Explain why it is important to review care or support plans with an individual, and to monitor their changing needs or preferences.

Care and Support plans are working documents and should be updated regularly to fit in with the changing needs of the individual.

Each individual has constantly changing needs and wishes so their care plan should be flexible. For example, an individual may decide that they want to go out clubbing until the early hours every Saturday, which could result in changes to their support workers shift patterns – perhaps they need more hours so that staff can accompany them to clubs or less hours because they go to the clubs with friends and support is not required for that time period.

All individuals have the right to live their life as they choose and their decisions must be respected by the support staff.

In my setting, support plans can be changed by any member of staff as and when the needs of the individual changes. They do this by writing in the support plan. In addition, every three months, the support plan is reviewed by senior staff members and any changes that have been made over the quarter are typed up as well as any new information added. This is done in collaboration with the individual and, where necessary, their family and other health and social care professionals.

Only by keeping the support plan updated and by regularly reviewing it can an individual get the correct support they need for their current needs and preferences.

Explain how finding out about an individual’s history, preferences, wishes and needs are an important part of creating a good care or support plan.

To create a good Care & Support Plan, it is essential to gain as much information as possible about the individual. This can be gathered from their friends, family, other relations and health professionals, such as their doctor, psychologist and social worker. However, the most important person to converse with is the individual themselves as they are the experts in their needs, wishes and preferences.

All individuals have the basic rights of choice, dignity and respect so understanding the person means that you can develop a support plan that is tailor-made to their requirements.

If you do not take the time to really get to know the individual and have them actively contribute to their own care plan, it is unlikely that the support you provide will be useful to them. Individuals will be much more likely to accept and adhere to a care plan that they have had an active role in creating.

By knowing about an individual’s history, you may be able to identify the causes or triggers of previous incidents and add safeguards/interventions to the care plan to prevent the issues re-occurring.

Write a reflective account detailing an example of how you have, or could have, used a person centred approach in a sensitive or complex situation.

Write a reflective account detailing an example of how you have, or could have, used a person centred approach in a sensitive or complex situation.

The account must contain a description of how person centred values were or could be put into practice in the situation.

I was supporting a young adult with a learning disability in his home. His girlfriend was visiting and they were watching a movie in his lounge and had been asked to be left alone together, so I respected their wishes and went to bring the laundry in from outside. The client’s lounge is joined to the conservatory via a pair of french doors and many windows and when I came back inside, I saw that he and his girlfriend were both topless and kissing in his lounge.

This was a sensitive situation because although I respected my client and his girlfriend had the right to intimacy, there was a problem with privacy because the conservatory was a thoroughfare for both staff and my client’s housemate as well as his housemate’s friends. The windows also meant that they could potentially be viewed by neighbours. This could lead to future embarrassment, complaints by neighbours or even a complaint to the police, which would all heighten the anxiety of both individuals. It was also the first time that they had displayed sexual intimacy towards each other so it came as a surprise.

I went around to the other door (that didn’t have windows), knocked and apologised for disturbing them but explained that I needed to come in and talk to them before they went any further and to put their tops back on. When they were dressed I entered the room and explained my concerns. My client was upset at first because he thought he’d done something wrong but I told him that it was not my place to stop consenting adults from being intimate (and then I checked that they were both consensual) but it was my job to ensure that they were protected from the potential implications of them having sex where others could see them. I then suggested that they go up to his bedroom and reminded them that he had condoms in his bedside drawer and that he should use one. They went upstairs to continue in private.

In this situation, I took into account my client’s right to privacy, despite me having to disturb him to ensure he had privacy from others. I respected my client and his girlfriend’s right to choose to have sexual intercourse (knowing that they both had capacity to make the decision) and tried to behave with dignity and respect in a sensitive situation.

Guide for Social Care Workers to Promote Well-Being, Identity, Self-Image & Self-Esteem

Your work is running a campaign to improve staff understanding of all aspects of person centred care.

You have been asked to create the following materials

[Av] A guide for social care workers which:
a)    Describes ways they can ensure the environment promotes well-being;
b)    Explains why it is important to support individuals in a way that promotes their identity, self-image and self-esteem.

A Guide for Social Care Workers

Introduction

This guide was created to be read by social care workers and will help you to ensure that well-being is promoted in your environment and that the way you support individuals promotes their identity, self-image and self-esteem.

Ensure an Environment Promotes Well-Being

Some factors which can affect an individual’s well-being are their physical health, positive social interactions, having their cultural, spiritual, religious and political views respected and being able to contribute to their care and support package.

