ASSESSMENT OBJECTIVE NUMBER 1
Health and Social Care practitioners in the UK must work within a legal and ethical framework. This means that care practitioners must follow and put into practice a range of laws, policies, codes of practice and charters in their work with service users. Legislations are implemented to protect the many rights of service users and staff alike and are also necessary to maintain and improve good standards.
The Registered Homes Act –
Residential Homes with four or more beds and Nursing Homes are required to be registered and inspected under the Registered Homes Act 1984.
Residential Homes with less than four beds are registered under the Registered Homes Act (Amendment Act) 1991.
Part 1 of this Act empowers Local Authorities to register and inspect Residential Homes and Part 2 of this Act empowers Local District Health Authorities to register and inspect Nursing Homes.
The law requires that both Residential Homes and Nursing Homes be inspected not less than twice in a twelve-month period. As a matter of local policy Nursing Homes and Residential Homes receive both announced and unannounced inspections.
Nursing Homes and Residential Homes are inspected to ensure compliance with legislation, local policy guidance and principles of good social and health care practice. This will encompass the six broad values of privacy, dignity, independence, choice, rights and fulfillment, which underpin good quality care. Individual inspection may not address every detail, however during the course of a twelve-month period, each section will be covered.
After inspections a written report containing comments and recommendations is held on file at the Social Services registration and inspection unit and can be viewed by prior arrangement.
The home itself will also have a copy which if you are visiting they may offer to show you. If not you can always ask to see the latest inspection report.
Data Protection Act –
Health and social Care users have the statutory right to see their records. There are a few circumstances in which access to personal files compiled and held by care professionals can be denied, but generally service users have the right to know what information is contained in their records.
The Data Protection Act 1998 means that all filed records about clients will be seen as data, whether electronically or on paper. The 1998 Act provides individuals with a range of rights including:
- The right to know what information is held about them and to see and correct the information if necessary.
- The right to refuse to provide information.
- The right that data should be accurate and up-to-date.
- The right that information should not be kept for longer than necessary.
- The right to confidentiality – that the information should not be accessible to unauthorized people.
Service users are entitled to know whether any information about them is being held by a care organisation. If it is, they have the right to apply to see and be given access to a copy of the information. Access to health records can be denied where the disclosure of the contents would: