These sets of legislation clearly define the standards required to protect the individuals’ privacy, eliminate discrimination and ensure safety at the organisation. Thus, it can be said that the organisational policies are set in accordance with the set standards of the legislation to ensure systematic operations for empowering the care-seekers.

AC 1.2            Analyse factors that may affect the achievement of promoting and maximising the rights of service users of health and social café services.

While there are certain organisational policies which are effective in directing the procedures, followed by Smart Care Residential Unit, it can be said that there are certain factors which may be responsible to affect fulfilment of service user rights. It is important that the organisation is able to identify the same and take appropriate measures to reduce the adverse effects of these factors that may reduce the chances of the service users being empowered.

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One of the major factors is the untrained staff.  It can be said that in order to maintain the effectiveness of the organisational policies, the staff of the organisation requires having at minimum the basic knowledge of the legislations that influences the policies and the procedures needed to be followed in order to adhere to the same (Brett et al. 2014, p.387). The lack of appropriate knowledge regarding the same can restrict the fulfilment of the individual rights. The employees will fail to acquire the set standards essential to promote right maximisation of the organisation.

Additionally, the lack of Continuing Professional Development: On the part of many employees results in considerable communication gap which restricts the active participation of the care-seekers by relying upon the staff and opening up to them.

One of the major issues it that arise is the lack of suitable Managers: To monitor the effectiveness of the organisational policies. Thus, following a standard monitoring system can be difficult (Agrawal et al. 2016, p.479). Furthermore, the lack of enough resources poses as another issue affecting the procedures of the organisation.

Hence, it is important that the organisation keep these issues at check by extending appropriate training and shifts of the staff, hiring suitable persons for managerial roles and save certain resources which may be effective in acquiring organisational policies.

AC 1.3            Analyse how communication between your care workers and individuals contribute to promoting and maximising the rights of users of health and social care services.

In any organisation, the requirement of effective communication is undeniable. In order to ensure that the care-seekers are able to acquire services in accordance with their own wills and preferences, it is understood by the organisation that the necessity of effective verbal and non-verbal communication cannot be ignored.

It is important that a free flow of communication is established between the care-seekers and the care providers (Grajales III et al. 2014, p.13). This will ensure that the individual needs and requirements are properly identified by the care providers and suitable steps are taken to fulfil the same. It will also ensure that a stronger bond grows between the two parties and the service seekers are able to rely on the carers more. However, it may be a big hurdle if there is a communication gap due to factors like language barrier or physical inability. Methods like sign language and using interpreter or pictorial language can be helpful in overcoming such communication barrier (Humphries, 2015, p.856). Thus, the individual rights can be respected properly by the organisation.

Apart from the direct communication, it can be said that the other forms of exchanging information like diagnosis report, feedback, complaints and other recorded information are also helpful which can be accessed in the future as well to enhance the quality of the services received by the individuals within the organisation which can effectively increase the overall quality of the organisation as well (Hunter et al. 2015, p.1057).

 Task 3 Risk Management:

AC 3.1 Use the case study from a health or social care setting to identify the extent to which individuals are at risk of harm.  

Elimination of risk in any healthcare set up is a key procedure that is needed to be done. In accordance with the given case study, it can be seen that the organisation is not bereft of potential harms of the residents seeking care from this specific home. Fatal results have been witnessed within the organisation due to the negligence of the workforce. Five older people died due to malnutrition. In this scenario, it is evident that the risk from failure to protect sustains (Lewis and West 2014, p.18). It can be seen that due to the poor standards of the organisation, the residents had to be removed. The requirement of risk assessment emerges in this scenario.

In addition to this, by taking into consideration the condition of the 39 year old woman, it can be seen that the woman has been facing abuses which is one of the major reasons for her several deteriorating health condition. It can be seen that the woman is not free from risk of abuse by interacting with her partner, who deals with certain mental condition of his own. However, the personal choice of the woman is to be with the person. Thus, a case of conflict is evident in this situation. The risk of the individual being subjected to abuse is very high in this case. Additionally, physical and mental harm can be caused depending upon the presence or absence of the partner.

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Thus, it can be said that even by considering the personal preferences of the clients, the chances of safeguarding them from potential harm can get reduced as well (Antheunis et al. 2013, p.429). It is by making suitable intervention like that of the care home, striking a balance between safeguarding the individual and considering their choices can be done effectively.

