Why is confidentiality so important in health and social care?

The issue of confidentiality is massively important in the field of health and social care. However, it is often seen as quite complex, which can lead to misapplication and misunderstanding. This is why each and every person working within the sector is recommended to take a care training course which focuses on the concept of confidentiality and all of the issues surrounding it.

The basics: what is confidentiality?

In relation to the health and social care sector, confidentiality relates to personal information about patients. Problems arise when it comes to deciding how this information should be shared in order to improve a patients care and for better communication amongst care staff.

The aim of a confidential care service should be to protect the patients information and restrict who has access to it. The patient should be informed what his or her information is being used for and who has access to it, and they should give consent for it to be used in this way.

However, confidentiality in care is not always as simple as that, particularly if the patient is unable to give consent for whatever reason. At TutorCare we offer a confidentiality in care training course that helps explain the finer points of legislation regarding this issue.

The course covers the following aspects;

  • What is confidentiality?
  • Why do we need to respect confidentiality?
  • Legislation, policy and procedure.
  • Information security breaches and how to manage them.
  • What does disclosure mean?
  • Philosophical and ethical issues.
  • Personal experience and practice.

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Why companies should outsource their training needs

One of the main reasons companies outsource their training needs is to save money. How they manage training basically comes down to reducing costs. While training reduces mistakes, improves customer retention and is core to developing an effective staff, the bottom line is always about money. Investing in outsourced training may come with an initial outlay but the benefits of utilising a professional training provider can offer a return that goes far beyond the actual training sessions.

Training, for many organisations is a necessity. The development, delivery and management of that training however can be a major distraction. For organisations like TutorCare, that train every day, it IS CORE to their business. If you manage a team of care professionals and your computer system goes down, it is sensible to call out your IT provider. Why? Because it is their business. Therefore, if you don’t have the time to train your staff, why not look outside your existing infrastructure to see if alternatives exist. In your business it is true that realistically you may have all the skills and be ideally suited to provide that training (after all you understand your business better than most) but in the real world time may not permit that.

Training helps prevent failures, it mitigates risk and in the care profession it helps protect the company from the liabilities associated with providing the wrong training. It ensures a company stays ahead of legislation, frees management resources to focus on other aspects of the business while reducing risk that an injury or catastrophic failure occurs. It’s easy to see that using a company who specialises in training in the organisations primary sector not only impacts upon risk but also helps prevent against legal costs that may come around as a result of such failure.

The alternative to outsourced training is an internal programme requiring a pool of various levels of skills by staff that are able to train effectively. A manager may understand every aspect of the job but they may not feel comfortable training in situations larger than 1 to 1. On the job training is a highly proactive method of training new staff members but if a department of 30 employees needs to understand a new concept or has to implement considerable changes to how they do their job – time becomes a major factor, at operational level as well as management. Does time permit such training or more importantly is the manager trained to the level necessary to pass on the knowledge required to those that may need more attention than others? In a way that is easily digestible or helps engage their staff?

Training is a variable activity. Using an external provider allows the company to maximise output by leveraging resources they may not have in house to deliver training that is needed. It allows a company to scale up and down based on the demand of the training required. For example a new contract may require a sudden increase in staff over a short period of time. Outsourcing training allows management to focus on the new customer while still identifying and meeting employee needs.

No company has all the knowledge they need internally to be successful. In simplest terms a business needs a product or service, the ability to sell that product / service and the mechanisms in place to monitor performance. Three control elements effectively broken into product, sales / marketing and finance. Admin embraces all three of the controls but in no instance is any one individual 100% capable of performing their best in all three. Shareholders appoint Directors. Directors delegate to managers and managers empower and co-ordinate staff. If everything could be done internally, there wouldn’t be a need for accountancy firms, recruitment agencies, information technology contractors or training providers. Sometimes it’s necessary to hire an expert to teach internal employees how to do something that is new to a company or frees up other resources.

