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Service Users Care Workers Essay

1511 words - 6 pages

Acting in the best interest of service usersThe primary goal of everyone working in health and social care is to act in the best interests of service users. For example:.Ø doctors try to improve their patient's health, or at least their quality of lifeØ nurses care for patients by meeting their needsØ social workers try to improve the day-to-day life of service usersØ care assistants give people the practical they need.The right of service users to expect practitioners to act in their best interests is reinforced by professional codes of conduct, and legislation such as the Mental Health Act 1983 and the NHS and Community Care Act 1990.Assessing risk to individual groupsThe decisions which health and social care practitioners make can have far reaching implications. Prior to taking action I a particular case, they have a responsibility to assess whether:Ø the person is at risk from their own behaviourØ the person is at risk from other people's actions db!Ø the person's family, friends and carers are at risk from the person's behaviour.Assessing risk to children is a particularly sensitive issue. The Children Act 1989 placed new emphasis on the importance of assessing children who might be at risk from physical violence, sexual abuse of neglect, and gave social services new duties to keep children safe.A child considered at risk is interviewed by a social worker, and may be given a medical examination if physical or sexual abuse is thought to have occurred. A child protection conference is then held, where doctors, social workers, teachers, parents, police (and sometimes the child) meet to assess the risk of the child being harmed. Possible outcomes include:Ø placing the child on a Child Protection RegisterØ going to court to ask for a Care OrderØ going to court to ask for a Child Assessment Order.Like children, elderly people are often vulnerable and at risk from themselves and others. The NHS and Community Care Act 1990, aims to enable elderly people to be cared for (or care for themselves) within the community. To achieve this safely health and social care practitioners need to assess a range of risks.The NHS and Community Care Act also increased the number of people with mental health problems being cared for in the community rather than in a mental hospital. When deciding whether someone suffering from mental illness should be treated in the community, health and social care practitioners need to assess the possible risk to the person, the community and the person's family. If the events are considered too great, the person can be 'sectioned' under the Mental Health Act 1983 - detained for treatment in a mental hospital.Providing access to informationHealth and social care practitioners have a duty to give service users information - from access to their medical records and explanations of procedures to information on hospital standards and clear guidelines on how to...

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