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Use and Develop systems that promote communication Essay Sample

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1.1: Review the range of groups and individuals whose communication needs must be addressed in own role. Individuals who have communication problems need support to enable them to express themselves effectively. As Team Leader my role is to be aware of a tenant’s preferred method of communication and also to support them to use their preferred method. Individuals have the right to communicate through their chosen method and their choice should be acknowledged and respected by supporting them. An individual’s rights are particularly important when using specific communication methods and language because it is their main way of communicating their needs and preferences. Communication is a basic right. Without communication an individual is unable to realise or exercise their rights. Under the Human Rights Act 1998 article 8 all individuals have the right to “freedom of expression”. If unable to communicate they would be denied these rights As team leader I need a range of communication skills that enable me to. Listen

Deliver information
Disseminate information
Use questioning to clarify
Take written notes
Formulate responses
Negotiate, debate, compromise
Make decisions.
Provide and receive feedback

Different groups who may have communication support needs include people with Sensory disabilities———Disabilities which affect an individual’s senses and in turn affect communication include hearing loss and sight loss. Without sight or hearing (in some cases both) communication will be affected and alternative methods will be used. Sight loss /impairment ———–Sight plays an important role in communication. More than 90% of what we communicate is through non-verbal communication. This is communicated through our body language ——how we stand, our facial expressions, movements we make with our hands. Learning disabilities——–Up to 90% of individuals with a learning disability have some form of specific communication need.

Many have no identified cause of their communication difficulty and individuals can be affected mildly, moderately or severely. Four out of five individuals with severe learning disabilities have no effective verbal speech. Down syndrome ———–Down syndrome is a chromosomal disorder. Approximately 75% of individuals with Down syndrome have difficulties with their hearing. When this is combined with a learning disability individuals can have an increased difficulty with their communication. Autism —-Individuals with autism can have communication disorders which make it difficult for the individuals to communicate and interact with their surroundings. For example: People with autism may have or display

A lack of eye contact, a difficulty initiating and sustaining interactions due to their limited concentration span. Echolalia (repeating words spoken to them without knowing or understanding their meaning ); Use phrases out of context or take them literally e.g. “raining cats and dogs “could cause confusion or cause anxiety. Misread other people’s non-verbal cue

Physical disabilities —–When a physical disability affects an individual’s facial muscles or vocal cords their verbal communication can be affected. If it affects their body movements or their head control it can affect their non-verbal communication. Other physical disabilities which can affect communication include cerebral vascular accident –stroke (CVA), motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis. Cerebral Palsy —–There are many causes of this condition which lead to damage of an individual’s brain. Cerebral palsy can cause differing disabilities depending on the part of the brain that is affected. An individual with cerebral palsy may have difficulty communicating or developing recognisable speech.

Mental health problems ——-A mental health problem is one that affects how an individual relates to his or her environment due to changes in the brain caused by injury, infection, age or substance abuse. Dementia——The most common mental health problem with older people is dementia. Dementia is a progressive disorder that can affect a person’s short and sometimes long-term memory. It also affects a person’s recognition of people or things, speech, understanding, concentration, orientation and their motivation. Other mental health problems that can affect communication are Parkinson’s disease, depression, Neurosis, schizophrenia, alcohol and drug reliance. 1.2 Explain how to support effective communication within own job role.

In my role as Team Leader I am responsible for establishing the communication needs of the tenants and ensuring they are provided with appropriate support and any equipment they need to communicate. As Team leader I also need to communicate effectively with my team of staff. My role is to empower and promote each individuals rights. When a tenant comes to live in supported housing they have their needs and preferences assessed and a base line regarding their communication abilities and methods is established. Key people I need to work in partnership with in order to assess this information include Family and friends

Speech and language therapist
GP
Psychologist
Occupational therapist
Behavioural support service staff
Care/support staff including key workers.

