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Understand employment responsibilities and rights in health, social care or children’s Essay

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1. Know the statutory responsibilities and rights of employees and employers within own area of work

Aspects of employment covered by the law are Equality Act 2010, National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage, working hours and holiday entitlement. Sickness absence and sick pay, redundancy, dismissal, training, disciplinary procedures, union rights, anti-discrimination provisions i.e. gender, race, disability, age, religion, data protection, disclosure and barring service (DBS formerly CRB). Employment Rights legislation. Health and safety laws cover work conditions.

The main features of current employment legislation include Health & Safety legislation, Part-time Workers regulations and Working Time regulations, Equalities and Discrimination law, Employment Rights legislation, National Minimum Wage legislation.

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Employment legislation exists to protect the best interests of both employee and employer and prevents the mistreatment of employees by employers and promotes a safer working environment. Policies and procedures are put in place to protect employees rights and cover aspects such as salary, working hours, equal pay, sick pay, holiday pay, redundancy, safety, maternity/paternity entitlement, discrimination such as gender, age, disability. Employers are required to follow such legislation and are accountable for breach of employment law

Sources and types of information and available in relation to employment responsibilities and rights are the Line manager, HR department, ACAS, Citizens Advice Bureau, Community Legal Advice, www.direct.gov.uk, advice from trade unions and representative bodies.

2. Understand agreed on ways of working that protect own relationship with an employer

Terms and conditions of my own contracts of employment include: place of work, probationary period, training, punctuality, hours of work, remuneration, absence/statutory sick pay/maternity & paternity benefit, correct completion of timesheets, grievances and disputes, disciplinary rules and procedures, annual leave, notice and termination of employment, confidentiality.

The information shown on my own pay statements are my name, employee number, National Insurance number, tax code, tax period, hours worked, earnings for the year to date and for the pay period relating to the payslip and deductions ( tax, national insurance, pension contributions), employers name.

Procedures to follow in the event of a grievance at my places of work are:
Agency: initially to raise the grievance informally with one of the agency coordinators. They will attempt to resolve the problem before referring the matter to management. If the matter is unable to be resolved then a formal meeting with the manager will be arranged and the member of staff will be asked to formally put their grievance in writing.

GP surgery: the grievance should be raised with the Practice Manager verbally or in writing, whereupon appropriate steps will be taken to attempt to resolve the problem. If the matter is unable to be resolved then a formal meeting with the practice partners will be arranged.

Personal information that must be kept up to date with your own employer is personal details; name, address, bank details, health information, emergency contact details. An employer will have safe and agreed on ways of working which may be set out in a formal policy document or within an individual’s care plan. By adhering to the agreed ways of working it ensures that staff is working within the law which protects the safety and well-being of patients and clients as well as themselves.

3. Understand how own role fits within the wider context of the sector

Within my role as nursing agency staff, I can work in a variety of care settings such as nursing and residential homes, hospitals, supported living for adults with learning disabilities, day centres and in the community such as domiciliary and district nursing services however, whatever setting I am assigned to, I will need to ensure that I work as part of that team, ensuring the care plans are followed and completed accurately to ensure the wellbeing and safety of the client(s) and/or patient(s) which will ensure that good practice and the expected standards are met. It is important to be certain of the role I am expected to perform and stay within the job role and reporting to the appropriate senior member of staff.

Within the GP surgery, my role will assist the practice GP’s by visiting housebound patients, assessing and monitoring their health and wellbeing and reporting my visits and any concerns back to the GP’s, taking blood and urine samples for testing and performing COPD assessments. My role benefits the surgery as I can often be the first point of contact for housebound patients and my visit can result in some preventable home visits by GP’s, allowing them more time in open surgery to see patients. My role also includes participating in MDT (multi-disciplinary meetings) with the practice GPs and clinical professionals from other teams such as Community Nurses, Mental Health, Farleigh Hospice and the Community Agent, Farleigh to receive and provide important and up to date information concerning individual patients.

There are several representative bodies that influence the wider sector and include:

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are responsible for the planning and commissioning of healthcare services for their local area and getting the best possible health outcomes for the local population.

General Medical Council (GMC) help to protect patients and improve medical education and practice in the UK by setting standards for students and doctors.

Unison – a public service union which represents and acts on behalf of members working in a range of public services.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), provides guidance, advice, quality standards and information services for health, public health, and social care.

