Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care
Use and develop systems that Promote Communication
1.3 – Implement a strategy to overcome communication barriers
We have many service users who are unable to communicate their needs / choices, for many residents we are able to anticipate their needs however I have implemented flash cards in order to assist them in communicating. The biggest barrier between staff is time, everyone is rushing around completing the tasks required by their role that they forget to pass on key information about residents and their presentation. In order to overcome this issue I have implemented a handover sheet for care staff that they fill in throughout the day which they hand over to me, I then review and record the information from the handover and in turn hand it over to the staff on the following shift as well as put a copy of the handover in my managers office.
2.4 – Lead the implementation of revised communication systems and practices
It was found that the nurses were not receiving all of the information regarding occurrences on the shift. This meant that potentially vital information was being over looked and lost due to a breakdown in communication.
To remedy this issue we instated a new way of handing information over, the staff on each unit have a list of all residents on their clip board which is changed each day on the list it simply states room number and name. Any instances that need to be handed over are documented on this sheet this can be anything from ‘Joe blogs refused lunch’ to ‘John Smith has had a case of diarrhea’ whilst this information may not need escalating to the Care Co-ordinator / Nurse immediately it is important that the staff taking over at the end of a shift are aware of what has happened and what to look for. Before the care staff leave they give their handover to the staff in charge who will then hand over to the whole night staff team with a copy of the handover being put in the managers office so that they are also aware of any issues or concerns raised.
3.1 – Use communication systems to promote partnership working
In my role as Care Co-ordinator I communicate with a variety of different people from all areas from service users and relatives to Doctors and even the CQC.
For the majority of meetings it involves a face-to-face meeting, which may require the home administrator to take minutes that would be locked away and stored securely. When a concern arises with a service user and I need to seek further advice I often contact the GP via phone and request a call back in which I have to communicate the concerns clearly and concisely over the phone in order for them to triage the service user effectively.
Any meetings that involve a service user are then added to their care plan under the MDT (Multi Disciplinary Team) section. If the meeting involves making changes to the care that the service user receives then the relevant Care Plan sections are then updated to reflect the changes made.
I often receive information regarding external professionals requesting to visit a resident via email in particular SALT, Social Workers and Dols assessors etc. Any emails received are printed and stored in the residents folder, once an appointment date has been set then the appointment information is then put in the diary, on the handover and on the whiteboard to ensure that the relevant staff are aware of appointments booked. After these appointments it is common practice for professionals to fax over a copy of the assessments carried out within the meeting, which is then added to the Care Plan, and a hard copy is added to the service users folder, which is stored securely on the unit.
3.2 – Compare the effectiveness of different communications systems for partnership working
I feel that the most effective way off communicating is to talk face to face, when communicating via email, fax or even over the phone there can be mistakes, information lost in translation and other distractions that mean that fax’s are not sent correctly, emails not replied to and phone calls missed.
3.3 – Propose improvements to communication systems for partnership working
Originally I found that I wasn’t aware of day-to-day issues such as ‘A resident has had a loose bowel movement’ or ‘refused a meal’ etc. I spoke to my manager about this and recommended that the care staff have their own handover with the names and room numbers of all of the service users on my unit. This was to be given to the care staff at the start of every shift I explained to all of the staff on my unit that as workers on the front line they often know the residents more than anyone else in the building and pickup on the small issues that may not need to be reported immediately however to ensure that everything is recorded and documented accurately that they are to write these things on the handover sheet which is to be given to myself at 1930 during each shift. I then go through this information with the staff to ensure that it is accurate and that they understand what circumstances require immediate reporting. I then take this information to my handover with the night staff and share all of the relevant information from the day before ensuring that it is all documented on the daily notes and on the care plan as required.
