Accountability

This essay is about accountability in health and social care setting. Accountability requires the individual practitioner to take responsibility for their actions and the outcomes. The essay looks at the different areas of accountability such as, principles of care, delegation; four ethical principles. In this essay record keeping will be discussed. RCN ,2008) defines accountability as taking responsibility for the actions done by a health care worker or omissions in their daily work and be able to support their reasons for all their actions and decisions when asked by their employer(NMC,2006) supports accountability as an ability to justify ones actions and being able to explains why something was done or omitted . Assistant practitioners have a duty of care to patients, colleagues, family, to the public, employer and themselves.

As according to the Code of Conduct for assistant associate practitioner’s and healthcare support workers state that health care workers must protect service users ,their rights, upholding their privacy and promote the interests of the service users As stated in the (General Social Care Council Codes of practice) assistant practitioner must strive to establish and maintain the trust and confidence of service users while protecting them as far as possible from danger or harm.

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Confidentiality means keeping personal information about service users’ private only sharing information on a need to know basis maintaining trust with service users as mentioned in (NMC,2008) . This confidentiality is seen as an essential thing to be able to keep the trust between professional and service users Assistant practitioner should respect the rights of the service users, whilst seeking to ensure that their actions do not harm themselves or other health professionals.

They should also promote equality, protects patients from being discriminated against by sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion, belief or age as stated in anti-discrimination law 1967. .According to( Department Of Health ,2009) and ( Seeking Consent ,2008) encourages ,Assistant practitioners workers to always ask their patients consent by giving them a full picture of what care to be given to them or what procedure intend to be done to them and also the risks involved . Assistance practitioners are obliged to provide relevant information to patients in their care .

This information includes potential risks, benefits to their treatment and also accepts the decision of a patient who chooses not to proceed with treatment or task as according to (The Human Rights Act, 1998). Assistant practitioners are accountable to their line manager following their contract of duty and also they are only allowed to work within their job description or specification allows them to do. Otherwise doing duties that outside their job description will put the safety of their patient at risk and you could be led into disciplinary .

They can delegate to the health care staff who are competent to do the task . (RCN,2008) Delegation involves the transfer of responsibility to another person to perform a task as according to In order to be able to delegate specific tasks to others, there is a legal requirement to prefer mine and evaluate the necessary level of skill needed. Assistant practitioner are expected to justify actions or decisions As (Claufied,2005) stated accountability is being responsible for the outcome of an action and as a consequence, taking the blame when something goes wrong.

Assistant practitioners are still accountable even when faced with challenges Duty to care this means you must always make sure patients and colleagues don’t come to harm because of something you’ve done or something you have not done, or because you’ve been careless or taken risks. It is very important within the care sector that they demonstrate professionalism, by wearing the correct dress code or uniform. As mentioned in the (Health and Safety Act 1998) for the safety of the patients and yourself no jewellery is to be worn.

Also as according (Infection Control Policy) no nail polish is allowed, nails are to be kept clean and short and gloves are to be worn and changed regularly all the times. Criminal law emphasis that if an assistant practitioner physically assault a patient, it would be could be prosecuted, as well as being in breach of their contract of employment( Hendrick 2004 ) . Civil law imposes duty of care, to Assistant Practitioner as they are accountable for their actions and omissions when they can reasonably see the risk that they would be likely to injure, this could led to negligence. For an act of negligence to be stablished, it must first be determined that there is a duty of care owed.

For example in practice it can be seen that a patient who is very unsteady on their feet is at high risk of falling and it can be reasonably foreseeable that the patient could fall. In this situation, the assistant practitioner should take appropriate action to try and prevent the patient falling, and this falls within the duty of care that the nurse owes the patient. Good communication and documentation with other staff about the patient’s mobility and also put interventions in place to help prevent the patient falling.

As mentioned in( Hendrick ,2004)the Bolam test determine only one way of establishing negligence If they can prove that the service users they have suffered harm as a result you could be sued for negligence and if proved that no harm has occurred to the patient then you cannot sued for negligence You must carry out only the tasks agreed in your job description or specification so that your employer knows what you are likely to be doing and, based on this, Agrees to accept liability known as vicarious liability for your actions as mentioned in ( Fletcher and Buka,1999) .

If they are shortage of staff or equipment, pressure of work and excessive workloads are not in themselves a defence against neglect. Beauchamp and Childress, (2001) states the four principles of ethics which are : respect for autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice as mentioned in Beneficence means to do good Non-maleficence which means a duty to do no harm as according to (Hendric,2004).

This is a strong principle in healthcare and forms a basis of the assistant practitioner duty to take care in the way in which they look after their patients. Justice also known as fairness, treating patients equal as mentioned in (Henrick,2004) Patients are different in terms of age, cultural backgrounds sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion, belief, culture, religion, politics, marital status and more. According to (Data Protection Act, 1998) Patient’s records are to be kept confidential at all the times .

As according to (Data Protection Act, 1998) in the health care setting it is essential to keep record for proof. According to ( NMC,2007) what is not written is not done it’s also adds on that patients records are a legal document and belong to the Employer . Record keeping is the only proof of care given to the patients . All entries in a record must be dated including date, month, year, time and must be signed. All record must be recorded as soon as possible after an incident or task has occurred.

Information must be written clearly so that other carers who require it in order to carry out their work can easily understand it Out of date records would be not relevant and could lead to mistakes in patients care. Therefore, up-to-date record keeping protects the well-being of patients and clients and therefore enables health care professionals to communicate effectively with patients and other inter-professional health care team in order to ensure the continuity of care( DOH . 2006) There are two types of records: manual and computer-held records.

Manual or paper based records include GP notes and medical notes. The main aim of the notes is to record daily observations, and reviews of patients’ condition and progress if any. For example, forms temperature, pulse, blood pressure and respiration, patient assessment and care plan, food and fluid chart, as well as urine and stool chart. Also, medical notes include records of symptoms, diagnosis and information such as X-rays, films and test results as well as past medical history and referral letters (. NMC-ORG,2007)

Records of patients which is used by the multidisciplinary team as a tool of communication between them, for example: patients’ personal information such as name, address, next of kin contact details, GP details, date and reasons for admission as well as hospital number, date of birth electronic discharge and prescription(NMC,2007) In conclusion accountability is very essential if you working in health and social care.

The boundaries of accountability in terms of the approach to roles in the health service, is what must be established according to government policy. Assistant practitioner workers are also accountable to their line manager in addition employees are accountable to their employer to follow their contract of duty. When working in health and care setting it is important to keep records if not written it never happen and are accountable if the record is not accurate.

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