Unit 9 Empowering Users of HSC Services

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The aim of this unit is to enable learners to explore how to empower individuals using health and social care services in order to maximise their independence.

Unit abstract

It is essential for all health and social care professionals to understand that the service they deliver enables individuals to participate in the decisions that are made about their lives.First, learners will explore how legislation and the sector skills standards regarding the design and review of services promote independence, which in turn is captured within organisational policies and procedures. Second, learners will investigate factors that can affect participation, independence and choice, including systems for assessing and minimising risk. Finally, learners will investigate the administration of medicine and the effectiveness of policies and procedures for administering medication in achieving the best possible outcomes for users of services. Learners will study legislation and factors that affect the care that is received. Learners will also examine strategies to promote the best possible outcomes for individual users of services.

Learning outcomes

1 Understand how the design and review of services promotes and maximises the rights of users of health and social care services

  • Legislation and sector skills standards: current legislation and sector skills standards that are relevant to promoting the rights of individuals; inspection processes, powers, duties, responsibilities, accountabilities, entitlements;
  • organisations: providing services for vulnerable people
  • Factors: policies, procedures; staffing eg staffing levels, shift patterns, continuing professional development; individual eg level of dependence, changing health status.
  • Communication: methods to overcome differences in communication eg second language, disability; recording information for continuous improvement eg best outcome for users of services, feedback, complaints, comments, inspection, recommendations for improvement.

2 Understand how to promote the participation and independence of users of health and social care services

  • Factors affecting independence and choice: dependence, independence, choice, constraints, empowerment; physical, social, emotional, intellectual factors; changing needs, access to information, participation in decision making
  • Organisational systems: ensuring performance of workers, sources of information for individuals, empowering individuals
  • Considerations: possible tensions eg safety versus independence, rights responsibilities; individuals, others.

3 Understand the responsibility of managing and monitoring risks in health and social care settings

  • Risks: from harm; from abuse; from failure to protect
  • Effective management of risks: relevant legislation; acceptable and unacceptable risks; protection from unacceptable risk; national service standards; assessing and recording risk, complaints procedures; leadership style, whistleblowing policy

4 Understand how good practice in the administration of medication is essential for users of health and social care services

  • Handling of medication: ordering and maintaining, administration, storage, recording,disposal
  • National standards: current standards and legislation; codes of practice and policies; national inquiries eg the Shipman inquiry; ethical issues; service user choice; acceptable risk; standard for medication.


  • 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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