Principles of Safe Practice in Health


This assignment will be focused on actual or even potential
risk in care settings and will specify the managerial strategies which promote
safe practice. It will discuss own individual accountability in the
implementation of safe practice and legal issues that are raised to scenarios
and critical incidents occurring within own care settings. Also, ethical issues
which should inform and influence the delivery of safe practice.

Principle A. health carers should be able to treat everyone
with dignity and humanity.  Understanding
their individual needs, showing compassion and sensitivity and providing care
in a way that respects all people equally.

Principle B nurses and other staff take responsibility for
the care that they provide and to answer for their own judgments and actions,
they carry these actions in a way that is agreed with their patients of their
patients, and the families and carers of their patients, and in way that also
meets requirements of their professional bodies and the law.

Principle C. nursing staff manage risk, are vigilant about
risk, and helping to keep everyone safe in the places which they receive health

Principle D. Nurses should provide and promote are that puts
people at the centre, involves patients, service users, their families and
their carers in decisions and it helps them make informed choices about their
treatment and care that’s provided.

Principle E. nurses are known to be at the heart of the
communication process: they assess, record and report treatments. Handling
information sensitively and confidentiality, deal with complaints effectively
and are conscientious when reporting the things, they are concerned about. This
is what makes a good nurse.

Principle F. Nurses should have up to date knowledge and
skills, and using these with intelligence, insight and understanding in line
with needs of each other in their care

Principle G. Nurses and nursing staff work closely with
their own team and with other professionals, making sure patients’ care and
treatment is co-ordinated, is of a high standard and has the best possible

Principle H. Nurses and nursing staff lead by example,
develop themselves and other staff, and influence the way care is given in a
manner that is open and responds to individual needs.”

As a nursing student, you can use the principles to:

•             understand
what patients, colleagues, families and carers can expect from nursing

•             help you
reflect on the practice and develop as a professional

•             generate
discussions with our colleagues or if we are student with our mentor, tutor or
fellow students on the aspects of behaviour, attitude and approach that
underpin good nursing care

•             identify
where the principles are being practised within our organisation, and to
identify instances where we think they are not being practised.

The Four Principles of Health Care Ethics:

“Our ethical responsibilities in each situation depend in
part on the nature of the decision and in part on the roles we play. For
example, a patient and his or her family play different roles and owe different
ethical obligations to each other than a patient and his or her physician. In
the US, four main principles define the ethical duties that health care
professionals owe to patients. They are:

Autonomy: to honour the patients right to make their own

Beneficence: to help the patient advance his/her own good

No maleficence: to do no harm

Justice: to be fair and treat like cases alike

In order to practice in an ethical way or professional
manner it is important to balance and consider the ethical considerations. With
professional values and relevant legislation. The core of ethical practice at
all levels involves an individual or even team identifying what the legal and
professional standards require are and how these are will be caring or
compassionately applied to the challenges of clinical practice.

The simple definition of each of the four principles of
health care ethics are mostly known and often used in the English language, but
they take on important meaning once they are utilized in any settings. These
principles all play a role in ensuring optimal patient safety and care.

1. Autonomy: Autonomy refers to the right of the patient to
retain control over their body. A health care professional can suggest and even
advise. But any actions that attempt to persuade the patient will be allowed to
make their own decisions, whether or not the medical provider believes these
choices are in that patient’s best interests.

2. Beneficence: This principle also states that health care
providers must do all they can to benefit their patient in each situation. All
procedures are recommended must be with good intention for the patient. To
ensure beneficence, medical practitioners should develop and maintain high
level of skill and knowledge considering the patient’s circumstances; what is
good for one patient will not necessary benefit another.

3. Non-Maleficence: this is probably the commonly known from
the four principles. In short it means “to do no harm”. It is intended to be
the end goal for all practitioner’s decisions, and it means that medical
providers must consider whether other people or society could be harmed by a
decision that was made, even if it is made for the benefit of the patient.

4. Justice: Principles of justice states that there should
really be an element of fairness in all medical decisions; fairness in
decisions that burden and benefit as well as equal distribution of unusual
resources and new treatments. For medical practitioners to uphold the laws and
legislations when making the choices.

How to provide “best practice”

Nurses and all staff should treat everyone with dignity and
humanity – they understand their individual needs and show compassion,
sensitivity and also providing care in a way that respects all people equally

Nursing staff taking responsibility for the care they
provide and answer for their own judgments and actions – they carry out actions
in a way that is agreed with patients and the families and also carers of
patients, and in a way that meets the requirements of their professional bodies
and the law.

Staff managing risks are vigilant about risks and helping to
keep everyone safe in the places they receive health care.

Health carers providing and promoting care that puts people
at the centre, involves patients and service users and others in decisions and
helps them make informed choices about their treatment and care.

The communication process, they assess, record and report on
treatment and care, handle information sensitively and confidentially, deal
with complaint effectively and are conscientious in reporting the things they
are concerned about.

Health carers have up to date knowledge and skills, and use
these with intelligence, insight and understanding in line with the needs of
each individual in their care.

