Health and social care standards are parameters set to maintain the level of outcomes in health, social care, and social work services across the United Kingdom (Pollitt 25). Some of these standards’ objectives are to encourage innovation, promote flexibility, and drive service administration and improvement to people. All registered and non-registered support organisations are encouraged to use the stipulated guidelines to achieve high-quality care. Under the Public Services Reform Act of 2010, the National Health Service replaced the National Care Standards (Reber 6). Some of these standards can be described as follows
First, the reform required people to experience high-quality care and support that is right for them. The service should ensure that people are fully involved in the decision-making processes for their care and support. Furthermore, the organisations offering these services should promote confidence among patients and caregivers (Schunk & DiBenedetto 101). Lastly, the overall environment provided should be of high quality. These Standards are underpinned by five principles: compassion, support and wellbeing, dignity and respect, inclusion, and responsive care (Smith 711). These principles reflect how every person expects to be treated in their interaction with care services.
Based on the above, the National Health Service (NHS), through the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010, ensures these standards are entitled to everyone in the UK (Luchinskaya et al. 151). They apply in a diverse range of services. It includes daycare for children in their early years, housing support, and care for adults at home, hospitals, clinics, and care homes. For the period, these Standards have been in exercise, the countries have experienced a boost in patient satisfaction and overall health among households (Osborne 9). Therefore, the NHS is responsible for the monitoring, promotion, and enhancements of these standards. The organisation collaborates with the governments of England, Wales, and Scotland to deliver the required adjustments to meet these standards.
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The case study discussed here is the North Tyneside sheltered housing ‘Healthy Living’ pilot programme. This case involves the sheltered housing tenant population at high risk for falls and chronic illnesses (Cook 1645). For the HSC to improve their health, preventative healthcare measures were implemented in this pilot programme to test its success. Some of the guidelines that helped the processes are recommended in the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE). Several professional disciplines and roles of HSC were used to facilitate the needed care and decision-making in this case, as described below.
Due to the intervention needed for falls, occupational therapists were used in the pilot. They were responsible for the safety assessment of the sheltered homes and the participants’ ability to complete the activities involved in their daily living. The interventions were based on their skills of home hazards assessment and safety delivery (Dahl-Popolizio 270). In the risk of falling, the occupational therapists should have the ability to explore aspects of the environment that influences it.
In the multifactorial approach to falls education, in this case, physiotherapists were an integral part. Their main intervention is promoting coordination of exercise activities that maintain strength, energy levels, and flexibility among the elderly. These interventions help in improving posture, balance, and coordination that reduces the risk of falling.
Lastly, the nursing profession is essential in sheltered homes, according to this case study. Their roles include monitoring blood pressure, medication, and the long term condition on the risk of falls. According to NICE, the patients were required to have a medication check every 6-12 months, depending on whether they are on medication or not. The professionals’ main focus was on educational elements, including exercise, environmental hazards, medicines, food and nutrition, vision, and footwear and foot care (Sleight et al. 3). Overall, the professionals must have a high level of tolerance and understanding to moderate their engagements with the elderly.
In the UK, the General Medical Council (GMC) oversees collaboration with doctors across the nations and sets the responsibilities and mechanisms for effective relationships. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) regulates the nurses and midwives (Day 2). The other healthcare professions, such as them described in this case, are regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), which is the body that governs most professionals in the UK (Day 3). Furthermore, the Professional Standards Authority is the umbrella regulatory authority to the above bodies. It aims to protect all patients’ health and wellbeing across the UK by overseeing professional bodies (Hogarth & Löblová 113). Therefore, these bodies enable operations such as the one described in this case successfully.
Behavioral theories seek to understand human behavior based on the antecedents and consequences from previous experiences and the learned associations they extracted from those environments. Based on the above case study, behavioral theories explained here include the health belief model, participative theory, and the cognitive theory. This explanation relates these theories to the practice of the health care professionals for this case.
The Health Belief Model
The Health Belief Model (HBM) drives that to achieve an optimal behavior change, a message should successfully target benefits, self-efficacy, threats, and perceived barriers. In theoretical terms, communication research is essential to provide an explanatory framework to handle some of the emerging issues. In the sheltered homes case study, a change of behavior among the elderly will reduce their different complications and risks of falls. In that regard, occupational therapists will have the task to evaluate, analyse, and assess the risks involved in sheltered homes. In that regard, they will investigate the variables by conducting studies and surveys. Therefore, they can recommend the best interventions to adopt to avoid the barriers that hinder behavior change.
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The Participative Theory
The participative theory suggests an ideal leadership style in healthcare where healthcare professionals’ ideas and opinions are utilized to pursue innovation and decision-making processes. The participative approach encourages improved communication with multidisciplinary teams that help care organisations deliver quality and effective services (Li et al. 648). In this case, they include nurses, occupational therapists, psychologists, and other health social workers. In that regard, there must exist excellent teamwork and collaborations.