The interactions we have with individuals are dependent on the choice of communication method. People have a variety of support needs and communicate using a number of techniques and their individuality and diverse backgrounds will also impact on how they choose to communicate. As team leader it is important I “lead” in a proactive way. Positive communication works and empowers others to feel their opinions are valued and listened to. I support positive communication in many different ways including the following: I ask tenants how they prefer to be addressed and respect their wishes. I give tenants information about the service and provide information material in an accessible format. I don’t assume I know what people want because of their culture, ability or any other factor——I always ask. I ensure staff are properly trained to communicate with tenants who have cognitive or communication difficulties.

I ensure schedules and rotas include enough time to hand over information between shifts so that all staff are aware of any relevant issues which have occurred on a previous shift. I find ways to get the views of people using the service (for example through tenant’s meetings) and respect individuals’ contributions by acting on their ideas and suggestions. I ensure as a team we have regular team meetings so colleagues can communicate problems, ideas and thoughts as a staff group. Positive communication with tenants with communication difficulties includes supporting individuals who are Hearing impaired —— We support them by

Making sure that your face can be seen clearly.
Speaking clearly and slowly —-repeating and rephrasing if necessary. Facing the light and the person we are speaking to at all times. Minimising background noise. Using our eyes, facial expressions and gestures to communicate where appropriate. Visually impaired. ———-we support them by Speaking in the same way as we would to a sighted person—not louder or more slowly! Saying who we are in our greeting as our voice may not be recognised even if we do know the person. Always introducing other people who are present and explaining what is going on to the visually impaired person. Letting the visually impaired person know when you are going to do something that is likely to affect communication such as leaving the room or moving away.

Ending conversations clearly and letting the person know you are leaving. Asking the person if they need any particular help such as help to sit down or help to move about but never assuming this is always necessary or wanted. 1.3 Analyse the barriers and challenges to communication within own job role There are a number of factors that can affect an individual’s ability to communicate effectively. These factors are sometimes known as barriers to communication because they prevent a person’s ability to send, receive or understand a “message” Examples of communication barriers include

Sensory deprivation and disability.
Staff need to be aware of the additional communication needs of people with sensory impairments and disabilities. Problems with sight or hearing can mean that signs can’t be seen, leaflets can’t be read or conversations can’t be heard. Staff need to ensure that a tenant’s hearing aid is correctly fitted and will need to support them to change batteries and keep it clean etc. Foreign languages and cultural differences

Britain is a multicultural country and within the mix of different ethnic groups people speak a range of languages. English may be a second or third language for some people and may not be spoken or understood at all by others. If health and social care organisations only produce information in English and care workers only speak English some people will find it very difficult to find and use the care services they need. Similarly people from different cultural groups can interpret non-verbal behaviour in different ways and may have a different sense of humour. This can lead to “messages” being misunderstood by, or making no sense to the person on the receiving end. Dialect

A dialect is a version of a language. People who speak English using a broad Belfast dialect or a Liverpudlian dialect will pronounce the same words differently and may use some words that are local and specific to the area where they live. A person who isn’t from the same area may not understand a local dialect. Distress and emotional difficulties

Some conditions such as having a stroke, being depressed or having a mental health issue can affect an individual’s ability to communicate because they affect a person’s ability to send and receive “messages” effectively. Similarly when a person is angry, aggressive or upset, they may find it difficult to communicate and their own communication may be misunderstood by others. Health issues

Illness and injuries can cause people to withdraw and feel they don’t wish to speak or see other people or talk about how they are feeling. Medication, operations or medical procedures can also affect an individual’s ability to speak, concentrate or use non- verbal methods of communication.

Environmental problems
An environment that is noisy, uncomfortable, has poor lighting or that lacks privacy reduces people’s ability to communicate effectively with each other. Noisy environments affect our ability to listen and concentrate. Poor lighting can affect our ability to notice nonverbal communication and could reduce a hearing impaired person’s ability to lip read. Environments that are too hot or too cold can cause discomfort. Environments that lack privacy discourage people from expressing their feelings and problems. Assumptions and stereotypes

If someone has a particular preconceived idea about another person then they may make assumptions about that person’s communication abilities and skills.

