1. 1 Legal and organizational requirements on equality, diversity, discrimination, rights , confidentiality and sharing of information in relation to managing and developing yourself and your workforce Legislation forms a framework which all care homes must adhere to; this is carried out in many guises and includes many parliamentary acts such as human rights act 1998 and the mental health act 1993, these acts are designed to protect and promote rights and responsibilities of people within a care setting.
There are also provisions under other acts to protect and ensure rights to specific group’s equal pay, sex discrimination, race relations and disability discrimination. Government guidance states that all public authorities have an obligation to ensure that respect for human rights is at the centre of day to day work. This guidance covers drafting rules and regulations, internal staff and personnel issues, administration, decision making and drafting rules & regulations and policies.
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Standard 40 of the National Minimum Standards for Care Homes for Adults (18???65) covers the need for care homes to have written policies, procedures and protocols in place, so that they comply with current legislation and professional standards, of promoting dignity, privacy, choice, respect, valuing equality and diversity, and independence. Touchstones have a suite of policies and procedures in place for all important aspects of running the home, and providing the provision of care to residents.
The manager is responsible for monitoring, reviewing and amending policies this is carried out yearly, he signs, dates and implements amendments as necessary to demonstrate compliance. All new staff read and signs all policies and procedures complete a work book, giving examples of human rights and other parliamentary acts as part of the induction, plus are all offered to attend mandatory courses ensuring we are meeting equal opportunities and by using various forms of training media we are ensuring we have taken into account individual learning styles and abilities.
Mandatory courses such as protection of vulnerable adults, health& safety, infection control and many others are offered. Training provided contributes to the well being and care of residents. All existing staff are bought up to date with changes in team meetings, supervision ect and are continually coached and observed, plus regularly attend refresher and other courses related to health, social care and mental illness as part of their continuous professional development.
I maintain my own CPD by reading material on internet CQC and skills for care are an excellent site, I also subscribe to magazines and newsletters, I attend courses and seminars plus work closely with other professionals. It is important that I keep myself up to date with legislation and changes as I have the responsibility of ensuring all staff are aware of any changes in regulations or current practices, plus touchstones believes a fully trained and developed workforce that know and understand and are able to promote legislation is more beneficial to residents.
We discuss changes and will where possible include staff and service users in the drafting and development of a home’s policies and procedures normally in team/residents meetings this makes people more interested and they feel involved. Service users have access to relevant policies, procedures and codes of practice in appropriate formats and staff explain them to service users using relevant and appropriate methods of communication. At touchstones we have access to a wide range of information ranging from medical records to personal information, some of this information is of a very sensitive nature.
All people working in health & social care are expected to work within the boundaries of confidentiality. There are laws in place that have changed over the years however the major piece of legislation which cover confidential information is the data protection act 1998 This recently replaced two other acts and sets rules for processing personal information and applies to paper and computer, there are 8 principles which apply to data. Touchstones have a policy on confidentiality, data protection and access to notes.
This right to confidentiality is a key principle in modern health and social care, and should be respected at all times by care home staff. All Individual records and home records are kept safe and secure, in various locked filing cabinets in a locked office of which only staffs have the access code; Staff has access to the cabinet for residents information as knowing individuals illnesses and history is vital to care. Other relevant files relating to staff, financial, and business are locked away separately the manager and the proprietor have keys for these cabinets. We also have some information on the computer which is password protected.
All record are kept for the relevant time required and dependent on the law, they are boxed and filed away or destroyed securely. It can sometimes be difficult to determine what is personal or general information, Staff should know when information given them in confidence must be shared with their manager or with others, a resident can tell a staff member something, and unless they say we can tell somebody else it will be classed as private information, however the member of staff will sometimes have to share and record the information if it relates to their illness and is a behaviour that indicates they are unwell.
This information would be recorded in a file for all staff to read daily when they come on shift. Touchstones must uphold service users’ rights to have “access to their records and information about them held by the home. This means the development of good sensitive recording practice is a training priority; all new staff read the policy on confidentiality and data protection as part of their induction process.
Existing staff are provided with regular training that includes sessions on the keeping of records and the recording of notes. Staffs are made aware of confidentiality of incoming data such post for residents, this is given out to residents for them to open, they have access to the computer with limited access, and all other information is handled by the manager and proprietor.