 

You can ensure that the environment you work in promotes well-being by ensuring it is kept clean and free from hazards. Individuals can be encouraged to eat healthily and get regular sleep and exercise as well as have the opportunities to partake in activities that they enjoy and socialise with friends and family in accordance with their preferences.

An individual should feel safe and comfortable in their environment. This could mean dimming the lights, adjusting the temperature or minimising noise levels depending on their needs.

Individuals should be given the opportunity to contribute to their care and support and their wishes and preferences should be respected and included in their care & support plan. Similarly, an individual’s cultural, religious, spiritual and political views should be respected.

Why You Should Promote Identity, Self-Image & Self-Esteem

An individual’s identity is all the traits that make them unique and the roles that they play in society. This includes their intellect, likes/dislikes, goals, achievements, skills, talents, beliefs, emotions and behaviours. An individual’s self-image is how they see themselves and how they believe that others see them. Their self-esteem is the evaluation they make about their identity and self-image, which can either be negative (low self-esteem) or positive (high self-esteem).

It is important to to try to promote the positive aspects of an individual’s identity and encourage them to have a positive self-image because this will, in turn, help them to develop a high self-esteem.

This means being complimentary about the positive aspects of their identity, but being careful to remain truthful and not sound patronising. Building a  rapport with an individual by asking questions about themselves is a good way to get them to think about themselves. When they talk about something good in their lives, you can reinforce this in positive ways, by giving praise for example.

With continued positive reinforcement of an individual’s identity over the long term, their self-image will improve and their self-esteem become higher. This will result in the individual having more confidence and a generally happier outlook in life.

 

Links Between Identity, Self-Image & Self-Esteem

Your work is running a campaign to improve staff understanding of all aspects of person centred care.

You have been asked to create the following materials:

 

[Aiv] A hand out that explains the link between identity, self-image and self-esteem

IDENTITY SELF-IMAGE & SELF-ESTEEM

Positive identity, self-image and self-esteem are necessary factors for an individual to have a good sense of well-being. In this handout, you will learn what each of these phrases mean and the links between them.

IDENTITY

All individuals have two types of identity; their social identity and their personal identity.

Social Identity identifies the roles that we play in our life or the cultural groups that we belong to. Examples of social identity include father, teacher, English or Muslim.

Personal Identity is the things that are personal to us such as our goals, achievements, likes/dislikes, emotions, style, body image and behaviours.

SELF-IMAGE

Self-image is how we see ourselves and how we believe that others perceive us.

Our self-image may not reflect reality – an individual with anorexia may see themselves as being overweight, when in reality they are underweight.

SELF-ESTEEM

Self-esteem is an evaluation of yourself based on your identity and self-image, which ultimately results in how you feel about yourself.

Self-esteem can be either positive or negative, resulting in high or low self-esteem respectively.

Examples of positive evaluations include:

  • I am handsome
  • I am smart
  • I am good at swimming

Examples of negative evaluations include:

  • I am ugly
  • I am stupid
  • I am rubbish at swimming

THE LINKS

So, in summary, an individual’s identity is composed of all the characteristics that make that person unique.

An individual’s self-image is their perception of themselves based upon their identity.

An individual’s self-esteem is how they feel about themselves and how confident they are with themselves.

If an individual’s identity is repressed, this can directly affect their self-image and lower their self esteem.

For example, if an individual likes punk music but is told that they cannot dye their hair green, they may feel as though they are unable to express themselves and cannot have the self-image that they want. This can then have the knock-on effect that their self-esteem is lowered because they feel that they cannot be themselves.

Employment Responsibilities and Rights in Health & Social Care (ERR Booklet)

Employment Responsibilities and Rights in Health and Social Care or in Children`s and Young People’s Settings

2013 – 2014

Name of Organisation: CARE COMPANY Ltd

Name of Student: FRED BLOGGS

Employment Responsibilities and Rights in Health and Social Care or in Children`s and Young People’s Settings

This workbook intends to cover the requirements of employment rights and responsibilities within the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England. This workbook is written so that it can be applied in a working context.

The workbook covers:

 

  • Statutory responsibilities and rights of employees and employers
  • Awareness of own occupational role and how it fits within the sector
  • Agreed ways of working with employer
  • Career pathways
  • Issues of public concern and how they may influence changes in the sector.

 

Know the statutory responsibilities and rights of employees and employers within own area of work.

