Icon College Unit 10 Safeguarding in Health Social Care Organization

This is solution of icon college safeguarding in HSC assignment help, discusses about the patients suffering from dementia.


(1A) Recognizing abuse and Self Harm in service users

The patients usually harm themselves to reduce their inner pain and stress. Self-harm means not only causing an injury to oneself, it can also include the activities like lot of smoking, drinking etc. which causes harm to the body in the long run. This is the reason why at many places self-harm and self-injury are used separately. The extreme case of self-injury is suicide. All these actions basically show the kind of agony and suffering the person is going through (Holmes, 2013). As I have already worked with Stafford Hospital, I can explain the characteristics of the kind of people who are more vulnerable to abuse and also the factors that lead to incidence of abuse of harm.

I observed during my work that the individuals and groups that may be vulnerable to abuse can be divided into four parts. The first group will be of “vulnerable individuals”. This group consists of children or the old aged people who are at some community centre or any other such service due to intellectual illness or any other disability. The category of vulnerable individuals also consists of members those who are homeless, drug addicts or sufferers of home violence. The next category is of “vulnerable groups”. This consists of people who belong to specific religion which is a minority or by being a part of any institution where they have been brought forcefully for example prison. The next two categories are related to the researches. There are a number of researches which takes place on these kind of people due to which sometimes the members are vulnerable to abuse. For example, drug addicts. Hence the confidentiality and privacy of these people should be maintained during the researches.

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The next important thing which I came to know during my work experience in Stafford Hospital was the risks factors that may lead to incidence of abuse and harm. The risk factors may vary depending on the various cases. The risk factors will be different in case of elders than the risk factors in case of a child abuse. Elders are not able to do their work on their own and hence they have number of needs and requirements. The care takers, family members or the relatives who are taking care of the old aged person get irritated and impatient due to the demands which ultimately leads to an abuse (Mandelstam, 2008). The common risk factors among the care takers are depression, lack of help from the other members of the staff or the family, perception of caretakers that time is wasted in taking care of the old aged people and their inability to handle stress. In case of children, the risk factors are high parental stress, large family size, aggressive nature of the child, personality of the child etc.

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After investigation it was found that, there was an old patient of dementia who was asking a care taker to make him sit on some chair again and again. The caretaker was not able to handle his request repeatedly and hence he slapped the patient first and then soaked him in water for a very long time, due to this kind of action the condition of the patient got worse. These patients were aged patients and hence were completely dependent on the care takers for their work. The care takers were rude and hence misbehaved with the patients. After the investigation the guilty care takers were sent to jail.

(1B) analysis of the impact of social and cultural factors on different types of abuse and or harm.

As seen in the previous task, there are different categories of risk factors and different types of abuses and harms too. There is no doubt in the fact that the different risk factors lead to the different kind of abuses and harms. In this section first I will give a brief description upon the different kinds of risk factors and then the different types of abuses and harm and finally there will be a discussion on the fact that how different risks are linked to different abuses and harms (Reece, 2010).

The different kind of risk factors are broadly divided into Social and Cultural factors.

The impact social factors are as following:

Poverty and Unemployment: From the surveys it seen that those who are poor and do not have the power of money are more vulnerable to the abuse and hence are mistreated by others.

Health:The patients those who are not able to take their care and hence are dependent on other are vulnerable to abuse. The care takers and the family members do not want to waste their time as well as money in treating these people.

Social Isolation: Social isolation leads to abuse because those parents or family members who are isolated from the society do not have that emotional factor which will be required to take care of these set of people. Moreover those who are isolated do not feel any obligation, even from the society, to take care either of the children or the aged people (Sim et al, 2012).

Housing: Housing can be another reason for abuse when the care taker in the family is unemployed and he is dependent on the elder member financially. The need of money can lead to physical abuse.

Education:Education has got an opposite impact on abuse. This means that education prevents in abuse and harm. Education helps is reducing the level of abuse as it educates the care giver about the ways to handle the patient and the stress caused by them.

The impact of cultural factors are as following:

Ethnicity:Ethnicity and cultural background has got a great impact on abuse as these are the things which gives rise to the use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco. The use of these harmful products is injurious but still people take it as it comes under their culture and maintains a social status for them.   

Discrimination:Discrimination on the name of gender, colour, race etc. leads to various abuses and harm. This leads to the separation of the person from the society (Slade et al, 2014).