Charities such as Prostate Cancer UK, British Red Cross, Age UK, Scope provide information, advice, and support to individuals and their families.

4. Understand career pathways available within own and related sectors

There are several career opportunities available to a healthcare assistant within both the public (NHS) and the private sector all dependent upon how far an HCA wants to progress. At non-graduate level an HCA could work their way through the banding levels to band 4 (Assistant Practitioner) train in various departments within a hospital setting e.g. from paediatrics to geriatric wards, outpatients, therapy departments, theatres or within GP surgeries and health centres, work with the community nurse team or in residential care, nursing homes or hospice settings. Other opportunities are as a paramedic, ambulance care assistant, emergency care assistant or driver within the ambulance and patient transport services. Undertake a nursing degree and the opportunities widen further e.g. prescribing nurse, nurse practitioner, practice nurse, nurse specialist or even a doctor.

Sources of information related to a chosen career pathway are The Royal College of Nursing, NHS jobs website, care and nursing homes, National Careers Service. Skills for Health website. Open University. My next steps in my own career pathway are first to complete this Level 3 Diploma. I aim to continue attending appropriate training and gain further skills to increase my knowledge and experience. I am currently awaiting the opportunity to gain my competencies in COPD and spirometry and to attend the necessary training to enable me to perform ECG’s and carry out ear syringing. I may be interested in progressing to a band 4 if the opportunity arises.

5. Understand how issues of public concern may affect the image and delivery of services in the sector

There have been issues of public concern within the sector raised by parents, relatives, staff and undercover reporters such as:

Stafford hospital – in the late 2000’s reports suggest that due to appalling conditions and inadequacies in the hospital the emergency admittance mortality rate was high.

Liverpool Care Pathway – came under scrutiny in 2013 after concerns were raised that the LCP hastened people’s deaths.

NHS Pay Cuts – demoralized staff are leaving the NHS, due to uncompetitive pay and stressful working conditions, causing concerns over patient safety and delays to treatment due to understaffing.

Reported by the mainline

The Old Deanery Care Home, Braintree – following a whistleblower tip-off and subsequently reported by an undercover reporter for BBC’s Panorama, 3 staff were jailed following the successful conviction of abuse towards an 84-year-old resident. The daughter spoke out about the care workers ‘vile attack’ on her mother, and said that the local authorities and even her own family put some blame on her for putting her mother into the care home. A member of a charity Compassion in Care campaigned to get whistle-blowers of elderly abuse heard. CQC director.

Alleged abuse and neglect have been exposed by the media and the bad press, naturally, has invoked powerful emotional responses from the public such as shock, disbelief, and anger. Cuts in Government funding, poor training, underpaid and overworked care staff and insufficient level of staffing to meet residents needs have all been blamed for an unsatisfactory level of care resulting in mistrust in the staff working in this sector – public opinion has a tendency to tar each care worker with the same brush and such bad press has had a detrimental effect on the reputation of the healthcare system; it has affected the way the public generally view health and social care and they are losing faith in the healthcare system as a whole.

The public has been shocked, awareness, through media coverage of high profile There has been growing concerns that loved ones may be receiving sub-standard care, residential and home care. The public is concerned and angry that their loved ones, are receiving sub-standard care, and may delay going into care and have little trust in the staff working in this sector fearing abuse and neglect. People unable to access information and delayed help they need, through government funding cuts.

Reported by theguardian.com
The CQC placed four Cornish care homes, all run by the same Group in special measures after they were rated inadequate. The residents had been living in ‘grim, shoddy and unsafe’ conditions in four care homes after investigations found that residents were laying in urine-soaked bedclothes, sat in chairs for hours with plates of unfinished food in front of them and waited weeks to receive medical attention.

BBC news
NHS and care sector safety a ‘big concern’ in England. The CQC found 75% of the 79 hospital trusts it visited under a new inspection regime had safety problems and over 40% of care and nursing homes and home care services and one in three GP services also had problems with safety. Lack of staff, in terms of skills and numbers, was identified as a major issue.

More current – health and social care following Brexit
May include: Media stories
Economic issues
Local or national strategies
Government drivers

National newspapers
Funding cuts are blamed for crisis threatening the welfare of elderly and disabled people. Following abuse cases within the health and social care sector, care homes. Training ensures staff is aware of signs of abuse and how to report.

CQC made changes to regulations of adult care homes
Individuals are given informed choices which help to put them in control of their care.

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