1.1, 1.2, 1.3 – Within your work setting find out about all the aspects of employment covered by law and list the main features of each outlining why they exist. This should be set out in headings using all the space available.

Legislation covers a wide range of aspects within my workplace. It is designed to protect individuals from being exploited, ensure they are treated fairly and to keep them safe. They can be broadly split into four categories; equality, employee rights, data protection and health & safety.

Equality

Not too long ago, there were a number of laws concerned with treating people in the workplace (and everywhere else) fairly and without prejudice. Such laws included the Sex Discrimination Act, the Race Relations Act and the Disability Discrimination Act. All of these laws were superseded by the Equality Act 2010, which requires all individuals are treated equally regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, belief, race, gender reassignment and marriage/civil partnership.

Employee Rights

All employees have a set of statutory rights that they are entitled to. These include:

  • the right to be paid minimum wage (National Minimum Wage Act 1998)
  • the right to an itemised payslip (Employment Rights Act 1996)
  • the right to a certain amount of paid holiday per year, usually 5.6 weeks (Working Time Regulations 2007)
  • the right to a reasonable amount of unpaid time off to look after a dependent (Employment Relations Act)
  • the right to not be dismissed or treated unfairly if you become a ‘whistleblower’ (Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998)
  • the right not not work more than 48 hours per week, unless you opt out (Working Time Regulations 1998)
  • the right to Statutory Sick Pay (under certain circumstances)

This is not an exhaustive list – there are many more employee rights and regulations.

Data Protection

The Data Protection Act 1998 is designed to protect people’s fundamental rights and freedoms, in particular their right to privacy. It does this by ensuring personal information is used fairly, is only used for the purpose it is collected, is accurate, is not kept longer than necessary and is kept safe and secure.

Health & Safety

This is primarily covered by the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. It places the responsibility of all aspects of employee and public health, safety and welfare at work on the employer. In a nutshell, employers must take reasonable steps to ensure safety in the workplace. The Act also sets out the duties that employees have to themselves and each other (e.g. reporting things that are unsafe, recording accidents etc.).

Health & Safety also includes the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH), Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at Work Regulations 1992 and the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.

 

1.4 – Now identify all the types of information and advice available in relation to employment responsibilities and rights.My sources of information relating to employment issues include:

Understand agreed ways of working that protect own relationship with employer

2.1 – Look at a copy of your own contract of employment in your workplace and describe your terms and conditions.

The terms and conditions in my own contract of employment includes:

  • Main place of work (variable)
  • Job title (Support Worker)
  • Minimum contracted hours (37 hours per week)
  • Hours of employment (7am to 11pm with sleep-ins)
  • Pay rate (£7.50 per hour and £25 for a sleep-in) paid on or before the 1st of each month
  • Holiday entitlement (5.6 weeks per annum)
  • Employment conditional on a satisfactory DBS certificate and probationary period

Also, it is a requirement that I disclose any criminal offences with which I am charged and that I am prepared to undertake mandatory company training in line with my job role.

2.2 – After looking at your payslip details describe the information shown. Any areas you do not understand ask for an explanation from your manager (consider confidentiality issues).

My payslip displays the following info:

  • Personal info (name, NI number, tax code)
  • Hours worked (Split between Basic hours, Annual Leave hours & Sleep-ins)
  • Gross pay
  • Deductions (Income tax & National Insurance)
  • NET pay (after deductions)
  • Gross & NET pay & deductions this financial year

2.3 – Describe the procedures to follow in the event of a grievance.

In the event of a grievance, most issues can be resolved by speaking informally with my manager, however formal grievances must be raised in writing, explaining the nature and extent of the problem. Then, I will be invited to a meeting with a senior member of staff who will investigate the matter thoroughly and will be informed of the decision in writing within ten days. If I wish to appeal against the decision I must inform the Director within five days and then I will be invited to a further meeting with a more senior manager. I will receive the final decision within a further ten days. At any stage I have the right to be accompanied by a fellow employee or trade union representative to assist me.

If I still wasn’t satisfied, I would have to take my grievance outside the company, perhaps to ACAS or my trade union or take independent legal advice from a solicitor.

There is a separate procedure for if the grievance is regarding personal harassment.

2.4 – Now identify the personal information that must be kept up to date with own employer

My employer keeps the following information about me:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Date of birth
  • Copies of certificates
  • My C.V including record of education and experience
  • N.I. number
  • Tax code
  • Emergency contact details/Next of kin
  • Employment terms and condition
  • Details of any accidents/serious incidents
  • Disciplinary record
  • Copy of my DBS record
  • Details of any disabilities

It is my responsibility to inform my HR department if any of these details change or need updating. I do this by contacting head office.