Religion:There are religions which are considered as the minority and the individuals belonging to these religious groups are vulnerable to abuse as they are less in number.

From the above discussion it is quite clear that there are different factors which leads to different kinds of abuses. All these social and cultural factors have an impact on the types of abuses and harms. There are different kinds of abuses and self-harms too. The different kind of abuses are like emotional abuse in which the victim is tortured mentally, the next is physical abuse in which the torture is done on the body of the victim, the next is sexual in which the victim is sexually harassed, then there is neglect in which the victim is left alone and completely isolated so that there is no one to interact with him. Similarly there are various types of self-harms, it includes self-harm and self-injury. Self-harm consists of factors like intake of alcohol in larger quantity, smoking or tobacco. The self-injury consists of actions like cutting the nerves, hanging to the fan i.e. all the activities that can lead to death (Stanley, 2013).

There are different kind of risk factors that lead to various abuses or harms. The following figure will give an idea about the abuses and harm related to particular risk factor:

social factors in safeguarding in health and social care organisations - safeguarding in HSC assignment help

   From the table it can be seen that the social factor housing leads to the physical abuse. The unemployed family member will physically abuse the elder member (suppose his father) for the money. The other social factor poverty can lead to self –injury i.e. any suicidal attempt as the person will not be able to fulfil the demands of his family. Similarly the cultural factor like ethnicity leads to self-harm. The pressure of status symbol will lead the person to drink alcohol which will be injurious for his health. The cultural risk discrimination (can be any gender, race, class, colour) can lead to emotional abuse as the person will be abused by making him feel that he is different from the other people.

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Analyse the strengths and weaknesses in current legislation and policy surrounding the type of abuse found in your case research

As we have seen that there are number of cases coming up related to the abuse and harm to the vulnerable group. In order to protect these people from such actions, there are a number of rules and regulations that are being formulated by the legislation. These laws are there to prevent these vulnerable people against any kind of abuse and harm.

The law was Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (SVGA) 2006 which came in order to protect the vulnerable group from those who are not eligible to work with these kind of people. This means that all the members working with the patients need to submit their complete information before getting to work. This prevents any kind of illegal person getting access to these people. This was a very good law passed but the problem with this law was that the workers who work in the homes cannot be investigated by this method.

According to Section 127 of the Mental Health Law 1983, workers in the hospitals cannot ill-treat the patients with the mental disorder. This act was effective in terms of giving some guidelines to the workers but also had a loophole. According to the law, the ill treatment must be deliberate and hence it was tough to know the intentions of the workers.

Similarly there are many other acts which were brought in for the protection of children, elderly people and other patients with some mental diseases. One such law is the Children Act 1989 (Square & Lane, 2012).

Explain the role of different professionals in protecting vulnerable service users to abuse

The next level of professionals are supervisory line managers. These set of professionals keep an eye on the working of the professionals at operational level. They play the role of supervisors for them. The next level of professionals is at the senior management level. They take the responsibility of developing and making the strategy and policies for the centre. They make all the efforts to ensure a good working practice at the centre. The next level is of Chief Officer and Chief Executive level at which the professionals contribute at national level. They should respond and support national policy proposals (Taylor, 2006).

Recently there has been a case in the city of Carson in which children were attempting suicide due to racial discrimination. These children faced emotional abuse because of bullying. The age of children ranged between 18years to 25years. Following are some of the students who were the victims of such kind of abuse.

In order to prevent this kind of abuse an Anti-Bullying Ordinancewas passed, under which anyone who would be found bullying children in any form would be held guilty. This ordinance was passed to safeguard the black students from ant kind of mental or physical abuse. According to this law, parents need to be very carefully and ensure that their children do not get into any kind of act. In case the kindergartener students are found bullying then there are heavy penalties which the parents need to pay. According to this law, the guilty children are criminalized and hence they have to face the punishment. There was a great opposition from the parents regarding this ordinance as according to parents the guilty children must be given to chance to improve but in return according to victim’s family and management the act cannot be justified by any means.

