Within my role as Team Leader, I communicate with a variety of people for various different ways. This would involve speaking to resident’s families and social workers (this could be in the form of a face –to –face service review which could also include the resident). Additionally, I converse with other healthcare professionals such as a GP. This could be done over the phone to arrange a visit to a resident or to speak regarding medication. Additionally, contacting District nurses for resident intervention is normally done by faxing requests to them.
These are generally the appropriate forms of communication for these healthcare professionals. These requests or instructions are then recorded in a care-plan for an individual. In some cases written down and locked away, in other cases they would be password protected on a secure computer system. Dealing on a daily basis instructing colleagues with their daily duties are also part of my role, as is reporting concerns/giving updates to senior manager. Colleagues would be given written information and concerns from a previous shift, arming them with the information they needed to be effective care givers for the day. In this case, paperwork would immediately be locked away, as would resident care-plans. Information regarding residents may be securely emailed to a regional manager, such as weekly or monthly reports. Primarily, it is the residents themselves that I communicate with the most.
1.2 – Explain how to support effective communication within own job role: Within my role, I feel that it is essential to maintain good relationships with staff, peers and healthcare professionals and this is assisted by good communication. As previously explained, working with a range of multidisciplinary organisations (social services, GPs, hospitals etc.) and resident’s families means that on a daily basis, information is relayed and shared in order to promote the best service for the individual. This is also true in dealing with managers, who need to know specific information in order to effectively run the core care principals of the organisation.
Effective communication becomes commonplace and a core principal needed for continuity of care.
1.3 Analyse the barriers and challenges to communication within own job role As I work within Dementia units, verbal communication is not always the effective way. Some individuals have had a stroke and are unable to speak. Some have high needs Dementia and do not recognise simple verbal instructions. In this case, perhaps the person can write their needs or respond to written instructions or indeed using pictorial imaging as a form of communication. Other’s cannot speak or appear to communicate by reading their facial expressions (generally with carers that know the resident well, or by family intervention). 1.4 – Implement a strategy to overcome communication barriers When dealing with people in the care environment, there may be barriers when communicating.
This could be differences of opinions, language barriers or the understanding of the person you are trying to communicate with. A strategy to overcome barriers could include the use of simple, jargon-free language. Additionally, reducing noise levels when communicating with people would also be of benefit. To show the individual that you are actually listening and processing what they are trying to say and not over-complicating the person with too much information. Also, the emotional state of people is a big factor when communicating. Little is gained when people are engaged in a highly emotional state. Being flexible with targets set, if at all possible and offering constructive feedback to a carer who perhaps might be having an annual appraisal.
1.5 Use different means of communication to meet different needs To meet the needs of relaying information to several people at once, it could be possible to present and communicate this information in the form of a presentation. When dealing with mentally impaired individuals, it would be beneficial to use uncomplicated language or even pictured ‘flash-cards’ (i.e these would illustrate pictures of food, a toilet, a drink, emotional faces to help ascertain what the individual may want). 2 – Be able to improve communication systems and practices that support positive…
2.1 – Monitor the effectiveness of communication systems and practices In July 2012, I helped train members of staff in a new on-line care-planning
system called Abyliss. The initial piece of work was to transfer all paper care plans and risk assessments for all residents onto the computer system. A proposed improvement was the keeping of a small paper file that held a copy of care-plans, medical information and relative’s contact details (along with DNR forms), as a ‘grab-sheet’. This became very effective, as initially there were system failures and a back-up of essential information were needed to hand. 2.2 – Evaluate the effectiveness of existing communication systems and practices In my role, I feel there are systems of communications that are effective and others that are no. A hand-over with night staff, with my day care team is an essential verbal tool, which give staff an update of any concerns that they have. 2.3 – Propose improvements to communication systems and practices to address any shortcomings
I feel that the current environment has issues regarding communication. I am trying to implement into my new role, a weekly GP round which they had at my previous place of employment. Previously staff would record concerns (not-life threatening) in a GP book. The GP would then come and walk around the units with a Senior Carer and address these concerns. This was opposed to continuously calling out a GP for a non-emergency. This is something I feel needs bringing into my new organisation, as communications with healthcare professionals are essential in maintain up to date care practices.
2.4 – Lead the implementation of revised communication systems and practices. To review previous hand-over sheets that communicates between staff from shift, to shift. It was felt that a simple hand-over book, in the form or a diary would not necessarily be sufficient for capturing all the care needs of the individual. A new one was devised by myself that had a list of names of residents and space to record comments about them in it (i.e. not drinking, loose bowels, challenging behaviour etc.). Additionally, added boxes were made for hospital admissions, GP visits and other healthcare appointments/reviews by healthcare professionals 3 – Be able to improve communication systems to support partnership working
3.1 – Use communication systems to promote partnership working
Communication systems to promote partner working include faxing a pharmacy with a medication change, phoning a social worker to arrange a review of a residents changing health needs or visiting a resident who may be in hospital and liaising face to face with nurses and Doctors, in order to gain current information regarding the person involved.
3.2 – Compare the effectiveness of different communications systems for partnership working
I feel that as I have to fax medication changes to the pharmacy, it is always beneficial to ring and make sure that have received written instructions. I feel that this works well but the pharmacy will also take verbal instructions, based on the fact the prescription is there when they come to bring the new medications. District Nurses will only receive faxed instructions and should there be any reason there is a fax error, it is incredibly difficult to gain intervention from them from verbal communication. Verbal communication works best with a GP, as it is generally an emergency and staff will want to know that they have spoken to someone regarding a resident and action is imminent.
3.3 – Propose improvements to communication systems for partnership working
I feel that verbal instructions backed up with written documentation would be more beneficial to making a service run optimally. An email system linked to partners would be more beneficial, as would limited access to medical records for an individual in care, that may come from hospital with no specific details. 4 – Be able to use systems for effective information management
4.1 – Explain legal and ethical tensions between maintaining confidentiality and sharing information
In the event of a family member phoning and asking for details of perhaps a GP visit that took place earlier, I would need to ensure that this person is who they say they are. This could involve taking a phone number of the person before speaking either directly to the service user (or next of kin) and explaining who has rung and would they be happy to share this information. Taking into consideration that a person’s confidential information is protected under the Data Protection Act and Access to Records policy. The individual may not be able to make decisions for themselves and may have been assessed under the Mental Capacity Act. However, the CQC’s regulations state under the Health and Social Care Act that information may be disclosed when required by law or when it is done to protect and maintain the welfare of the individual.
4.2 – Analyse the essential features of information sharing agreements within and between organisations
Residents (or next of kin where they are not able) are asked to sign a ‘Consent to Share Information’ from. This gives the home permission to share information ‘in the best interest’ of the person, with GPs, social workers, District Nurses, Geriatricians, Occupational Therapists. Additionally, an access to information form is signed by a healthcare professional, before they are allowed to view confidential information. All information and communication is recorded on a person’s daily notes.
4.3 – Demonstrate use of information management systems that meet legal and ethical requirements
Information management systems that meet legal and ethical requirements involve the storing of sensitive material relating to an individual’s care needs. Generally in the form of a care plan, this would involve material stored on an encrypted computer system (pass worded with a set log-out time so others cannot see information, should a person be called away from their desk) or a paper file which would be stored in a lockable cupboard and the keys kept on a named responsible person. These requirements would be in-line
with the Data Protection Act 1998 and Caldicott principles of good practice on the uses of personal data. Additionally, section 60 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001 deals with confidentiality and states that ‘ patient‐identifiable data should not be provided to third parties’.