2.5 – Explain the agreed ways of working with employer

My employer and I have a plethora of agreed ways of working, which are laid out within our Employee Handbook and Company Policies & Procedures.

For example, I am expected to be available to work on Bank Holidays, however additional days are added to my Annual Leave to compensate.

To book Annual Leave, I must request the dates from my manager no less than four weeks before it is due to commence using a Holiday Request Form. My manager will authorise or decline this within five working days. Annual leave runs from April to April and cannot be carried over into a new financial year. Special dispensation from the Director is needed if more than two consecutive weeks of holiday are desired.

When I am too sick to work, I must notify my manager by telephone at the earliest opportunity and no later than two hours before I am due to start work. I am also required to give some indication of my expected return date and notify my manager if this date changes. This procedure should be followed every day of absence, unless I have a doctor’s medical certificate. If I am absent for up to seven days  I am required to sign a self-certification form upon my return to work. After seven days, I am required to notify work of my continued absence on a weekly basis and provide them with a fit note/medical certificate from my doctor. Upon returning to work I may be required to attend a ‘Return to Work’ interview.

 

Understand how own role fits within the wider context of the sector

3.1 Explain how own role fits within the delivery of the service provider
My role as Support Worker is to provide care in accordance with current best practice, according to policy and procedures, agreed standards, legislative requirements, relevant regulations under the direction of the Manager, and within the financial plans agreed from time-to- time.

My company is committed to providing high quality support services to vulnerable young people and adults in appropriate, safe and affordable accommodation. I contribute to my company’s aims primarily by providing high quality professional care and support to two adults with learning disabilities and autism in a supported living environment.

The team I work with is responsible for providing 24-7 care in my work environment and we report to the Service Manager. The Service Manager is responsible for collaborating on company-wide issues with other Service Managers and they all report to the Head of Care, who in turn reports to the Company Director. My team and I ensure that our clients get the best possible support and are promoted to become more independent.

3.2 Explain the effect of own role on service provision

As a Support Worker, it is my responsibility to ensure that my clients are supported in accordance with their care plans and their own individual needs (in some cases this may mean changing a client’s Care Plan to account for changes in their lives and choices they make).

Day-to-day, this means helping to ensure clients eat properly, keep themselves and their home clean, manage their finances and take their medication. I also help them to plan long-term goals, write support plans and risk assessments, perform weekly drug stock checks and monthly financial checks.

3.3 Describe how own role links to the wider sector

As explained in the previous question, my role as Support Worker means that I help vulnerable individuals manage their day-to-day lives. This means, for example, that I may have to remind them to attend appointments with other professionals such as doctors, nurses, psychologists, dieticians, social workers etc. I may also have to attend appointments and act as an advocate for individuals if they are unable to communicate effectively. It may also be my responsibility to listen to the professional and to assist the individual with setting up a plan to follow the professional’s advice.

3.4 Describe the main roles and responsibilities of representative bodies that influence the wider sector

The wider sector is influenced by numerous representative bodies that have certain responsibilities. Some of these bodies are:

  • Trade unions – an organized association of workers in a trade, group of trades, or profession, formed to protect and further their rights and interests of their members
  • Care Quality Commission – independent regulator of Health & Social Care in England, monitors, inspects and regulates service providers
  • Local Authority – Provides multiple services including Social Services and Benefits
  • ACAS – provides help and advice on preventing and resolving workplace problems
  • NHS – commissioner of primary care services (dentists, GPs, pharmacists etc.)

 

Understand career pathways available within own and related sectors

4.1, 4.2, 4.3 – Explore the different occupations and opportunities in your area of employment identifying the sources of information related to your chosen career pathway. Now identify the next steps in your own career pathway.

As a Support Worker, the most obvious career progression for me is to advance to Senior Support Worker and then Service Manager, where I would be responsible for running a service. Our HR department regularly posts internal vacancies to staff and our Training & Development Manager is always keen to promote personal professional development. Colleagues are also good sources of information about potential career opportunities arising within the company.

Another option would be to leave my current company and work for another organisation in the health and social care sector. Other occupations open to me within the health and social care sector include working in healthcare, primary care and social care. I can find more information about these possibilities by looking at job websites such as indeed.co.uk and looking on the NHS careers page and my local authorities website. I can also find information on the government’s direct.gov website and advice about further studies from local Universities.