4.1 – Explain legal and ethical tensions maintaining confidentiality and sharing information
I have had an instance where I was made aware that a service user has a very difficult and challenging family dynamic in that the partner of this service user is currently in prison for an abhorrent crime. This information was shared with the home Manager and myself as Care Co-ordinator so that we had an insight into the family dynamics and could act accordingly if certain members of the family visited. Whilst this information involves a service user it was discussed at great length with the NOK and the decision was made not to inform the care staff. This decision was made because the information did not directly relate to the care the service user required. Due to the nature of the crime we felt that there was a chance this could impact on the way staff viewed the service user and may in turn affect the quality of care they received whether consciously or unconsciously.
It is important that staff at all levels only know what they need to know to enable them to complete their work to a high standard. For example, if a member of staff in my team has a criminal record then this is not information that affects how I work with them so it is not something I would need to be aware of.
4.2 – Analyze the essential features of information-sharing agreements within and between organizations.
An (ISA) Information Sharing Agreement defines the rules that govern how data is used including: sending, receiving, storing, processing and disposal. It should be set out in a clear and concise format to ensure that it is simple to understand. An ISA should ensure that only relevant information is shared when needed and give guidance on how this complies with the Data Protection Act 1998 and the freedom of interpretation act 2000. The ISA should also include templates that are to be used when requesting / sending private and confidential information.
4.3 – Demonstrate the use of information management systems that meet legal and ethical requirements.
At Four Oaks I use a cloud-based system called Care Docs. Every piece of information regarding a service user is stored on care docs and every member of staff has an individual login and password. Each member of staff’s login has a security clearance that gives them access to only information they are required to know. All data stored on care docs is reviewed monthly to ensure that only relevant data that is required is stored. All staff access to the system is monitored and logged including time / date. I use this system to update care plans and document daily notes for the service users.
Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care
Promote Professional Development
1.1 – Explain the importance of continually improving knowledge and practice.
No one is perfect at anything first time. There is always room for improvement. The only way to progress is to continually strive to learn and excel in what we do. The way we complete tasks is continually changing, we find new and more efficient ways of doing things take first aid courses for example I have done first aid multiple times however each time the way we do certain tasks within first aid has changed in some way every time.
1.2 – Analyze potential barriers to professional development.
I find that many of the staff I work with just don’t know what career progression options are available. I also find that when I make them aware of the options the main replies I get often include: I don’t have time, I can’t afford it, I have kids and even I’m too thick! Whilst some of the staff members may just be throwing up barriers because they don’t want to progress it is more likely that they simply do not know enough about the options open to them.
Other barriers may include lack of transport, if a training course cannot be completed in house then staff may be required to travel to a specific venue in order to access the arranged course, plans will need to be put in place to ensure that all staff have the ability to access the training provided. No child care, many staff have families of their own so if a training course is outside of normal working hours then enough notice may need to be given in order for the staff member to make arrangements for their children / family. It is inevitable that staff will be of sick or on annual leave from time to time and this may coincide with training that may be booked.
1.3 – Compare the use of different sources and systems of support for professional development.
I find that any company is willing to provide training to their staff to help them excel in their role and progress within their company. If you have further interests or ambitions then there are wide ranges of sources that are available to you that you can utilize to achieve your goals. I personally have completed online courses through Nursing times, Macmillan and many other sources. Sourcing your own professional development can also be a quicker and easier process compared to using the company you work for, there are often many people required to authorize CPD (Continual Professional Development) courses which can be a time consuming process with a lot of hurdles to jump through.
1.4 – Explain factors to consider when selecting opportunities and activities for keeping knowledge and practice up to date.
The first and most important factor for selecting training for staff is too look at what training is mandatory for each staff member within their role at Four Oaks and ensuring that everyone receives this training on their induction before starting work. During each staff members first few shift they are paired with myself as a senior member of staff who will assess their current skill level and identify areas of improvement and set up an action plan with the staff member to ensure they are confident in all aspects of their position.
