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British Law in Health and Social Care

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British Law in Health and Social Care Victoria Smith 01/11/2010 Table of Contents Introduction 3 British Legal System 3 Statute Law 3 European Law 3 Common Law 3 Duty of Care 4 Negligence 5 Tort Law 5 Trespass 5 Trespass to the person 6 Consent 6 Legislation 6 Word Count 8 Bibliography 8 Introduction The purpose of this report is to explain the basis of Common or Judge-made Law. To explain duty of care, negligence, trespass, and consent and the last three as legal responsibilities. And to explain how specific legislation such as The Children Act and Mental Health Acts instruct health care practitioners as to their legal responsibilities. British Legal System There are three parts of the British legal system these are; Statute Law, European Law, and Common Law. Legislation includes statutes and Acts of Parliament. British Law falls into two categories: criminal law, and civil law. Criminal laws are offences relating to persons or property that affects the whole community. Civil law is wrong relating to conflicts between individuals within the community. I will write a little about Statute and European Law but I will concentrate on Common Law. ...read more.


B is that the actions of the health care practitioner fell short of the duty of care identified in A. And C is that this action leads to damages occurring. Negligence is a part of Tort law. Tort Law Tort law exists to protect rights; it defines rights and obligations when an individual commits a wrong or injury against another person. There are six classifications of tort law these are; "Wrongs to the person, wrongs to reputation, wrongs to property, wrongs to persons or property, wrongs of interference, and abuse of legal procedure." (Curzon, 2002) The law uses one standard to judge all people not on the individual. Trespass Trespass is an area of tort law broadly divided into three groups; trespass to the person, trespass to chattels and trespass to land. Trespass to chattels is a tort whereby the infringing party has intentionally interfered with another person's lawful possession of the chattel. Trespass to land is a common law tort that is committed when an individual or the object of an individual intentionally enters the land of another without lawful excuse. (Fleming, 1998) Trespass to the person Trespass to the person may be by assault, battery, or false imprisonment. ...read more.


This can be the rights of the client (and relatives etc) or the rights of the worker (which at times may be in conflict). In everyday practice professionals may not always refer to legislation directly - agencies that employ health and care workers, such as the NHS and Social Services Departments, will usually have produced documents that detail policy and procedure, designed to help them act in accordance with the law. Regulations, guidance and procedures along with various codes of practice produced by the relevant professional bodies: the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) for Nurses and Midwifes and the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) for Social Workers) recommend what is considered to be good practice on a day-to-day basis for professionals. In other words what is considered to be the professional's 'duty of care', in given work-related situations. This means in effect that the professional has a defence against claims of malpractice or negligence if s/he has followed the authorised guidance and regulations. However the converse also applies. If a professional has not followed accepted guidance or procedure and a client or patient has suffered harm as a result of the professional's actions, the professional may be personally found guilty of negligence. ...read more.

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