1.4 Implement a strategy to overcome communication barriers. By carrying out an initial assessment of an individual I am able to establish their communication needs and also highlight any potential barriers. If barriers to communication are identified I am then in a position to implement plans to overcome these. This can include Working in partnership with other professionals e.g. Speech and Language Therapists, opticians, audiologists etc. to arrange appropriate assessments/aids/equipment which meet the individual’s needs. Ensuring all staff are aware of and trained if necessary in the use of any communication aids and acquire communication skills such as Makaton in order to meet individuals identified needs.

Ensuring the environment encourages and is conducive to positive communication i.e. not too noisy —-turn radios and background music down for clients who are hearing impaired. Ensuring areas are well lit for clients who have visual impairments. Ensuring seating is arranged appropriately to take into account an individual’s impairment—-i.e. sit facing a client who may use lip reading as a means of understanding a conversation or who uses Makaton as a means of communicating. Communication is not only a verbal process and by observing an individual’s body language and facial expressions is an effective way of interpreting the needs of an individual Example

We have a client who has been diagnosed with a life limiting illness. He has had very negative and distressing experiences whilst in hospital and is genuinely terrified of being readmitted. This means he is reluctant to complain of pain or discomfort as he thinks this will lead to being readmitted to hospital once again. Staff are very vigilant to ensure he does not suffer pain and only by observing his body language and facial expressions do they gauge his true levels of pain and are able to liaise directly with his GP who ensures his pain relief is adjusted accordingly. His GP is very aware of his fears and is very supportive in ensuring that any treatment needed is provided in his home environment when possible. In order to minimise barriers in any form of communication it is necessary to speak clearly and slowly, explain carefully and check the client’s level of understanding. It is also necessary to give an individual time to ask questions and respond.

1.5 Use different means of communication to meet different needs. Staff use many forms of communication during their working day. These include verbal communication skills of talking and listening and various forms of non-verbal communication such as touch, eye contact and facial expressions. Staff may need to use both forms of communication when they give or receive information about the care and support they provide for an individual. Forms of communication vary and depending on an individual’s needs it can be adapted to meet these needs. The following are examples of forms of communication that can be used Verbal Communication

Is a two way process and it is important when communicating to listen as well as speak. Listening is much harder than speaking and there is more to this skill than just waiting for the other person to stop talking. In my role as Team Leader I need to be able to adapt my communication skills depending on who I am communicating with. For example

I would communicate differently with
a staff member
a visiting GP
A service user with non-verbal communication.
In some services there is a need to support individuals who speak different languages and others who have complex and challenging needs. This can be assisted by using Human Aids
An Interpreter —-a person who supports two individuals who speak different languages to communicate. This can also include sign language An Advocate —-someone who speaks on behalf of an individual when they are unable to speak for themselves. A Translator —-someone who changes the written word into an easier format for an individual to read. This could be Braille or symbols.

Non –Verbal
A large percentage of what we communicate is through non-verbal communication. This is communicated through our body language —how we stand, our facial expressions, movements we make with our hands. Body language plays an important role in communication—-nodding, smiling and leaning towards an individual shows interest in what they are saying. Non-verbal communication is a channel of communication that is “always on”.

Sign——-This is commonly the use of signs and symbols. It requires individuals to undertake training on the correct forming of signs and types of symbols. Examples are Makaton——used as an aid to support speech not replace it. It is widely used for clients with learning difficulties. Deaf/blind manual alphabet

British sign language (BSL) —-Used as a communication aid by individuals suffering from hearing loss. Pictorial
Picture exchange communication systems (PECS)—This helps individuals to be independent as they are able to exchange a picture of what they want from a compiled album of pictures specific to their needs and preferences. Picture aids

Use of flash cards
Objects of reference can be items such as clothes, jewellery, food, drinks or other everyday objects that have a special meaning for somebody. For a child a cuddly toy may represent comfort and safety. An older person may treasure their photographs because they represent and provide memories of family, friends and relatives Electronic ——Technical aids which can include such things as Hearing aids to assist individuals with impaired hearing

Light writer—–this is a portable device into which the individual types what they want to say. Modern day technology is advancing very quickly with new and innovative ways of providing methods of communication for all.

