Sally is a 25- year- old woman who is of mixed heritage. Her mother is white British and her father is African-Caribbean. You are required to produce a 3,000-word report, which is designed to assess the following learning outcomes: -
- Evaluate and reflect the rights of the service user and consider how they fit in to the legal and ethical frameworks within which the health and social care practitioner works.
- Critique the statutory and common law duties, powers and accountabilities of the employer and employee.
- Analyse the law as a framework for decision-making within the learner’s workplace and the resolution of any conflicts that may occur.
Your report should be based on the following title: -
“A Reflective Report Examining the Significance of Law in Practice.”
The Case Study
Sally is a 25- year- old woman who is of mixed heritage. Her mother is white British and her father is African-Caribbean.
Sally is currently an inpatient in a mental health ward and has been detained under section 3 of the Mental Health Act (MHA) 1983. She has 2 children, Daisy (5) and Soloman (3) who has been accommodated (placed in care) with her parents.
Sally has told her father Neville, when he visited her, that she has received some treatment (see below) that she did not consent to and is thinking that she will ‘sue’ the Mental Health Trust. She asks Neville to instruct a solicitor on her behalf. She also wants to appeal her detention on the grounds that she was neither a risk to herself or to others.
Sally has a complex psychiatric history and has been detained under the MHA previously. The facts of the case are that she attended an outpatient appointment in a very agitated state with Soloman and became convinced that the support worker (David) was going to take Soloman from her.
David was in fact worried about a large bleeding gash in Sally’s forehead and felt that she should be treated, not least because Soloman was telling staff about the ‘blood on Mummy’s head’ and that she was bleeding in the waiting area.
Sally refused to be treated and claimed that she could not consent to treatment as this was against her religious beliefs. David managed to appeal to Sally to at least have the injury looked at as it was distressing Soloman. David advised that he felt that the injury needed further treatment and became concerned about Soloman’s increasingly distressed state. He was also concerned about Sally’s mental state. At this point, the mental health nurse on duty, Sam became involved. Sally was asked to wait and think about treatment while Sam and David had a discussion. Sam asked David if he thought that Sally had capacity, as while she had refused treatment and appeared to understand the consequences, she was also in charge of a minor. A risk assessment was not carried out. Sam checks the notes and there is a signed DP1 and no record of any religious beliefs (contd. below)
Upon their return to Sally, they notice that she is now crying and shallow breathing. They tell Sally that they will need to make a referral to Children’s Services. Sally says that she does not give consent for this and that she will sue them. The cut is still bleeding and Sam says that they should treat the wound. As Sam goes to look at the wound, Sally becomes violent and tries to hit Sam. She drops Soloman who was in her arms. Sally is later detained under the MHA. When senior managers review this incident, they check Sam’s qualifications and it is revealed that he is not a registered mental health nurse.
- You should support your writing with reference to appropriate literature to adequately examine the learning outcomes. Your report should explore either your/the legal responsibilities, accountabilities and obligations using one or more carefully selected case examples from practice or the one above. A good report will explore these concepts from both the employers and employee’s perspective alongside analysis of the relevant legal framework.
- You should further examine how law and ethical principles empower the service -user and promotes/safeguards their rights.
- When evaluating the law, you should consider how it enhances/contributes to enhancing quality of practice. This will include how the law enables the resolution of conflicts within the practice environment and how it can support practice outcomes.
Important aspects to consider
- Please ensure that you maintain confidentiality throughout.
- Ensure that your report is supported with relevant reference to the literature and is referenced using Harvard style referencing.
The project is also a vehicle for you to identify the development of your learning and is likely to include the following: -
- Professional practice and ethics
- Writing skills
- Research and investigative skills
You are advised to write an action plan demonstrating how you will tackle your project (e.g. the stages, timeline). This can be reviewed regularly with you during tutorials.
Number of words (nb: note limits given in module specification): 3000 +/- 10%
Specific Assessment Criteria and weighting (nb: general assessment and grading criteria are separately published and should be referred to for guidance)
A written essay which is fully referenced using the Harvard System and therefore needs to contain a full reference list.
Please refer to the specific assessment criteria.
- The pass mark for this assignment is 40%.
- The report represents 100% of the overall mark for this module.
This assignment is designed to assist in the development of the following transferable skills: (tutor to tick all that apply)
Numeracy Creative thinking Team working Flexibility/adaptability
Communication Problem Solving Analysis Synthesis
-Sources of law and the court system
-Duty of care
-Person centered practice
- Human rights act 1998
-The equality act 2010
-The data protection act
-Powers of restrain
-Mental health act
-Code of practice/ethics/standards
-The care act 2014
-Accountability, delegation and responsibility
-Protection of vulnerable adults
-Dementia, Whistle blowing, Ethical decision-making
-writing skills and reasoning skills- i.e. distinguishing between fact and opinion
-Legal research skills
-Avery, Graham (2016) Law and Ethics in nursing and health care
-Brotherton, G and Parker, S (2013) You Foundation in Health and Social care
-Child protection, community care and mental health
-Brown, R (2008) The social woker’s guide to the mental capacity act 2005 learning matters
-Clements, L (2011) Legal aspects of nursing
-Griffith, R. and Tengnah,C. (2013) Law and professional issues in nursing Exeter
-(2004) Medical Ethics: A very short introduction Oxford: Oxford university press tingle J.(2013)
-Nursing law and ethics 4th edn. Wiley Blackwell
-Brayne and Carr (2015) Law for social workers 13th ed. Oxford
-www.opsi.gov.uk/act-contains texts of acts of parliament
-www.hmcourtshttp://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/service.gov.uk- for information about the court system www.ico.gov.uk- The information commissioner’s website www.acas.org.uk-for employment related matters
-www.ethox.org.uk-for guidance on ethical issues in health care
-www.scie.org.uk-Social care institute for excellence-for research on the protection of children and vulnerable adults
-www.equalityhumanrights.com-commission for equality and human rights website
New law journal student law
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