Analysis of the extent of national reflection of local attitudes
You are required to write a report that includes:
• An analysis of the extent to which local attitudes are reflected nationally.
• An evaluation of the validity of public attitudes and behaviours in relation to a specific issues.
• A justification of possible consequences of contemporary thinking for health and social care provision and services.
In the field of health and social care (HSC), the patient care is the focus for the professionals. However, these days several issues are evident in the contemporary society due to changing attitudes and behaviors of HSC professionals towards the patients (Saleh and Qadir, 2013). The current assignment deals with the contemporary issue of negligence in the HSC sector of UK. It highlights the case of a 98 years old woman, Mrs. Yvonne Grant being neglected by her carer in the Oban House care home in Croydon, South London. The patient died but the incident of negligence is revealed through the hidden camera in her room placed by her granddaughter. This study analyses the local attitudes, validity of public behavior and probable effects of the issue in HSC system.
The several incidents taking place in the HSC settings vividly reflect the local attitudes of the healthcare professionals (Jayaweera and Quigley, 2010). Considering the case of Mrs. Grant, the carer is seen to neglect the calls made by the patient repeatedly for seeking help to go to the washroom. As recorded in the camera, the patient faced several such incidents in the last few days of her life before she died. Similar incidents are evident in other cases as that of Gillian Astbury case in the Mid Staffordshire hospital where the negligence and abuse by the nurses led to the death of the patient. As stated by Reader and Gillespie (2013), it reflects the great extent to which the local attitudes lead to severe detrimental effects on the health of the patients.
The issue of neglect and abuse among the elder patients is a widespread phenomenon in the HSC settings of the current times. The older patients as Mrs. Grant with poor physical strength and inability to report against the carers makes them highly vulnerable to the risk of neglect and abuse. As put forward by Cummings (2012), in several cases, with the fast paced lifestyle in the developed countries as UK, the older people with chronic diseases are mostly admitted to hospitals and not much contacted by their family members. It further increases their level of vulnerability. Mrs. Grant with her husband deceased long back seems to experience the same. She was admitted to the hospital for long-term stay as per requirement. Patients admitted to the care homes, especially the older ones expect to receive a comforting and relevant care facility and service from the staffs (Armstrong et al. 2012). Contradictorily, most patients as Mrs. Grant face neglect and abuse as lack of response from the carers to address the issues or provide relevant support to the need of the patients.
As highlighted by Cummings (2012), the lack of adequate legislative measures and acts to punish the staffs on incidences of neglect and abuse of patients by the health care is a major reason for the growing events of negligence and patient abuse of the elderly. The attitude of the healthcare professionals that they will be exempted from any harsh punishments and consequences on conduction of such acts of abuse and neglect to the vulnerable patients. Through the incidence of Mrs. Grant, it is clear that the local people admitting their family members to the healthcare settings are well aware of the incidences of neglect and abuse taking place due to the inappropriate acts of the healthcare staffs at the respective care home. As asserted by Jayaweera and Quigley (2010), such incidents reflect the high level of helplessness of the local people admitting their patients to the hospitals. The act of revealing the incidence that happened with Mrs. Grant; through the camera footage by her granddaughter indicate the high intension of the local people to punish the staffs through this revelation. Studies reflect the relation of increase in abuse risk of the elderly patients with increase in their dependency on the healthcare staff for their own protection, care and safety. The increasing aging population in UK leads to the increase in number of older patients admitted to the healthcare settings. With the increase in the number of older patients, the pressure on the healthcare staffs attending them also increases and thus raises the risk of abuse and neglect to them.
Evaluation of public attitude and behavior validity relating to the specific issue of patient abuse and neglect
In Europe, the issue of patient neglect and abuse is a major concern in the recent times. The incidence of receiving 22,847 complaints against NHS in 2011 relating to the issues of staff attitudes, patient dignity and communication reflects the validity of the issue (Reader and Gillespie, 2013). However, with the rising aging population in UK and the increasing older patients being admitted to the hospitals, the staffs experience a greater extent of pressure as well. It increases the risk of ageist attitude development among the healthcare professionals. As identified by Briggs (2010), the carers dealing with the older patients need to have a very high level of patience and understanding capability. It is because mostly the older patients depict the need of assistance to their daily activities, which are tiring for the healthcare staffs. Several old patients in the chronic care settings are found to depict adverse behaviors as aggressiveness, intolerance of the healthcare staffs and treatment procedures, loss of memory and such other cognitive functions. Dealing with such patients on a long-term basis is a stressful work to do for the healthcare service providers. It leads them to the development of ageist attitude delivering a rude and negligent service to the patients (Tzeng, 2011).
In several studies, it is highlighted that the care settings with older people often reveal difficulties in attracting and retaining staffs. It further validates the local attitudes and behaviors of the staffs indicating their non-adherence and lack of interest to serve the older people. Saleh and Qadir (2013) correctly opines that although by the UK government sufficient laws against discrimination in terms of age are passed, yet discriminatory acts still take place indirectly. Researches identifying insufficient training, education, communication ability and poor access to the essential services and rehabilitation contribute to the prevalence of the acts of neglect and abuse to patients in the HSC setting in UK. It leads to the development of the negative attitude of the care providers towards the patients (Pei and Ayub, 2015).