2. Be able to improve communication systems and practices that support positive outcomes for individuals. 2.1 Monitor the effectiveness of communication systems and practices Communication is an important part of our care and support setting. Our aim is to exchange information effectively and build on relationships with individuals. It is important for us to keep records and make sure that we support people safely and consistently and most importantly in ways that they have indicated and said they would like to be supported. It is important to be aware of the communication needs of the organisation as well as the communication needs of the clients.

There are two types of oral communication———formal and informal. Formal communication is defined as communication which occurs through the official organisational channels or is undertaken by a member of staff to do their job. For example

Formal communication shows respect for others. It is used when a professional such as a social care worker addresses a tenant. Communication needs to be clear so that misunderstandings can be avoided as much as possible. Staff handovers must be clear and as informative as possible so as to maintain effective communication between changes of staff on shifts. Informal communication can take place between staff at times such as lunch and coffee breaks and can be productive or negative It has the potential to build teams, improve working relationships and generate ideas as staff are in a relaxed environment. In order to establish the effectiveness of communication systems and practices I first need to establish a baseline of each tenants communication skills and the method they use. This is done during an initial assessment of their needs and recorded accurately and discussed with other members of the team (particularly key workers) to see if they are in agreement with the assessment or have anything to add.

This information together with the communication method the tenant prefers and any aids which they use to support their communication will then be written into their care/support plan so that any changes to the baseline can be monitored. In order to monitor the effectiveness of the plan regular reviews need to take place in order to check for improvements or any decline in an individual’s communication skills. Reviews are carried out at the start of the plan in the initial stages and on a regular basis thereafter. These reviews take into account any improvements or decline in a person’s communication needs which once identified means alternative support can be arranged. For monitoring to be effective it is important that the feedback system in place is efficient and staff and individuals are involved in and contribute to the monitoring process. The monitoring process can include

Regular staff meetings——–Everyone is aware that their observations, feedback and comments are important in the monitoring process. Handovers are important in the monitoring process as staff are able to discuss current issues and pass on relevant information. As Team Leader I review and collate this information and ensure Key Workers adjust and update an individual’s care/support plan to take into account any monitored changes.

For example
A client with no verbal communication but with a high level of understanding was having difficulty expressing her wishes and personal preferences when making choices. She communicates using a personal mixture of signs and hand gestures. Staff (with her assistance and guidance) took photographs of her favourite foods, venues and activities. These were laminated and given to the client so that she was able to show staff her preferences when asked or when compiling her daily/weekly schedules. (see work product evidence) 2.2 Evaluate the effectiveness of existing communication systems and practices. Once I have established and agreed the methods of communication and support with which to provide an individual it is important that I evaluate the effectiveness of that support. The planned and agreed methods of communication and support are only effective for as long as an individual’s communication and cognitive skills remain the same. If their skills change then so do their support needs.

As Team Leader I need to recognise and act on changes to an individual’s communication skills. This can be done by monitoring feedback from staff, the individual, the individual’s family and other professionals involved in the individuals care and by observing the individual when they are communicating with me, care/support staff and their friends and relatives. By doing this I am able to evaluate if the communication method is working and also recognise any changes as they occur. The most obvious changes are when an individual is not able to do what they used to do. For example——Staff notice they that they have to repeat things more often to an individual or notice that their TV or radio is louder than before.

This may indicate deterioration in an individual’s hearing and arrangements can then be made for a referral to the audiology clinic. To evaluate the effectiveness of communication within the workplace I need to recognise and implement communication systems for staff and tenants. The systems in place should enable communication between colleagues, tenants and the working team, staff and managers, tenant’s family members and staff, the working team and outside multi-disciplinary agencies and organisations. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the communication systems and practices between individuals, staff and management it is important to audit the various means of communication. Communication methods include

Regular meetings where everyone’s views and opinions are discussed and valued. Staff communication books
Staff notice boards which display details of personal development, training opportunities etc. Staff file containing rotas, procedures and protocols. Staff handovers ——to discuss recent events re individual tenants. Handovers must be clear and as informative as possible. Complaints procedure—-everyone including tenants should be aware of the process and how to complain. Informal discussions re day to day issues

