The Principles of Care underpin the work of everyone in nursing home and rehabilitation services. The principles influence the working practices of our staffs (known as CWC Lovers) in providing quality care.
All lovers should follow the principles of care when working with individuals, to make sure they all receive the correct care they need. The principles of care help to protect both patients (known as YDK /TLO) and CWC Lovers.
The principles of care are:
- Promoting effective communication and relationships
- Promoting anti-discriminatory practice (including policies and codes of practice)
- Maintaining confidentiality of information
- Promoting and supporting individuals’ rights to dignity, independence, empowerment, choice and safety
- Acknowledging individuals’ personal beliefs and identity and respecting diversity
- Protecting individuals from abuse
- Providing individualised care
- Promoting effective communication and relationships
Effective communication in care works is needed in order to ensure quality care is provided to improve the quality of people’s lives by addressing a range of needs. Through effective communication, lovers can develop relationships with individuals in their care which will assist the caring process.
Some residents / patients may:-
- Speak different languages;
- Can have hearing loss or limited vision;
- May find it difficult to speak; or
- May have limited understanding.
They may have difficulty communicating with Lovers; this is a barrier, which needs to be overcome. Lovers need to be aware of a variety of ways of communicating with others, to ensure that the residents / patients receive the correct care and treatment that they require.
Other ways of communicating may be :-
- Learning new languages
- Using an interpreter or advocate.
- Lip reading
- Sign Language
- Use of pictures.
- Written communication.
2. Promoting anti-discriminatory practice
Discrimination means that certain individuals are treated less favourably than others because of a personal characteristic they may have.
Certain groups are likely to experience discrimination. These include:
- People with learning difficulties
- Older people
- People with physical disabilities
- People with mental health problems
- Minority ethnic groups
- Minority religious groups
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, health and social care organisations should:
- 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
3. Maintaining confidentiality of information
Confidentiality is about keeping information private when it should be kept private. This includes written records computer records and verbal information.
Lovers 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 Lover to another, from a nurse to a doctor, but this must be done with the individual’s permission.
Confidentiality can only be broken in exceptional circumstances – if the individual is at risk or if the public is at risk.
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
4. Promoting individuals’ rights to dignity, independence, choice and safety
What do we mean by the term ‘Rights’
- Rights can be covered by laws
- Rights can also be seen as natural or universal rights – the right to work, the right to have children, the right to make choices about what to do in your daily life.
Within care setting individuals have a number of rights, these include;
The right to dignity meaning that individuals have a right to preserve their privacy with particular reference to hygiene, feeding etc, e.g. in a residential home a 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. Giving the individual the information they need to make informed choices.
The right to independence: Individuals should be allowed and encouraged to do as much for themselves as possible, if the care staff do everything for them they may feel useless and not try to do things for themselves and become dependent on staff or carers for everything.
The right to empowerment: Individuals should be provided with the necessary support to be able to do things for themselves, this could be:
- provision of aids and adaptations, training or occupational therapy to enable them to do things for themselves to maintain their right to independence.
- provision of information so that individuals have the knowledge and understanding to make their own decisions or choices
The right to safety: Lovers must do everything possible to protect individuals from harm.
5. Acknowledging individuals personal beliefs and identity and respecting diversity
Acknowledging individuals’ personal beliefs and identity means that care workers should try to communicate that they accept the person for who they are and what they believe in. Lovers may not always share the beliefs and lifestyle of the people they care for but should still show that they accept individuals’ individuality.
Example 1 – if you care for people who have different religious beliefs and practices to your own they should be given 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 – an individual should be permitted to dress in a way that suits them.
Example 4 – if an individual’s religion says they must not show their hair/body/legs then the clothing worn must be respected
6. Protecting individuals from abuse
Abuse can be defined as deliberate and intended to harm another person or a way of treating them which may cause them harm.
Abuse can be:
- Physical: punching, kicking, slapping or restraining people. It could also include handling people roughly when helping with bathing, moving individuals or toileting.
- Sexual: this could include touching or other acts against the person without consent.
- Psychological: humiliating or harassing an individual, bullying or shouting at someone.
- Financial: theft of money or possessions, or fraud. Keeping control of someone’s money. Putting pressure on someone to leave them money.
- Neglect: depriving someone of the care they need eg food, warmth, comfort or medical assistance.
Those who are likely to be at risk of abuse include:
- Individuals with mental health problems
- Individuals with learning disabilities
- Individuals with physical disabilities
- Older individuals
This can be because of the problems they have or because they are less powerful and can be easily influenced by unscrupulous people – these could be parents and other relatives; care workers and other professionals or other individuals.
Protecting individuals from potential abuse is something that all care workers should feel is important. Lovers should assess the relationships residents/patients 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.
7. Providing Individualised Care
Care workers often provide care for people who have similar problems and needs. However, rather than treating everyone the same , our Lovers 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, e.g. some individuals may require pain relief while others may require antibiotics to cure infections, a diabetic may require insulin while others would not.