I have been a Support Worker for almost three years. The next step in my career progression is to continue building experience in my current role, whilst working towards my Level 3 Diploma in Health & Social Care. I plan to complete this by April 2017. From there, I will seek a senior role internally or externally before Christmas 2017, with a view to being a Service Manager by the end of 2019. Alternatively, after completing my Diploma level 3, I may decide to continue my education and study nursing at university level.

 

Understand how issues of public concern may affect the image and delivery of services in the sector

5.1 Identify occasions where the public have raised concerns regarding issues within the sector

A BBC Panorama investigation televised in 2011 exposed physical and psychological abuse taking place by carers on individuals with learning disabilities at Winterborne View Care Home. This resulted in 86 people and organisations writing to the Prime Minister, David Cameron.

A similar case at The Old Deanery Care Home was televised by BBC Panorama in 2014. In the film, an elderly woman with dementia was seen being slapped by her care staff.

5.2 Outline different viewpoints around an issue of public concern relevant to the sector

In the case on Winterborne View, there were several viewpoints on the issues of abuse. The public in general were outraged and blamed the perpetrators, the organisation running the residential home as well as the regulating bodies for the failings. Some people believed the responsibility for the abuse lay just with the perpetrators, however other people were of the view that the the Care Home Management must also shoulder some of the blame for the failings, especially after it was reported that staff had little experience and were given minimal training following recruitment.Some people believed that the regulating body (the CQC) should also be held accountable for the failings as they did not pick up on this long-running abuse despite being notified by a whistleblower.

5.3 Describe how issues of public concern have altered public views of the sector

Media investigations that have revealed abuse (such as those described above) have led the public to feel let down by the health and social care sector and worried that a vulnerable friend, family member or even themselves could become a victim of abuse.

5.4 Describe recent changes in service delivery which have affected own area of work

My company recently updated the financial forms and procedures so that daily and monthly checks on client monies are more thorough. In addition, the procedure required us to do daily checks to ensure that client bank cards are present. Although this has resulted in more time-consuming checks, it also better protects our client from potential financial abuse.

 

Diploma Guidelines: Social Care Worker Best Practices in Handling Information

Prepare a set of guidelines to remind social care workers of best practice in handling information.

In the guidelines, you must:

Bi Explain how to maintain records so that they are up to date, complete, accurate and legible.

Bii Describe how to ensure records are stored securely.

Biii Describe how to ensure security when reading or making entries into records.

Biv Describe any special feature of different storage systems that help to ensure security.

BEST PRACTICE FOR HANDLING INFORMATION

Guidelines for Social Care Workers

These guidelines are written for social care workers and aim to explain best practices for handling information including record maintenance, storage and security.

Record Maintenance

All records should be written neatly and legibly in black ink and should be clear, concise, factual and accurate. Any errors should be clearly marked by putting a line through it and initialing and all forms should be completed pro-forma. This will ensure that all records are understandable to anyone reading them and all the necessary details are included.

Records should be completed as soon as is practicably possible so that it is fresh in your memory and should be kept up-to-date. They should be completed in private with no risk of being observed by unauthorised individuals. The time, date, your signature and printed name should be included on all records to ensure transparency and accountability.

Record Storage

Records should be stored in accordance with legislation, company policies and best practices.

This means ensuring they are stored in a safe place that cannot be accessed by anyone unauthorised. This may mean in a locked room or a locked drawer.

Records should not be removed from the workplace unless absolutely necessary and returned to secure storage as soon as they’ve been updated.

Electronic records should be stored securely as well with password protection and permissions so that only authorised personnel can access them.

Records should be kept only for as long as needed and then disposed of properly (e.g. shredded).

Ensure Security When Reading/Updating Records

As mentioned previously, records should only be read or updated in a secure and private location that is free from prying eyes. You should also ensure that nobody can overhear you when talking about personal information. Once you have finished reading or updating, the records should be returned to their secure storage immediately. Electronic documents should not be left open on a computer if you have to leave. You should either close them once you have finished or lock your computer if you move away from it.

Special Features of Storage Systems

Paper records are usually stored securely in cabinets or drawers that are protected by a lock and key. They will also be stored in a locked room. Only authorised people will have access to them because only they will have the key.

Electronic records should always be password protected and stored on secure computer systems. Only people that have the password or have been given authorisation on their user account will be able to access them.