Care plan records and confidential daily notes.
Staff supervision/support —–when staff can discuss any issues and receive regular feedback on their performance and recognition for their efforts. Annual performance reviews and appraisals.
2.3 Propose improvements to communication systems and practices to address any shortcomings 2.4 Lead the implementation of revised communication systems and practices… As a result of a team meeting to discuss and review how we met RQIA Standard 1 (1.2) “The Statement of Purpose and Users Guide are written in plain English and are available in appropriate formats “it was established that the information in several tenant’s file did not meet the regulatory requirement in that it was not in a format suitable to the clients identified communication needs. At the time of the review and discussions we had a total of 8 tenants within the LD Supported housing unit with a varying degree of abilities and each with their identified communication needs. These included Two tenants with no verbal communication but who use a mixture of signing and PECS (Picture exchange system) One tenant with limited verbal communication but with a high level of understanding. One tenant with an acquired brain injury who has high literacy and numeracy skills. Two tenants with good literacy and numeracy skills.

Two tenants with good verbal communication skills but limited literacy and numeracy skills. Information in tenant’s files was in accordance with legislative requirements but not always in a format to suit the tenant’s communication needs. It was decided that in order to meet the tenant’s communication needs the information would be formatted in a widget system format (a combination of symbols/pictures/letters and words).This would meet the identified communication needs for all the tenants. An action plan was developed and the information was formatted in the widget system over a 12 week period. (See work product evidence). 3. be able to improve communication systems to support partnership working 3.1 Use communication systems to promote partnership working. Effective partnership working is built upon a clear understanding of the different roles each person has.

Clear remits, lines of communication and accountability characterise successful approaches to partnership working. This involves and includes ——Shared records e.g. electronic, written, email, face to face. Working effectively together with people e.g. MDT Professionals, agencies and organisations to enhance the wellbeing of clients and support positive and improved outcomes. We use a variety of communication systems to support and promote partnership working within the unit and with external agencies on a daily basis. Examples of workplace communication systems include

Service users daily care plans, schedules and activity plans (see workplace evidence) Communication books and diaries.
Daily handovers.
Staff notice boards.
Internal email system.
Regular team meetings.
These all promote partnership working within the organisation by ensuring all staff are made aware of any important information and facts regarding the workplace or a service user. This ensures good team work and partnership working. Examples of external partnership working include

Calls to book appointments for service users with hospitals, doctors, podiatrists etc. Procedure and protocols for staff to follow in the event of a service user being admitted to hospital——-Within my unit all tenants have a passport to hospital in their personal files. This lists their contact details for their GP, next of kin, a copy of their medication prescription card, a pen picture of the service user outlining their preferred/assessed communication needs and any other relevant personal preferences or issues. (See workplace evidence). Calls to/from service users relatives.

Procedures for contacting appropriate services in an emergency (fire, electrical failure etc.) Liaising with other professionals to ensure all appropriate referrals are made and maintained The aim of positive partnership working is to

Promote effective communication between MDT professionals and staff both internally and externally. Promote service users safety and well being
Promote the delivery of high quality care and support
Involve service users in their care planning and promote their independence and decision making. An example of Partnership working within my organisation
Communication between staff is essential to ensure everyone understands their duties and responsibilities and the tasks each has to carry out. This entails co-operation, teamwork, interdependence so that everything can run appropriately and without any disruptions or conflicts. Staff need to communicate effectively and quickly in order to deal with any unexpected challenges or issues which may arise at short notice. Effective team working within and outside my organisation is extremely important as service users could be placed at risk if different teams fail to communicate effectively about the service user’s needs.