A lack of recognition regarding the needs and expectations of the patients leads to negligence and abuse in several cases. The lower priority to older patients in some healthcare organizations are eminent contributing factors to the deteriorated care standards delivered to the patients. Pharoah and Harrow (2011) argue that the underfunding status and low priority for the service development for older people by the healthcare organizations and higher authorities directs the attitudes of the carers regarding care service to this sector. However, the issue of neglect and abuse of patients by the carer is a major concern depicted through the high level of catastrophic consequences it produces. Evidences as that of Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust depicting 1200 patient deaths in the period of 2005 to 2008 due to the failure to conduct daily and basic routines, indicate the eminent need to address this issue.
The various consequences of contemporary thinking for HSC provision and services include bureaucracy, accountability, privatization and increase in funding (Deber, 2014). The significance of the bureaucracy is highlighted as the government officials determine the various provisions without being elected by the common public through voting. The accountability effect of the contemporary thinking in HSC sector involves the activities that ensure better health care service facilities for the service users as well as the staffs. According to Mullins (2012), with the increasing understanding of the people about the HSC system because of the contemporary thinking, the funding structure and status of the HSC sector can improve largely.
Possible effects of contemporary thinking in health and social care provision and services
Due to the contemporary thinking, the HSC services and system can experience a reduction of resources. It can take place not only in financial terms but also in terms of human resource as well. As stated by Simonet (2010), the lack of adequate efficient and talented healthcare staff results in the growing incidence of abuse and neglect for patients lowering the standards of healthcare services in UK. It is evident through the case of Mrs. Grant where the staff attending her depicts a severe level of inappropriate behavior and highly negative attitude in not responding to her request for assistance. It is also a depiction of violating the legal norms set by the government of UK, which states that a health care service provider needs to attend and communicate the patient in their responsibility at every 1-hour interval. This highlights the severe risk of abuse and neglect to which the patients are exposed to in the healthcare settings.
Although discrimination of patients on basis of age or disease status is strictly prohibited, yet the studies conducted by Dyer (2012), on the healthcare settings across UK points out several events of discriminating behaviors enacted by the carers, especially to the vulnerable patients as elderly people with inability to report against the carers. Due to these issues, a result as privatization of the HSC sector is very much probable in the near future. As per the view of Lamarche et al. (2011), the contemporary thinking can lead to an emphasis on the healthcare service availability. With the stark highlighting of the incidents as that of Mrs. Grant, Mid Staffordshire hospital the authorities and government of UK will focus on provisions of better access to the healthcare services by the vulnerable patients as older people. Thus, it can be said that the contemporary thinking in HSC services sector can be expected to bring a change in the health care services and provisions in a positive way.
The current assignment is seen to highlight the extent of the local attitudes of HSC staffs towards the patients, especially the vulnerable ones as the woman in the case study Mrs. Grant. The issues as abuse and negligence resulting in failure to meet the patients’ need and detrimental effects on the patients are evident clearly through this study. The various incidents of patient abuse and neglect across UK provide evidences supporting the validity of such issues. The study identifies the severe consequences of contemporary thinking as reduction of resources along with the chances of bringing positive changes in services and provisions in the HSC sector.
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Briggs, D. (2010). Notes on the end of life: the social interactions between patients, carers and professionals. Quality Ageing Older Adults, 11(2), pp.35-46.
Cummings, G. (2012). The Road to Improving Patient-Reported Outcomes: Measures or Healthcare Reform?. hcpap, 11(4), pp.24-28.
Deber, R. (2014). Thinking about Accountability. hcpol, 10(SP), pp.12-24.
Dyer, C. (2012). Age discrimination in UK healthcare will become unlawful in October. BMJ, 344(jun13 3), pp.e4134-e4134.
Jayaweera, H. and Quigley, M. (2010). Health status, health behaviour and healthcare use among migrants in the UK: Evidence from mothers in the Millennium Cohort Study. Social Science & Medicine, 71(5), pp.1002-1010.
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Mullins, J. (2012). PLAN B: RE-THINKING FUNDING. Business Strategy Review, 23(4), pp.47-49.
Pei, K. and Ayub, A. (2015). Measuring Customer Satisfaction towards Cafeteria Services in Primary Health Care Setting: A Cross-Section Study among Patients and Health Care Providers in Bintulu, Sarawak. OALib, 02(04), pp.1-11.
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Saleh, A. and Qadir, S. (2013). Patientsâ€™ Attitude Towards Clinical Care at Academic Institutions. International Journal of Integrative Medicine, p.1.
Simonet, D. (2010). Healthcare reforms and cost reduction strategies in Europe. International J Health Care QA, 23(5), pp.470-488.
Tzeng, H. (2011). Nurses' Caring Attitude: Fall Prevention Program Implementation as an Example of Its Importance. Nursing Forum, 46(3), pp.137-145.
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