Effective analysis of an organisations training needs is a must if a company is to grow. It’s an integral part and is as important as hiring staff or retaining customers. When the staff understand their roles and the implications of any mistakes (legally as well as financially) retaining customers and finding new ones becomes a lot easier. Customer service improves and the company is able to focus on the service it offers. Running a company is about managing resources. Identifying training need and implementing a plan is key to this. If you are to manage resources effectively, hiring an outside consultant to deliver training quite often makes sense.

Training to become an activities coordinator in a care environment

Care workers with responsibility for a number of service users have generally undergone extensive training in areas such as medication dispensation, infection control and nutrition awareness. These and many other areas are all vital to keep residents or patients safe and healthy. However, just as important to quality of life for people in care environments is regular, stimulating activity.

Activities coordinators in care environments are often just as important as care workers and nurses, as they ensure that the people under their care develop and retain the skills they need to experience excellent quality of life.

By undergoing an activities coordinator training course, you will learn about:

• The role of the activities coordinator and its importance
• Ways in which service users and their families can help to plan and provide activities
• The importance of assessing the needs and abilities of service users before planning activities
• The different activities that can be planned for varying groups of service users

Our current course can be found here – Developing the Role of Activities Coordinator

This kind of care training course is not only intended for those who aim to take on an activities coordinator role; it can be useful for all staff working in care environments.

TutorCare offer a wide range of training courses specifically for the Care Sector.

Our Care Train the Trainer Course helps staff to deliver their own CQC courses and reduce future training overheads.

For more articles, more relevant to todays training please take some time to look at the following;

How to tell if someone is suffering from Dementia

Why do care workers need such good observational skills

The Role of Health and Social Care Workers

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Why do care workers need such good observation skills?

A person who works within the health and social care sector will need to have a wide range of skills and knowledge in a number of areas. However, one of the most important skills you will ever learn in your career as a care worker is observation.

With good observation skills, you will able to provide a better service for the people under your care. You can even use your observation skills to make the care environment safer overall.

Good observation skills are essential for a number of reasons, including:

– Identifying patterns of behaviour in care service users which may need attention
– Identifying problems quickly, so that they can be addressed before they worse
– Spotting abuse or negligence
– Noticing any areas of care which could be improved

How to improve your observation skills

Improving your observation skills isn’t always easy, but it can help to go on an Observation Skills for Carers training course. Here you will learn everything from the importance of observations and how to analyse behaviour to accurate record keeping. This last skill is just as important as observation.

For more information see – Care Planning | Safe Guarding Children

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Managing Conflict in the Work Place

There are many areas in the workplace where conflict can arise and the reasons for these may not be straightforward.  However the main issues tend to revolve around perceived unfair treatment or a lack of awareness regarding internal structure.  Issues that can cause conflict include;

  • Unfair treatment of an employee
  • Poor man management (or management on the whole)
  • Unclear job specifications / role
  • Inadequate training
  • Poor working conditions or work environment
  • Lack of equal opportunities
  • Bullying and harassment
  • Poor communication

As in life there are typically four responses to any kind of conflict.  These are;

Fight – a reaction in a challenging or aggressive manner.  This could include loss of temper and control or raised voices leading to shouting; Often bringing irrational responses that sometimes aren’t typical of the individual.

Flight – ignoring the problem in the hope it goes away.  Effectively turning a blind eye to what is actually going on.

Passive – withdrawing from the issue at hand.  An employee may become passive after attempting to deal with the problem but feeling the conflict isn’t going to be resolved due to indecision or lack of support.

Facing the problem – a planned approach to deal with the issue in a calm and rational way.

 

Symptoms of conflict

Where it is difficult to spot symptoms of conflict, training in any kind of Conflict Management can help.  TutorCare offer a range of such courses that include Conflict Management that helps with not only the identification of challenging behaviour but also deals with causes and effects in the workplace.  More importantly if you complete our “CONFLICT MANAGEMENT AND CHALLENGING BEHAVIOUR AWARENESS” course you will be able to work towards a calm response to any work related conflict.