In order to minimise this risk it is essential that teams communicate with each other effectively. Examples of my responsibilities as Team Leader in the partnership and communication process are Ensuring referrals to other services or external agencies are made in an appropriate way and followed up if no response is made. Ensuring notes from meetings and reviews are taken, circulated and agreed. Ensuring all service users are given a copy of their care plan and information regarding their treatment and care (see work place evidence). When communicating with staff ,interaction needs to be on-going 3.3 Propose improvements to communication systems for partnership working. Identifying and reporting issues with communication systems and proposing improvements can be undertaken in several ways such as meetings or in reports. Good partnership communication systems need to be available, efficient, effective and benefit all parties concerned. For example

In on call emergency system for GP’S or Social Services it is important that you can talk to someone rather than have to listen to a “recorded message” If I feel there is room for improvement to communication systems for internal partnership working the issue can be proposed as an agenda item and can be discussed at a focus group or senior management meeting when everyone has an opportunity to discuss and contribute to any discussions or proposals for improvement. For example

At our regular focus group meetings it was decided we needed a shared folder which was accessible to all eligible senior staff. The folder would include policies and those currently under review, agendas and information for internal and external training opportunities for staff, staff absence and sickness reports etc. The folder would be reviewed and expanded as and when new information and formats were identified. At a Team level ideas for improvement and discussion can be discussed at Team Meetings. This is recorded in the minutes of the meeting, circulated for approval and staff are asked to sign that they have read, understood and agree with the minutes. By liaising and sharing ideas with external partners at regular MDT meetings we discuss, listen and share ideas and problems and find solutions to any communication improvements which need to be made.

Sometimes this means reaching compromises or it may just involve alleviating the anxieties of others in the partnership. 4.1: Explain legal and ethical tensions between maintaining confidentiality and sharing information t Social Care is built around trust, privacy and confidentiality. Once an individual with a learning disability has been placed into our care they and their families must be confident that the private information that is shared with trusted care and support staff remains confidential. Care professionals are legally bound to respect the privacy and confidentiality of their clients. The issue of confidentiality is one of the fundamental principles in understanding individual needs and meeting the need for care and support. Confidentiality is derived from the word “confide” and its meaning is described as to trust wholly or have faith in. Confidentiality is depicted as an ‘ethic’, and ethics are described as the science of morals, a system of morals, rules of behaviour or professional standards of conduct.

At first glance the concept of confidentiality may appear simple but it is actually quite complex.It’s origins are found in natural law and moral responsibility but now it is surrounded by legal requirements and organisational policy and procedure. Confidentiality is closely woven with the concept of privacy. Every individual has the right to privacy. Privacy requires that facts or information which has been shared by someone with another party remain private and are not disclosed without the permission of the person who gave them. There is an assumption of trust made with those in a professional role: We generally feel safe to make an assumption of trust with those in a professional role because we believe the person is bound by ethics, principles and regulation. These codes of practice and standards of behaviour regarding how a professional person should behave lead us to feel safe when disclosing what might on occasions be the most personal and intimate information to total strangers.

We may be further reassured by the knowledge that there could be severe reprimands or legal consequences for any professional who inappropriately discloses information. There are some situations where professional people will be ‘under a duty’ to respond to certain personal or confidential information shared with them in ways other than to maintain its confidentiality. Such requirements and situations will be bound up in their own professional codes of practice and requirements of the law and will generally relate to situations where there is a serious risk to someone or knowledge of a crime. What is likely to influence the disclosure of private information is whether it is necessary ‘for a greater good’ (i.e. a greater amount of harm would ensue by maintaining the confidence). The assumption of ‘for a greater good’ should not be based on some sort of impulsive or whimsical subjective assessment as to what suits the confidante and is best in the situation. It should be based on clear notions of one’s duty superseded by another (greater) duty.

For example
Such conflicting duties could be
The rights of/duties towards other people supersede the situation of the given confidence e.g. The rights of the public as a whole have to be considered first e.g. Public health issues The health and welfare of the giver of the confidence assumes a greater concern or priority The rights, duties and role of the agency (for the professional worker) become the first obligation. the governing body for health and social care workers and has a professional code of conduct and standards which includes guidance on issues regarding confidentiality. There will be occasions when ‘duty of care’ may conflict with confidentiality issues. Example

A member of staff sees her colleague who is also a friend do something wrong and the friend asks her not to say anything. Does she report to the line manager? The member of staff is bound by her policies and procedures, codes of practice and law to report the incident, but because the colleague is a friend does she ‘whistle blow’ on her friend? (Work place evidence Whistle blowing policy)

