Standard 7 of the Care Certificate takes an in-depth look at privacy and dignity.
It explores what privacy and dignity are and how they can be compromised before looking at how to maintain the privacy and dignity of individuals receiving care, supporting them to make their own choices and active participation.
The information on this page has been updated and quality assured for 2023.
Learning Outcomes & Assessment Criteria
- 7.1 Understand the principles that underpin privacy and dignity in care
- 7.2 Maintain the privacy and dignity of the individual(s) in their care
- 7.2a Demonstrate that their actions maintain the privacy of the individual. This could include: Using appropriate volume to discuss the care and support of an individual, Discussing the individual’s care and support in a place where others cannot overhear
- 7.2b Demonstrate that the privacy and dignity of the individual is maintained at all times being in line with the person’s individual needs and preferences when providing personal care. This could include: Making sure doors, screens or curtains are in the correct position, Getting permission before entering someone’s personal space, Knocking before entering the room, Ensuring any clothing, hospital gowns are positioned correctly, The individual is positioned appropriately and the individual is not exposing any part of their body they would not want others to be able to see
- 7.2c Explain why it is important not to disclose anything about the individual that they may wish to be kept private, unless it is appropriate to do so. This could include: Health condition, Sexual orientation, Personal history, Social circumstances
- 7.2d Report any concerns they have to the relevant person. This could include: Senior member of staff, Carer, Family member
- 7.3 Support an individual’s right to make choices
- 7.3a Describe ways of helping individuals to make informed choices
- 7.3b Explain how risk assessment processes can be used to support the right of individuals to make their own decisions
- 7.3c Explain why personal views must not influence an individual’s own choices or decisions
- 7.3d Describe why there may be times when they need to support an individual to question or challenge decisions made about them by others
- 7.4 Support individuals in making choices about their care
- 7.4a Demonstrate how to support individuals to make informed choices
- 7.4b Ensure any risk assessment processes are used to support the right of individuals to make their own decisions
- 7.4c Ensure their own personal views do not influence an individual’s own choices or decisions
- 7.4d Describe how to report any concerns they have to the relevant person. This could include: Senior member of staff, Carer, Family member
- 7.5 Understand how to support active participation
- 7.5a Describe the importance of how valuing people contributes to active participation
- 7.5b Explain how to enable individuals to make informed choices about their lives
- 7.5c List other ways they can support active participation
- 7.5d Describe the importance of enabling individuals to develop skills in self-care and to maintain their own network of friends within their community
- 7.6 Support the individual in active participation in their own care
- 7.6a Demonstrate that they can support the active participation of individuals in their care
- 7.6b Reflect on how their own personal views could restrict the individual’s ability to actively participate in their care
- 7.6c Report any concerns to the relevant person. This could include: Senior member of staff, Carer, Family member
NOTE: This standard may look rather long but there is a lot of repetition and crossover with other standards.
Care Certificate Standard 7 Workbook Answers
Here, you will find exemplary answers for all the questions in the workbook for standard 7 of The Care Certificate – Privacy and Dignity.
The blank workbook for standard 2 can be downloaded from the Skills for Care website (PDF format)
In relation to care practice, describe what is meant by the terms privacy and dignity.
Privacy is keeping private information about the individuals that you care for confidential and ensuring that they have time and space to themselves whenever they want it.
Dignity is valuing people that are receiving care as unique individuals and respecting their opinions, preferences and choices, even if you do not agree with them. It also encompasses being courteous and professional, supporting individuals to maintain their pride, and requesting consent.