AC 3.2 Write an essay to analyse the effectiveness of policies, procedures and managerial approach within your health or social care setting for promoting the management of risks.

In order to make sure that the organisation is able to function properly, it can be said that the monitoring of the policies and procedures of the organisation will become easy. The local authorities have reliance upon the grading given by the Care Quality Commission. It can be effective in monitoring whether the requirements of the individuals are met properly by the care home or not.

Adhering to the set policies can be a tricky procedure. It can be said that the monitoring of local authority or organisations like the National Health Services and CQC are helpful in setting suitable standards (Westwood et al. 2015,  p.145). The managerial approaches of any organisation can be done in accordance to the same that can be effective in shaping the procedures followed by the organisation.

For instance, in the specific case study it can be seen that the care home is not able to provide standard services to the care seekers. Hence, the requirement of local authority intervention emerges. These bodies follow the standards drafted by CQC and NHS to enhance the ability of the organisation meeting the client specific needs.

TASK 4 Keeping People safe

AC 4.1 Review current legislation, codes of practice and policy that apply to the handling of medication.

Healthcare is one of the most essential sectors in recent times. However, in order to ensure appropriate functioning of any organisation in this set up, there are certain legal frameworks and code of practices that are needed to be adhered. The medication procedures of the organisation requires following strict regulations and policies as well. Some of these legislations have been explained below:

The Medicine Act 1968: Is effective in regulating the licensing and supply of any kind of medicines. Furthermore, it assures that the prescription only medicines can be accessed only of it is directed by a suitable practitioner. Alterations in the form and dose of these medicines are prohibited by this act as well (Johns, 2014, p.90).

The misuse of Drug Act: Is another relevant legislation prevalent in the society. This act poses restrictions on the accessibility of the controlled drugs. Certain classes of the drugs are defined in this act depending upon the substances it consists of. Thus, possession of the controlled drug and the supply of the same are considered unlawful in this act, if appropriate monitoring is not done (De Raeve et al. 2016, p.90).

The Human Medicines Regulations 2012: Drafts certain licensing procedures of medicinal drugs within UK. In addition to this, other policies and regulations related to medication handlings are the Human Rights Act, Equality Act, COSSHH, and RIDDOR and so on (Calvillo et al. 2015, p.645). With the application of this legislation, it can be ensured that no discrimination is prevailing while receiving the medical facilities. Reports regarding the medical support extended as well.

AC 4.2 Evaluate the effectiveness of policies and procedures within your health and social care setting for administering medication.

While dealing with medicines is one of the most sensitive issues any organisation have to deal with, it can be said that following the legal framework is helpful in ensuring that the suitable standards are being followed by the organisation and standard steps are taken in order to mitigate any issues relating to the administration of medication. It can be said that the policies and procedures ensures that the right of the patients to know about the purpose, consequences and the potential side effects of any drug before it is administered (Snape et al. 2014, p.427). Additionally, the safety standards of the patients are given importance as well and seeking their consent can eliminate legal complications as well.

Suitable prescriptions are allotted by the practitioners in order to maintain legal medication order. This ensures that unlawful accesses to harmful drugs are avoided and the medicines are consumed under the supervision of an experienced practitioner. The prescription further ensures that the individual patients are provided with correct medicines with the most suitable dose to overcome the health condition they might be suffering along with the right interval the drug is required to be consumed.

Thus, it can be said that the organisational procedures related to the administration of medicines becomes more defined and systematic by following the prevalent policies and code of practices. The chances of any errors leading to unavoidable circumstances can be eliminated effectively.

Conclusion

It can be inferred that the individual care-seekers in health and social care settings are required to have active participation in order to feel empowered and independent. The individual needs and preferences are important to be maintained by any organisation. In order to promote the same, the organisations are required to adhere to the ranges of legislations and code of practices. These legislations are helpful in establishing certain standards which the organisations are needed to fulfil. Apart from engagement of the workforce to promote independence of individuals, it is important that the medications within the organisation are dealt properly as well. It can ensure that the probable risks are identified and restricted beforehand. Thus, the individuals are able to make more informed decisions in healthcare set up.

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