Principles of Care

  • Created by: vtaylor
  • Created on: 15-05-17 11:00


Effective communication in is needed in order to ensure that care improves the quality of people’s lives by addressing a range of needs. Through effective communication care workers can develop relationships with individuals in their care which will assist the caring process.

Some clients:

  • May speak different languages

  • Can have hearing loss or limited vision

  • May find it difficult to speak

  • May have limited understanding.

These people may have difficulty communicating with care workers; this is a barrier, which needs to be overcome. Care workers need to be aware of a variety of ways of communicating with others, to ensure that clients receive the correct care and treatment that they require.

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Discrimination means that certain individuals are treated less favourably than others because of a personal characteristic they may have. Those likely to experience discrimination include:

  • People with learning difficulties

  • Older people

  • People with physical disabilities

  • People with mental health problems

  • Women

  • Minority ethnic groups

  • Minority religious groups

  • Gay men and lesbians

    Discrimination may be direct or indirect and can include: racist and sexist jokes, isolating clients with mental health problems, avoiding looking at someone, ignoring the needs of someone with HIV, excluding certain residents from activities.

In order to promote anti-discriminatory practice, ie to treat all individuals fairly, health and social care organisations should:

  • Ensure all individuals are provided with equal opportunities

  • Abide by Codes of Practice

  • Develop policies and implement them (making sure they are followed and used)

  • Give staff training in promoting better care to all individuals

  • Have a complaints procedure so that patients can seek redress

Follow legislation which supports anti-discriminatory practice

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is about keeping information private when it should be kept private. This includes written records computer records and verbal information.

A health and social care worker will know a great deal about the person they are looking after. It is essential that the information is kept confidential and not passed on without the individual’s permission. Some information may have to be passed on from one care worker to another, from a nurse to a doctor, but this must be done with the individual’s permission. The death of a patient does not give you the right to break confidentiality.

Confidentiality can be broken only in exceptional circumstances – if the individual is at risk or if the public is at risk.

Maintaining confidentiality

Confidentiality can be maintained by:

  • Storing all records and sensitive material in locked filing cabinets or password protected computers
  • Carrying out consultations in a private room
  • Not gossiping about patients outside the care setting
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The right to dignity

This means that individuals have a right to preserve their privacy with particular reference to hygiene, feeding etc, for example in a residential home an individual should be bathed with the bathroom door closed, if they cannot drink properly from a cup then special cups should be provided or the necessary support provided; in a hospital curtains should be drawn around the bed whilst receiving treatment or having a bed bath.

The right to dignity also refers to the way an individual is spoken to – not demeaning them in any way by calling them names such as ‘darling’ or ‘love’ or by speaking to them in a condescending manner.

The right to choice

Individuals should be included in decision-making regarding their care – what food they want to eat, what treatments they wish to have. Individuals should be given the information they need to make informed choices.

Discuss how you think this could be achieved in different care settings.

In the Nursery:

 Giving children a choice of activities, eg asking do you want to colour or play with the  toys?

In Residential Care: Giving the individuals a choice of:

  • What they would like to wear – giving suggestions
  • Whether or not they want to sit in the day room or stay in their own room
  • If they want to have their hair done

In the hospital:

  • Explaining different types of treatment available and allowing the individual to choose the one that suits them best
  • Giving the individual the opportunity to refuse treatment
  • Providing a choice of food

The right to independence and empowerment

Independence: Individuals should be allowed and encouraged to do as much for themselves as possible. If care staff do everything for them they may feel useless, not try to do things for themselves and become dependent on staff or carers for everything.

Empowerment:  Individuals should be provided with the necessary support – eg provision of aids and adaptations/training or occupational therapy – to be able to do things for themselves to maintain their right to independence.

The right to safety

Care workers must do everything possible to protect individuals from harm.

This can include:

  • Locking away dangerous items such as sharp knives/scissors or medication

  • Having locks/codes on doors

  • Ensuring equipment is checked regularly

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To acknowledge individuals’ personal beliefs and identity care workers should try to communicate that they accept the person for who they are and what they believe in. Care workers may not always share the beliefs and lifestyle of the people they care for but should still show that they accept someone’s’ individuality.

  • Example 1 - if you care for people who have different religious beliefs and practices to your own you should give them the opportunity to practice their faith and celebrate their religious festivals at times when this is important to them.

  • Example 2 – a vegetarian should be offered an alternative to meat at mealtimes

  • Example 3 – a smoker should be allowed to go outside to smoke

  • Example 4 – an individual should be permitted to dress in a way that suits them – eg travellers, Goths, punks, etc

  • Example 5 – if an individual’s religion says they must not show their hair/body/legs then the clothing worn must respect this, eg school uniform

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Those who are likely to be at risk of abuse include:

  • Children

  • Individuals with mental health problems

  • Individuals with learning disabilities

  • Individuals with physical disabilities

  • Older individuals

Protecting individuals

Protecting individuals from potential abuse is something that all care workers should feel is important. Care workers should assess the relationships clients have with other people for any signs of abuse and should act to prevent or stop it happening.

Individuals can be protected from abuse by:

  • Raising awareness of possible problems

  • Noting and recording signs of possible abuse

  • Reporting incidents to the appropriate person/organisation

  • Training staff so they are aware of the procedures to follow.

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Care workers often provide care for people who have similar problems and needs. However, rather than treating everyone the same they should provide care that meets each person’s individual needs. To do this each individual needs to be assessed to find out their particular needs, taking into account personal beliefs and preferences.

In medical settings individuals receive the treatment/medication they require for specific health conditions: some individuals may require pain relief while others may require antibiotics to cure infections;

a diabetic may require insulin while others would not.

Suggest other conditions which would require different treatments.

In social care an individual’s needs are usually assessed by a social worker, an occupational therapist or a GP. After an assessment a care plan will be drawn up with the individual. Some individuals may require input from several care workers to assist with bathing, dressing, feeding and mobility as well as provision of aids and adaptations while others may require support for only one need such as the provision of a stair lift to get up and down stairs.

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