Maintaining confidentiality and sharing information governs the storage and use of information collected by an organisation. In order to keep personal records an organisation must be registered with the Data Protection Register. Some of the relevant aspects of the Act are: The information should only be used for the purposes explained when it was collected The information should not be disclosed to anyone who has no right to see it. The information collected should be relevant and contain no more than is necessary for its purpose. The information should be accurate when collected and where necessary kept up to date. Individuals should have access to the data held about them

Appropriate security measures should be taken to prevent unauthorised access to data. Caldicott principles
Justify the purpose for which the information is needed.
Only use personally identifiable information when absolutely necessary. Use the minimum personal identifiable information possible—if possible use an identifier number rather than a name. Access to the information should be on a strictly need to know basis. Everyone should be aware of his/her responsibilities to respect clients ‘confidentiality. Understand and comply with the law. The most relevant legislation is the Data Protection Act 1998, The Human Rights Act 1998.

The Human Rights Act 1998
Article 8 states ‘The right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence. Generally confidential information can only be disclosed if it is in an individual’s best interests, for the protection of others, in the interest of public health, during an official or legal investigation or if there has been or there is a risk of a serious crime being committed. Our clients need to feel that their personal information is kept confidential, even from their family members. This builds trust between us and a client. In formal relationships with working partners and family members trust is built up over a period of time. Sharing information is key to effective communication but this needs to be balanced alongside the need to maintain a service user’s right to confidentiality. This is often quite complex. Our service users should be involved in decisions as to whether sensitive information can be shared with a wider network of care providers and staff should reflect and balance whether sharing the information will benefit the client and whether the benefits outweigh the risks of sharing information Example

Our service users have a Passport to hospital form which has a record of their personal details, illnesses, medication, next of kin and any behavioural issues. Hospital staff have given very positive feedback to say how helpful this information is particularly when a service user has no verbal communication. (See work product) 4.2 Analyse the essential features of information sharing agreements within and between organisations. Certain information needs to be shared within my workplace and also between ourselves and other organisations. Information can only be disclosed if it is in the individual’s best interests, for the protection of others, in the interest of public health, during an official or legal investigation or if there has been or there is a risk of serious crime being committed. Information should only be shared on a need to know basis. For example

If a client had a fall in their home we may need to pass on details of their medication to the paramedics as this would be in the ‘individuals best interest’ but we would not need to pass them information or details regarding their financial affairs as this is not relevant and the paramedics do not ‘have a need to know’ For example

An outbreak of an infectious disease (Norovirus) in our workplace needs to be reported by law (RIDDOR).

For example
Our Whistleblowing policy which allows people at work to raise concerns and report areas such as negligence, dangers to health and safety or crimes whilst being protected from dismissal or victimisation. For example

Employee’s medical records——-These are kept in a locked drawer in The Human Resources office and are only accessed on a need to know basis by appropriate staff.

Demonstrate use of information management systems that meet legal and ethical requirements. Our information management systems meet legal and ethical requirements and I ensure that confidentiality of all communication is maintained at all times. As an organisation we have policies and procedures for secure record keeping and it is my responsibility to ensure that all staff are familiar with these. This is achieved by providing a thorough induction and by means of staff supervision. My own working practices adhere to and follow guidelines and legislation related to confidentiality and correct storage of personal information. This includes

Locked filing cabinets containing confidential files.
Locked office doors when vacant.
Checking peoples identity on entry
Policies are in place and accessible to staff.
Service user’s files are inaccessible to members of the public. Service users personal/medical records are in a locked cabinet Not discussing personal issues in public places where they can be overheard. Staff personal details are locked in filing cabinets.

Reference list
Human Rights Act 1998 —–Right to freedom of expression Article 10 Human Rights Act 1998 —Article 8
RQIA Domiciliary Care Standard 1 (1.2)
NISCC code of Practice
Data Protection Act 1998
Caldicott Principles
RIDDOR
Picture Exchange System (PECS)

Evidence
Organisational policies
Whistle Blowing Policy
Vulnerable Adult Policy

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