Based on the case study, participative leadership theory applies to change behavior among the elderly in the sheltered homes. The change aims to integrate elderly participants to healthy activities and processes that would reduce their risks for falls caused by joint problems, weight, and overall inflexibility. The participative theory would suggest that the professionals work together and with the patients to make decisions on the best activities to enroll them. Therefore, the quality of care for them would be achieved.
Cognitive theory is a psychological approach where a person’s thought process understands human behavior. In the theory’s social cognitive approach, therapists may use it to treat psychological disorders and phobias (Firouzbakht et al., 133). Due to the diversity of psychological issues, cognitive theory can be used to understand them and contribute to the person’s betterment. In the case study described in the part one discussion, the elderly can have different psychological issues based on their health conditions and life experiences. Using cognitive psychology to determine the challenges they are facing will help the therapists create a healing plan (Firouzbakht et al., 133). The healing project can involve different physical and psychological interventions, including mental and physical exercises. For example, in the pilot case of the sheltered homes, activities include chess fields where the elderly can play mental games while at the same time exercising.
In the UK, different health professionals are involved across the NHS to change health and social services to be better. Healthcare professionals, commissioners, and service-users pool their efforts together to enhance services among communities. According to the participative theory of behavior change, collaborations within the sector is proving to be an effective way to create solutions to the underlying challenges (Firouzbakht et al., 133). Such teams aim to nurture good relationships with patients, effectively integrate voluntary and community groups, and extract feedback from patients.
In the application of good practice in the HSC, key points are essential. For instance, the time should be spent nurturing relationships with people, working across the whole HSC sector, enhancing the community, and bringing together the right people that could drive the vision of a health and social care organisation. The entity should also seek to extract feedback from patients and the public about how they engage with the intervention measures created (Luchinskaya et al. 153). The organisations should also get buy-in from their leaders and ensure they are centrally involved in the governance.
Based on the case study, elderly patients living in sheltered homes require professionals that have adopted acceptable practices. Some of these professionals include the nurses, occupational therapists, psychologists, doctors, and other health social workers (Schunk & DiBenedetto 103). The best practices to adopt are those that enhance quality-driven intervention measures. According to the cognitive theory and socio-cognitive theory of behavior, most of the health challenges that patients deal with are intrigued in their minds (Stillman et al., 539). This means behavioral change can be triggered through a change in thinking patterns. Based on therapists’ recommendations, activities such as mind games and physical exercises are best in improving memory and the health of the mind. A healthy brain can lead to the overall betterment of health based on a patient’s health condition.
There were positive outcomes in the pilot programme whereby the user of service experienced an integrated care system between housing and health professionals. Although a pilot test was being conducted in this case study, tenant engagement was the main priority of the programme. In that regard, the first one’s success meant rolling out of similar programs in other areas to cater to a more diverse population.
Occupational therapists were effectively integrated into the implementation process and were responsible for creating activities that would maintain the elderly health gains through exercises (Heenan & Birrell 7). Due to resource-sustainability propagation, the organisations use volunteer champions to spearhead these exercises and walk leaders through heading the walk sessions. According to the Health Belief Model, understanding the communicative messages model for both the patients and the health professional teams is essential in driving success (Heenan & Birrell 5). In the case study, the occupational therapists were used to enhance the patient outcomes by planning. Most of the participants enjoyed being in groups where they laughed and felt better. Their keeping fit journey also boosted their wellbeing and happiness, where they obtained confidence. The instructed exercises also encouraged their creativity on some of the activities they can do at their homes and remain fit, flexible, healthy, and happy.
For an organisation to improve operations, prevention methods that maintain best practices have to be adopted. For instance, the first intention is to address the most common challenges with a particular population. Most people, especially the elderly, have experienced high blood pressure levels, ulcers, and diabetes cases (Stillman et al., 537). In that regard, it is essential to develop strategies that lead to health practices among the affected. Furthermore, an overall improvement of best practices that help prevent such occurrences in the future includes the following.
First, it includes managing the front line, piloting a test or new practices, forge engagements and excitement about prevention, and helping the healthcare staff learn new practices in the field. A critical intervention ensures that the staff understands the prevention measure and the illnesses caused (Sleight et al. 6). They should understand the necessary change and an understanding of whether they agree with the idea or not. The promising strategies would provide high-quality care for patients, which will abolish the barriers to new practices.
Therefore, best practices can be enhanced in different ways. They are required to encourage a health organisation to adopt prevention measures that resonate with their goals and objectives. In that regard, an implementation strategy is crucial, which will guide the integration of all expertise required to offer the service. Also, the health professionals needed can be easily integrated into the system. Based on the theories discussed above and the case study evaluated, the NHS has effective intervention measures to encourage all the industry’s best practices.
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