As a healthcare support worker or adult social care worker, you will be providing care to individuals who have a range of different needs, wishes and preferences and in situations which may be sensitive, personal or challenging. In the table below, list situations where an individual’s privacy and dignity could be compromised and then for each one describe how you would maintain their privacy and dignity. An example has been provided for you.
|Situations when an individual’s privacy and dignity could be compromised
|Describe how you would maintain the individual’s privacy and dignity in this situation
|1. When entering the space, bedside, cubicle, room, home that an individual is in
|The code of conduct for healthcare support workers and adult social care workers states that I must gain consent before providing care and support to an individual. Therefore, I must always make my presence known and ask if the individual is happy for me to enter the space they are in
|2. When applying a prescribed all-over body cream to an individual
|Keeping private parts covered up when they do not need to be exposed. Ensuring doors and curtains are closed. Requesting consent before beginning. Keeping the individual informed throughout the process. Being respectful.
|3. An individual saying they want time alone in their bedroom
|Respecting the individual's wish for alone time and not disturbing them.
|4. An individual's family or friends make enquiries about their health
|Respecting the individual's right to confidentiality and obtaining their consent before sharing personal information.
|5. When assisting an individual with cooking meals
|Encourage them to maintain as much independence as possible by only assisting where they require support rather than doing everything for them. Ensuring they have full autonomy when choosing meals and using their preferred culinary methods.
It is essential that you do not disclose anything about an individual that they wish to be kept private, unless it is appropriate to do so. Explain why this is so important. You could include the aspects of a person’s life in the grey boxes in your answer.
As a health and social care worker, I am privy to a lot of personal information about the individuals that I work with and so it is crucial that I respect each individual’s privacy by not sharing information about them unless it is absolutely necessary.
This is important because individuals may have aspects of their personal history that they are not particularly proud of or are embarrassed about and so do not want others to know about their background as it may affect present relationships. Although the Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal to discriminate against individuals based on protected characteristics such as sexual orientation, unfortunately, discrimination does still exist today. So individuals may prefer to keep this information private to avoid potential discrimination. Social circumstances and finances as well as existing health conditions can also be a source of embarrassment for or prejudice towards individuals.
By keeping personal information confidential (unless consent is obtained or there are mitigating circumstances) I am respecting the wishes of the people that I care for, which can help to build a relationship of trust with them going forward.
There are a number of ways that you can help individuals to make informed choices. Describe three different ways in the boxes below. An example has been provided for you.
1. Provide as much information as possible
Individuals can only make informed choices if they are given all the information they need to make that choice. Therefore, it is essential to provide them with as much information as possible to make decisions for themselves.
2. Support them to analyse all the potential consequences of each choice
By looking at the possible repercussions for each of the choices available and the likelihood of them happening, as well as the potential benefits, an individual can weigh up the pros and cons and make the decision that is right for them.
3. Talk to experts
An individual may better understand their options if you help them arrange for other people with expertise or experience to talk to them about it. This could be someone with specialist knowledge such as a doctor, nurse or financial adviser or someone with experience, such as an individual that has had to make the same or similar choice in the past.
Activity 7.3b & 7.3c
Risk taking, risk assessment and risk enablement are three terms that you should be familiar with as a care worker. Familiarise yourself with these terms and answer the two questions below.
1. How can risk assessment be used to support the right of individuals to make their own decisions?
Risk assessments are used to identify the risks involved with a decision and provide an opportunity to investigate how these risks can be reduced or eliminated. By analysing risks in this way, individuals will have a good knowledge of the potential consequences of their decisions and be able to make informed choices.
2. Why must you ensure that your personal views do not influence an individual’s own choices or decisions?
Each individual is different and has a unique background, experiences and views that make up their identity. Some people are more risk-averse than others. Therefore, when presented with the same information, two different individuals may make two different decisions. Consequently, as health and social care workers, we should not allow our own personal views to influence the choices of others and should respect the choices made by others even if we would not have made the same choice ourselves.
Part i) For each of the statements below, decide whether you need to support the individual to question or challenge the decision.
Would you support the individual to question or challenge the decision?
- An individual has been transferred to a new service or situation without being informed of the change YES
- An individual has consented to being referred to a speech therapist for support after a stroke NO
- An individual’s diet plan has been changed but they are not sure why YES
Part ii) Thinking about the statements above, describe why you would need to support individuals to question or challenge decisions made about them by others. Include the following in your answer: Confidence, self-esteem, person-centred care, empower
If an individual has had changes made to their care without being consulted or without giving their consent to the changes (such as in examples 1 and 3 above) then these decisions should be questioned/challenged. As a health and social care worker, it is my responsibility to promote the rights of individuals and empower them to challenge/question decisions using the correct channels.