Diploma Health & Safety Handout 3: Hazardous Substances

You have been asked to prepare three hand outs for new staff attending an induction. The hand outs are to provide information on the following topics.

This hand out must include:

Cvi A description of:
a) The types of hazardous substances that may be found in social care settings.
b) The main points of the procedures for handling medication.

Cvii An explanation of:
 a) Safe practices for storing, using and disposing of hazardous substances, including medication, safely.
b) The dangers associated with not following safe practices.

HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES

for Inductees

This handout provides information to new staff about the importance of controlling hazardous substances.

Types of Hazardous Substances

There are several types of hazardous substances that may be found in a social care setting.

Medication may be beneficial to an individual but can be harmful if taken by others that have not been prescribed it, so it must be controlled.

Bodily fluids (urine, semen etc.) can be harmful to others, especially if it is from somebody with an illness or infection.

Some substances, such as bleach or paint, are toxic which means they are poisonous to humans. Other substances, such as detergent, can be an irritant which means it can cause itching soreness and discomfort.

Handling Medication

Medication should be handled in line with legislation and company policies and procedures.

Support staff should ensure that medication is ordered ahead of time and when received the name, dosage and amount should be recorded along with whom the medication is for. It should then be stored in a locked drawer or according to manufacturer’s instructions. Weekly drug stock checks should be performed.

When administering medication, it should be recorded on a MAR sheet. Hands should be washed thoroughly before administering medication and if direct contact is needed then gloves should be worn. The individual, medication, dosage, time and any special instructions should be checked before administration.

If medication is no longer required, it should be returned to the pharmacy and an inventory of what has been returned should be signed by the pharmacist.

Safe Practices

Hazardous substances should be stored, used and disposed of according to the manufacturer’s instructions, which can be found on the packaging.

They should only be stored in their correct and labelled containers, and ideally in a secure area.

You should always read the label before using a hazardous substance and some substances may only be used by someone with relevant training. Personal Protective Equipment should be used where necessary and substances should not be mixed.

Any problems should be reported immediately.

Dangers

If safe practices are not followed correctly, it can result in serious harm, illness or death to yourself or others.

In addition, it would contravene legislation and company policies and procedures, which could lead to disciplinary action, dismissal and potential legal action against you.

It may also result in others using hazardous substances incorrectly.

Diploma Health & Safety Handout 2: Infection Control

You have been asked to prepare three hand outs for new staff attending an induction. The hand outs are to provide information on the following topics.

Hand out 2 – Infection control

This hand out must include:

Ciii  A description of the different routes through which infection can get into the body.

Civ   An explanation of:
a) Prevention methods including hand washing, the social care workers and other’s personal hygiene.
b) The social care workers role in supporting others to promote best practice in infection control.

Cv An evaluation of:
a) Different types of personal protective equipment (PPE).
b) How using PPE can help to prevent the spread of infection.

INFECTION CONTROL

for Inductees

This handout provides information to new staff about the importance of infection control.

Routes of Infection

Infections can enter the body via several different routes:

  • Respiratory – pathogens in the air are breathed into the lungs
  • Breaks in skin – pathogens enter the bloodstream through the skin via cuts, needle pricks, insect bites etc.
  • Digestive tract – pathogens are ingested in food or drink (or other items that go into the mouth)
  • Bodily fluids – pathogens enter the body via bodily fluids (e.g. semen during sexual intercourse)

Prevention

Infection can be prevented by maintaining a high level of hygiene.

This means washing hands thoroughly and regularly and always before handling food or medication.

The workplace should be kept clean and tidy and surfaces cleaned with antibacterial wipes or spray. Toilets and sinks should be cleaned with bleach regularly.

Food should be stored correctly and thrown away when it has gone past its use-by date. Bins should be emptied regularly.

Legislation should be adhered to (COSHH, RIDDOR etc.) and illness should be prevented from spreading by using tissues when coughing or sneezing and avoiding close contact.

A social care worker also has the responsibility to promote best practices for hygiene to their colleagues and other individuals in the service setting to prevent the risk of infection. This can mean encouraging individuals to maintain a high level of hygiene (reminding them to wash their hands after going to the toilet, prompting them to clean their kitchen etc.)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE is used to protect individuals from potential infection by creating a protective barrier between people and pathogens.

Types of PPE include:

  • Gloves – protect the hands from picking up pathogens and spreading them via touch
  • Aprons – prevents pathogens being transferred via clothing
  • Masks – prevents pathogens being breathed into the lungs
  • Hair nets – prevents contamination via hair.