Following this it is vital that each staff member is given the opportunity to discuss what their goals and aspirations are and set clear and concise milestones for them to aim for and achieve. The main questions that I ask include: What goals do you have? What training courses would make you more of an asset to the team and in turn the service users? What path would you like to take clinical / non clinical? What areas of health and social care interest you the most? After these questions have been answered I would then identify courses that would be suitable and compare them to the training budget. It is often wise to send one or two members of staff on a training course and make them champions in that subject who will then in turn educate their colleagues on the subject. I worked closely with an experienced RMN for the first few weeks that taught me that we are all accountable for the quality of care that we give regardless of position or title. This RMN also taught me that if I wanted to progress and develop that I needed to be pro-active.
2.1 – Evaluate own knowledge and performance against standards and benchmarks.
A little over a year ago I was an IT Technician looking for something new and exciting where I could learn something new every day, I had considered the Adult health and social care sector before but had only previously worked with young people. I did some research on the Internet to get an idea of the sector.
When I started work at Four Oaks I began with shadowing an experienced member of staff for the first few days whilst getting to know the role and becoming familiar with the policies and procedures. Following this I began work on a dementia unit where I was given the opportunity to undertake extra training courses after my mandatory training was complete.
I found courses online through sources such as Nursing Times and the Macmillan website and quickly began building a portfolio. I also wrote a list of courses that I knew would benefit both the company and myself and spoke to my managers about them. After a short while I found that staff were coming to me during the shift with their questions and concerns and very quickly found myself running each shift that I was on.
I worked closely with all of the staff on my unit and identified their strengths and weaknesses and ensured that each member of staff was given tasks that fell in line with their strengths whilst ensuring adequate time for them to improve on areas that they were weaker in.
A residential unit then opened up in Four Oaks and I was promoted to Care Co-ordinator which meant that after some training including the control and administration of medicine level 3 I manage the unit on a daily basis administering medications, updating care plans and meeting with external agencies and professionals as required. If concerns are raised then it is my responsibility to assess and react accordingly to ensure the health and wellbeing of both Staff and Service users alike.
After a discussion with my manager I went on the Moving and Assisting Train the Trainer course and am now responsible for every member of staff and their training in this area. I complete competency checks as required to ensure that the quality of care remains high and react accordingly if there are concerns to maintain a safe working environment.
I now have access to the training matrix so I can see who requires what training then I liaise with both Admin and my Manager to ensure that each member of Staff is trained adequately and promptly. It is important that I fulfill all aspects of my role because I am required to ensure we fill all of the requirements set out by the CQC and the local authority if these requirements are not met then it may result in consequences.
2.2 – Prioritize development goals and targets to meet expected standards.
At Four Oaks we have a continuously developing training program that is constantly changing to meet current business requirements and legislation. Mandatory sections include: food hygiene falls prevention training, tissue viability, moving and assisting and much more. We also have training that is not mandatory however it can be accessed upon request of staff, which includes NVQ 2 + 3, Medication Training and more. All training completed by staff is recorded on the training matrix and in their personnel file in the admin office it details what training was completed, when and when it expires. For courses that are non-mandatory staff are also required to sign a training agreement which states that they will remain in their current employment for at least a year following the training otherwise they agree to cover the original cost of the course. As well as this all staff will continuously be booked onto courses that cover person centered care, teamwork, MCA and dols and any other training that is vital to this sector.
3.1 – Select learning opportunities to meet development objectives and reflect personal learning style
We have training to care that is an external provider that provides some training courses to our staff, we also have question and answer booklets for the basic principles of care. I find that I learn better by trying the task and reflecting on how I could do it better so a visually stimulating face to face training session in a group setting is my preference however for the basic principles of care (Mandatory Training) a simple cost effective approach such as questions and answer books or online blended learning can be beneficial. Whilst mandatory training is normally updated annually when I notice that a member of staff is falling short of the high standards we expect then it is quicker and cost effective to give them a refresher if we are using online learning or question and answer booklets.
3.2 – Produce a plan for own professional development, using an appropriate source of support.
3.3 – Establish a process to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan.
4.1 – Compare models of reflective practice.