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Existing practices and strategies designed to minimize abuse

There are various practices and strategies which need to be practiced so that the abuse level can be minimized at all the levels. In order to protect children from any kind of abuses and harms, the strategy is to promote teaching preventions in schools and colleges. This is a good step as the students spend most of their time in school and the teachers are the best and first set of people to identify any kind of mental or physical issues among children. In school they are taught about stress management, social interactions etc. which help them not to get into any kind of abuses. This education process should be more emphasized during school days as there are more chances to be the victim at this stage, at college level there should be more emphasis on educating regarding the harmful effects of drugs, alcohol and smoking. It is important to tap college students after the college timings because that is the time when maximum abuses happens as there is no one to keep an eye on them during that period. The next strategy should be to reach out to the people who are under the high risk of abuse (Taylor, 2006). This category includes old aged people who lives alone, children whose parents are divorced or mental patients who are not able to communicate or remember anything. There should be some arrangements made for these people so that the abuse can be reduced. There should be proper counselling and advising for these people. The next strategy can be to strengthen the family bonding, when the patients have family support they are much more secured in comparison to those who does not have the family with them. The last but the most important strategy is to ensure that the community centres and hospitals are following all the guidelines to ensure the safety of the patients from any kind of abuse.

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Evaluate the effectiveness of working practices and strategies used to minimize abuse in in health and social care setting

All the service centres and communities are doing their best to give a safe and secured environment to the patients. The strategies which they follow to do so are good and effective but only if they are implemented properly and taken seriously by everyone. Any strategy will be helpful and work effectively if all the members involved in the system follow the rules and regulations and they understand the importance of it. The strategies are good and will definitely help the centre to protect the patients from any kind abuse. The strategy of teaching the children from schools and colleges will be helpful as they are the most vulnerable group to get abused. It is very difficult to identify if any child is sexually abused as the child himself will not be aware of it. Hence if they are properly educated and a proper training is given to them, then it will get much easier to find the guilty and punish them. The strategy to take care of high risk people is also one of the good way to safeguarding the patients. This strategy can only work properly if a proper list is made and all the high risk patients are included in it properly. It is very important to identify the right set of patients for this strategy. The strategy of strengthening the family bonds is a very good idea as the patients spends most of their time with the family and hence it is very important that the family gives the full support to them. If the family gives the support to the patients, the patients also feel more confident and secured (Tempier et al, 2011).

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What possible improvements to working practices and what strategies exist to minimize abuse in health and social care

The existing strategies are doing quite well to prevent the patients from any kind of abuse, but still there can be some more additions and improvements. For example to avoid child abuse, along with training and education of children parents must also be given training so that they can do the required counselling. There should be some public awareness programs also so that the culprits get an idea about the consequences of their activities.  The faith communities like temples, churches etc. should also be involved in the process, as they have great influence on the minds of the people. So along with the existing strategies if these will also be followed, then surely there will be great decrease in the amount of abuses.

TASK 4 Self-Evaluation

According to me the report is very well written and it covered all the important topics related to safeguarding in health and social care organization. In the reports a proper research is done for all the topics and hence all the details given in the report and updated and up to the mark. The cases which are mentioned in the report are latest and relate to the topic appropriately. All the laws presented in the report to safeguard the patients are according to the legislations. The strengths and weaknesses of the laws are written after doing a proper research. I have tried to use proper theories and models to use find out the strengths and weaknesses of the laws. I followed a proper structure for the report and gave all the important information related to the topic. All the sources of information are reliable and I have also mentioned the details of the sources at the end and within the report. I have already worked as a care worker foe almost 5years and hence I have used all the experience and knowledge to make this report proper and useful. I am sure this report will give all the required information regarding the safeguarding in health & social care organization. I also have worked in the organization which faced the issue of abuses and hence I got a chance to know about the victim as well as the guilty’ point of view on various abuses and harms consequences. I tried to use all that experience in the report to make it effective. The only issue with the report is that I have not given proper names and interviews of the patients due to safety and security guideline. It will not be ethical to reveal a patient’s identity just to make the report effective. Other than this I have used all the relevant information to make the report effective. It was good experience to work as a care worker at various places, it gave me lot of experience and knowledge about the various types of risk factors, abuses and harms related to service users.

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Holme, A. (2013). Health and social care delivery systems. Foundations of Nursing Practice: Fundamentals of Holistic Care, 61

Mandelstam, M. (2008). Safeguarding vulnerable adults and the law. Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Marlatt, G. A., Larimer, M. E., & Witkiewitz, K. (Eds.). (2011). Harm reduction: Pragmatic strategies for managing high-risk behaviours. Guilford Press.

Reece, A. (2010). Leading the change from adult protection to safeguarding adults: more than just semantics. Journal of Adult Protection, The12(3), 30-34

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