Unit 2 Principles of Health Social Care Practice

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The aim of this unit is to develop understanding of the values, theories and policies underpinning health and social care practice and the mechanisms that exist to promote good practice.

Unit abstract 

This unit develops understanding of the values and principles that underpin the practice of all those who work in health and social care. Learners will consider theories and policies that underpin health and social care practice and explore formal and informal mechanisms required to promote good practice by individuals in the workforce, including strategies that can influence the performance of others.

Learning outcomes

1 Understand how principles of support are implemented in health and social care practice

  • Principles of support:respecting individuality, rights, choice, privacy, independence, dignity, respect and partnership; equal opportunities; respecting diversity, different cultures and values; providing care, support and attention, eg for individuals, family, friends, carers, groups and communities.
  • Confidentiality: importance of, limits of, policies about sharing information
  • Person-centred approach: supporting preferences, wishes and needs; supporting privacy and dignity; supporting others to make informed choices about the services they receive
  • Protection from risk of harm: assessing risk to self and others; right of individuals to take risks; informing relevant people about identified risks

2 Understand the impact of policy, legislation, regulation, codes of practice and standards on organisation policy and practice

  • Current policy: as relevant eg Every Child Matters, Rights to Action, Quality Protects, Children First; current policy guidance eg Procurement, working together to safeguard children: a guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, Valuing People, Fulfilling the Promises
  • Current legislation: as relevant eg the Care Standards Act, 2000
  • Current regulations: as relevant eg Care Homes Regulations, 2001, The Care Homes (Wales) Regulations 2002
  • Current codes of practice: as relevant eg Code of Practice for Social Care Workers and Code of Practice for Employers of Social Care Workers, The Code: standards of conduct, performance and ethics for nurses and midwives
  • Impact of initiatives: changes to practice, development needs.

3 Understand the theories that underpin health and social care practice

  • Explanations for the characteristics and circumstances of individuals: theories of human growth and development; managing loss and change; managing stress and behaviour
  • Social processes: leading to marginalisation, isolation and exclusion eg poverty, unemployment, poor health, disablement, lack of education and other sources of disadvantage; their impact on the demand for health and social care services
  • Nature of health and social care services in a diverse society: concepts eg prejudice, interpersonal, institutional and structural discrimination, empowerment and anti-discriminatory practices
  • Inter-professional working: significance of partnership working eg social care, education, housing, health, income maintenance and criminal justice services.

4 Be able to contribute to the development and implementation of health and social care organisational policy

  • Considerations: supervision, roles and accountability; quality assurance systems; maintaining and upgrading knowledge and skills; support networks and professional registration; working with the regulators


  • Amed, S., Dean, H.J., Panagiotopoulos, C., Sellers, E.A.C., Hadjiyannakis, S., Laubscher, T.A.,Dannenbaum, D., Shah, B.R., Booth, G.L. & Hamilton, J.K. 2010, "Type 2 diabetes, medication-induced diabetes, and monogenic diabetes in Canadian children: a prospective national surveillance study",Diabetes care, vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 786-791.
  • Bartol, K. M., & Zhang, X. (2010). Linking Empowering Leadership and Employee Creativity: The Influence of Psychological Empowerment, Intrinsic Motivation, and Creative Process Engagement. Academy of Management Journal

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