Person-centred care means working in partnership with an individual to develop a plan of care that takes their needs, wishes and preferences into account, valuing them as people and respecting their choices. By working in this way, individuals feel valued and have increased confidence and self-esteem.
As part of your duty of care, you have a responsibility to support individuals to question or challenge the decisions that are made about them by others, especially if these decisions have been made without their involvement or consent. For the two examples below, state how you would support the individuals to question or challenge the decision and also describe how you would report your concerns to a relevant person.
Example 1: An individual tells you that their medication has been changed and they are experiencing side effects; they think this is because of another pre-existing condition.
State how you would support the individual to question or challenge the decision: I would support the individual to make an appointment with their GP to discuss to issue as soon as possible, and if they consented, accompany them to the appointment to help them express their views to their GP.
Describe how you would report any concerns you have to the relevant person (this could include a senior member of staff, carer or family member): I would report this to my manager immediately, inform the rest of the team and write up an account of the conversation.
Example 2: One of the individuals you support who has dementia has been declined access to a service or activity as it is believed it may cause unwanted negative emotions.
State how you would support the individual to question or challenge the decision: I would assist the individual to speak to the manager of the service/activity or speak to them on their behalf. I would remind them of their responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 regarding discrimination against disabilities. If this was not resolved, I would escalate it using their complaints procedure.
Describe how you would report any concerns you have to the relevant person (this could include a senior member of staff, carer or family member): Again, I would inform my manager, make a record of it and inform the rest of my team. If I felt it necessary, I would report also this to the police as an act of discrimination.
Activity 7.5a, 7.5b and 7.5d
Part i) Valuing the individuals you care for and support makes a very important contribution to encouraging active participation. Complete the table below to show how you can support active participation for the individual involved:
A young ex-serviceman is being rehabilitated in hospital after receiving significant trauma to both legs. He is soon to return home to his wife and children with support of an occupational therapist to ensure his home is equipped with the correct services to continue his rehabilitation. Prior to sustaining his injuries, he was engaged in many social activities and enjoyed sports such as basketball and surfing.
Explain how you would enable the individual to make informed choices about their lives
By giving them all the relevant information that they need to make informed choices for themselves including getting specialist advice from medical staff and guidance from others that may have been through similar situations. This may involve working with them on risk assessments. When an individual has made their own choices, it is important to respect and support their decisions.
Why is it important to enable the individual to develop skills in self-care?
By developing their own skills in self-care, individuals can maintain their independence and control over their own lives which helps to increase confidence, self-esteem and overall well-being.
Why is it important to enable the individual to maintain their own network of friends within their community?
Maintaining their own network of friends helps individuals maintain their identity and self-image and promote their independence.
Part ii) Describe the importance of how valuing individuals, such as the one above, helps to contribute to and encourage active participation. You could use the example to help you describe your points.
By valuing individuals, showing them respect and demonstrating that their views will be taken into account, a care worker can promote and encourage active participation because the individual will feel valued, develop confidence and understand that they have control over their care provision. This helps to promote independence, identity, self-esteem and well-being.
Complete the diagram below to list other ways you can use to support active participation.
Ways to support active participation could include:
- Listening to and acting on what individuals tell you
- Promoting choice by asking for views
- Supporting individuals to find solutions to any issues that they have
- Respecting and supporting the choices that individuals make
Self-awareness and reflection is an essential part of your care practice and being aware of your own attitudes and beliefs can help you to make sure the quality of your work is not affected negatively. Produce a written account to show how your personal views could restrict the individual’s ability to actively participate in their care.
As a health and social care worker, it is important that the quality of our work is not negatively influenced by our own attitudes and beliefs and our personal beliefs do not restrict an individual’s ability to actively participate in their care.
For example, a care worker may be particularly risk-averse in their own lives and try to prevent an individual from taking calculated risks that they would not take themselves. It is important for them to understand that all individuals have the right to make their own choices and they should not let their personal views interfere with this process. The information they provide to the individual should be unbiased.