With any training you’ll be able to identify symptoms of conflict that include:

Sickness and absence increase:  depression and stress

Productivity decrease: a lack of cohesion creates a decrease in productivity and a general increase in queries and complains where employees fail to co-operate

Behavioural changes: members of staff making derogatory remarks or arranging fewer social events together

Motivational decrease: fewer employees volunteer to take on board new tasks or offer little input at meetings or briefings

By identifying the underlying symptoms you can then work on how to manage conflict.  For individuals this may be as simple as having a quiet word or investigating the problem informally. It may mean utilising internal procedures but more importantly it will mean listening.  Wider issues can be solved by improving the way management communicates and consults with employees.  It can include forming internal working groups to tackle problems as a team or using problem solving techniques to find joint solutions in the workplace.

It may even mean getting outside help.

The key to all of this is not only developing an acute awareness to the working environment but being prepared to listen and adapt accordingly.

TutorCare offers a wide range of training packages that deal with conflict or aggressive behaviour in the workplace.  From office disagreements to handling abusive behaviour in care homes we have a solution that can be uniquely tailored to your needs.

First aid in the workplace – the importance of record keeping

One of the most important parts of first aid in the workplace is record keeping. In fact, it can be just as crucial as sending staff members on a first aid training course or ensuring that first aid kits are fully stocked.

This is because proper record keeping allows a business or organisation to manage health and safety risks in the future. Using the information noted down in a workplace incident book, business owners can monitor how medical emergencies are dealt with and what improvements are needed, such as giving more staff members first aid training.

An incident book can also help when conducting health and safety risk assessments, giving vital information that can help businesses to identify trends and remove or reduce hazards which may lead to medical emergencies.

To ensure you are adhering to good practice with regards to first aid record keeping, ensure your business has an incident book for illness and injury. Each entry into this book should include:

• The name and position of the ill or injured person
• The name and signature of the person dealing with the incident (i.e. the designated first aider)
• The date, time and place the incident occurred
• What happened during the incident, whether first aid was given and what happened afterwards (i.e. the person went to hospital).

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Ignoring fire safety may lead to prison

As we’ve been highlighting lately, fire risk assessments are a must now for the workplace.  In the most serious cases ignorance can lead to injury or death but failure to comply to the 2005 Regulatory Reform of the Fire Safety act can mean a possible prison sentence.  A recent case saw a Preston landlord end up before a judge for putting lives at risk for failure to abide by fire safety rules and told he could end up in jail.

A fire emergency evacuation plan also known as FEEP is a document that businesses should prepare that covers all action to be taken by staff in the event of a fire.  It also should include additional steps such as arrangements for calling the fire brigade and training required.

It is highly advisable for any company to nominate members of staff to implement the fire action plan (at least one person is required by law to be a “Responsible Person” within the company assigned to oversee risk assessment and internal policies relating to fire safety) and give them adequate training in fire fighting / evacuation procedures.

As a guide the following items should be considered within the workplace:

  •  Fire wardens/marshals (responsible person)
  • Fire fighting equipment provided (extinquishers, blankets)
  • Fire prevention equipment (smoke detectors)
  • Fire Emergency Evacuation Plan
  • Calling the fire brigade
  • Places of assembly and how to monitor visitors (roll call, sign in book)
  • Action on discovering a fire
  • Power isolation (if safe)
  • Protocols for ensuring clutter free environment

Although we have covered most of this in our three part “Fire Safety Tips for the workplace” guide we’d like to highlight that you can never be too prepared for a fire in the workplace.  At TutorCare we offer a wide range of Fire Safety Training courses that are available either in-house, online or at our dedicated regional centres across the country.  From practical advice on the use of fire extinguishers to training for fire marshals we are here to help and will continue to help highlight risks that not only cost companies thousands each year but also threaten the safety of your staff and the longevity of your business.Stay safe and call us today on 0333 331 7052