Staff work closely with their own team and with other
professionals, making sure patients care and treatment is coordinated is of a
high standard and has the best possible outcomes.

Nursing staff should lead by example and develop themselves
and other staff to influence the way care is given in a manner that is open and
responds to individual needs.




‘Accountability’ is about taking responsibility of your own
actions and always ensuring you are competent to do any activity you’ve been
asked to perform, and always putting patient’s/clients’ interests first.

What it means in practice is that whatever we do in our work
as a health care assistant, we should be able to justify it as a sensible
course of action. It just means that whatever we do:

•             you need
to know the purpose of it (why you are doing it)

•             Be
properly trained and assessed as being competent to do it

•             Do it as
part of an agreed plan of care for the patient/client.


When health carers are working under supervision of a
registered member of staff who’s accountable for the overall care given by the
team. They’re still accountable for what they do as part of a team.

To be accountable to patients/clients, to whom we owe what
is called a ‘duty of care’. In health care, there will be times when our
actions could cause harm to a patient if not carried out in a careful and
competent way.

There are also times when your failure to do something that
a health care assistant would normally be expected to do what is called an
‘omission’ could also cause a patient harm. The care assistants are legally
accountable to patients for any errors they make, or any acts they fail to take
that cause them harm and patients are also entitled to pursue the case through
civil war. In very extreme cases where a patient has died or suffered serious
harm due to an error or omission, the case might be pursued through the
criminal courts.


•             Making
your own duties clear and ensuring you have the right training to carry them out
safely and effectively.

•             Making
boundaries of your role clear

•             Providing
agreed protocols to guide the care delivery

•             Ensuring
that you have adequate support and supervision in your role and offering
opportunities to develop in your role

•             Making issues
around the delegation very clear

 “Delegation’, in this
sense, is about a registered member of staff delegating an activity for you to
complete. It’s something that you’ll find happens practically every day you
work as a health care assistant and is the bedrock for service delivery in
health care. But there are issues around delegation that we need to recognise
to ensure the care given to patients/clients is safe. These issues affect both
the registered member of staff who delegates the activity to you, and to you in
accepting it.


?             getting
consent from the patient/client to perform the activity

?             following
the standard procedures and protocols for the activity

?             making
sure that nothing you do, or don’t do, causes the patient/client harm

?             taking
great care to complete the activity as safely and effectively as you can

?             raising
any issues, you’ve noted or which concern you about the patient/client with the
registered nurse in charge or your manager or supervisor

?             recording
what you’ve done in the right place(s).”


Care plans and protocols

Health care doesn’t just ‘happen’. The care and treatment
patients/clients receive arises as the result of a carefully organised process

?             assessing
what the patient’s/clients’ needs are

?             planning
how these needs can best be met

?             implementing
the plan of care

?             evaluating
how effective the care has been.

This is called care planning, and it’s something you’ll be
involved with from day 1 of being a health care assistant. Our responsibilities
may or may not include making entries to the care plan, but even if they don’t,
the verbal reports you give to your registered colleagues will influence how
they develop them. It’s therefore important that you know something about how
care plans are developed, and even more important to know how to use them.

Many organisations have developed protocols to help ensure
that patients/clients get the right care for their conditions. They set out for
us the steps that should be taken to provide the right care and treatment and
are key parts of modern health care.

An individual care plan is prepared for each patient/client.
Wherever possible, the care plan is developed with the patient/client, rather
than for the patient/client.

We are expected to read and use care plans to guide our
practice with individual patients/clients, so it’s a good idea to get to know
what kind of information they contain in our area. It’s also a good idea to get
to know who in our team is responsible for keeping the care plans up to date.

Equality and Diversity

Patients/clients are people, and people have rights. They
have the right to be treated fairly and with dignity and respect, regardless of
their age, gender, ethnic origin, sexual preference, economic status or
religious beliefs (or non-beliefs). They have a right to be protected from harm
or insult and to have their needs met when they’re unable to meet them
themselves through illness or disability. They have a right to be involved in
their care, to make their own decisions on the basis of the best information we
can provide. And they have a right to either accept or decline the care and
treatment we offer them, unless they’re legally obliged through court action to
undergo a particular course of treatment.




Practice points;

managing transitions into care homes. Meaning arranging
trial visits if possible and assigning a staff member to the resident to help
manage the transition.

Managing identity, giving residents choice and control for
instance over their dress. Encouraging the residents to share memories.

Creating community. Engaging relatives and the local
communities in the running of the home. Promoting intergenerational working
with children.

Sharing decision-making. Avoiding regimented routines that
restrict residents’ freedom and being aware of patronising/demeaning language.

Improving health. Making meal times a positive experience to
tackle under nutrition and also building partnership with local NHS services.

Supporting good end of life care. Wherever possible to have
a member of staff/volunteer to sit with the resident at all times. Providing
some company. Helping their see their relatives more often and whenever they

Keeping the workforce fit for purpose. Providing staff with
their space for reflecting. Encouraging staff to learn together and in the home
rather than using external courses.

Creating a positive culture. Staff working as an effective
team with some blurring of roles and making relatives part of the care home

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