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Supportive Relationships

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This assignment will explain the importance of supportive relationships in reducing the risk of abuse and neglect. Many different factors contribute to a good professional relationship and help minimise abuse for vulnerable adults. One factor is communication. Good effective communication creates trust within the professional and the individual and also builds a good open relationship. By good communication the vulnerable adult is able to feel confident to talk openly to the professional and therefore would be able to tell the professional about any abuse. Therefore due to there being effective communication the vulnerable adult felt strong enough to tell the professional otherwise that abuse may have gone unnoticed. Eye contact is also a factor as this shows interest and supports the feeling of self-worth as you feel the opposite person is listening and therefore a good relationship is formed. From using eye contact and forming this strong relationship a vulnerable adult will feel confident about informing a professional about any abuse or suspected abuse as they feel confident that the professional will actually listen to them from the appropriate eye contact.

Connected to both of these factors is effective listening. As a health care professional it is important to be an effective listen to build a strong bond between you and your patient. By effective listening this shows the individual that you are willing to take an interest and therefore they will feel more comfortable talking openly to you. In this case the vulnerable adult feels comfortable telling a professional about abuse which is happening or suspected abuse of another individual as they feel comfortable knowing the professional will listen to them and take it serious rather ignoring the situation. Along with there being factors which have a positive effective on building good relationships there are also negative factors which will have an opposite effect.

A factor of this would be a professional being constantly distracted. This would lead to poor listening and bad communication in which this would make the vulnerable adult feel uneasy and make them feel as if they were not able to open up to the professional. In this case if they were being abuse or were away of an suspected abuse they would not feel comfortable informing the health care professional and therefore abuse would not be prevented due to unsupportive relationship. Another factor may be a health professional’s punctuality. If a health care professional has told an individual they will be somewhere for a certain time and constantly let them down or are late this will have a negative impact on the relationship. The vulnerable adult may withdraw themselves from the professional and this may allow abuse to happen as the individual feels as they have no one who they can turn to too support them.

With relation to the “A Patient Prayer” this identifies that are not being cared for sufficiently. It states in the poem “Now I have no dignity, no privacy, no right.” This shows that the care value base is not being followed by the staff as patients should be provided with respect and dignity to support and make them feel comfortable. This also goes against regulations of care as it is against their rights to be treated without respect and dignity as it is not fair and poor quality care. Carers should provide good quality care, a supportive relationship and respect their needs as an individual and this statement in the poem does not support this. The care value base is also referred to FREDP. These are the five main words which are related when building a supportive relationship with a patient of vulnerable adult. F stands for fairness which relates to treating everyone with the same rights and to meet their individual needs.

The next word is respect. Everyone should be respected and treated how they would want to be treated themselves with regard to the individuals feelings, wishes, needs and rights. Following on from respect is equality which involves ensuring that people are treated fairly and equally and no less favourably specific to their needs. Dignity is the next part of FREDP which involves treating people respectfully with taking into account their wishes and rights but still supporting their needs but in a way they like to be treated. P is the last term of FREDP which is privacy. Privacy involves taking into consideration peoples dignity also and giving them space and independent for activities that they may feel uncomfortable about doing and people knowing about due to them being quite personal. Person centred care originated from the work of Carl Rogers between the years of the 1940’s to the 1960’s. Carl Rogers worked within the areas of psychotherapy and counselling.

However, he began to believe the individual themselves had the knowledge about their needs truly were rather than professionals knowing from experience and that that the health professionals were not experts. From this he believed that in order to achieve this is is necessary for individuals to experience relationships that are free from threat, demonstrate understanding, were non-judgmental and were caring. This relates to health care professionals offering supportive relationships which offer empathy, an unconditional regard and show that they are caring. From this consensus this shows that person-centred care promotes independence and autonomy rather than enforcing control. This allows professionals to listen more to the patient and understand what their needs really are by forming a supportive relationship to ensure this. Health care professionals will follow the principles of person-centred care.

This approach aims to see the people as individuals, rather than focusing on their illness or on abilities they may have lost. Instead of treating the person as a collection of symptoms and behaviours to be controlled, person-centred care considers the whole person, taking into account each individual’s unique qualities, abilities, interests, preferences and needs. Person-centred care also means treating residents with dementia with dignity and respect. Following FREDP and person centred care can prevent abuse and harm coming to individuals due to them feeling comfortable as the health care professionals have created supportive relationships with the individuals through following principles of providing the best care. Individuals will feel more open about informing professional about abuse or suspected abuse and will know they will have support to help protect them. In abusive situations vulnerable people will feel scared and will feel unsure with whom they can tell but by health care professionals following FREDP and the person centred care principles this shows the individuals they do care and will be supportive.


Empowerment involves respecting service users and their individual rights. This means allowing them to have as much power and control over their own lives as possible. Empowerment can reduce abuse and neglect by individuals being open as they feel like they will be listened too due to them having the power to make their own choices and knowing they will be supported.

Advocacy aims to ensure that people, particularly those who are most vulnerable in society are able to be heard with regard to issues that may be affecting them. Advocacy allows vulnerable people to defend and safeguard their rights. Advocacy is usually enforced by the use of a advocate who provides support and can speak for a person of offer information and help if needed. Advocacy can therefore reduce abuse and neglect as even though a vulnerable person may not be able to physically speak and express information of abuse or neglect they can get an advocate to do so. This allows reduces abuse and neglect as an advocate can give the vulnerable adult information in a supportive role to support them to help them in the situation they may be in.

Confidentiality is a part of professional practice for a health care professional which protects human rights. Confidentiality is disclosing an individual’s personal information and only informing professionals who need to know in specific circumstances. Confidentiality reduces harm and abuse as it makes individuals feel more comfortable which disclosing information about abuse as they know they will be supported and the information will not go anywhere but the people who need to know to protect them.

With relation the care planning cycle there are stages which are linked to FREDP to promote service users rights and protect them from harm. The first stage is assessment. This is where a service user will be assessed and the health care professional can identify the needs of the individual along with how these needs may not be being met. The next stage is care planning. After the assessment stage the needs of the individual have been identified and therefore the professionals begin to create a care plan to help support their needs being met. This plan will identify what needs to happen next and what the individual shouldn’t do to help support meeting their needs. Once the care planning has been completed then this will then follow onto the next stage of the care planning cycle.

This is the implementation of care services. The implementation of services is where the strategies are then put into place to support and care for the client. This then leads to the check of services where the plans and strategies are then over seen and see how they are helping the client. This will also check the care which is being provided. Finally there will be an evaluation of the services which were implemented and discussions will then determine what could be improved for the individual, starting this cycle all over again.

FREDP links to the assessment stage of the cycle by privacy as these needs are tailored to the individuals needs and are determined by their personal situation. Assessment also links to equality and fairness as everyone car plan will be evaluated to see what can be improved a good quality care is provided. The next stage care planning links to fairness as it is fair to identify their individual needs the same as everyone else. This therefore also links to equality as everyone’s care plan should be discussed and over seen in the same way. When it comes to the implementation of services this links to fairness as they have the right to have the best care suitable to them. This also links to respect as by implementing services to their specific needs and respects the person as an individual. The check of services supports an individual’s dignity as this checks the care and supports the individual.

The check of care services also supports equality as everyone care should be good quality care and this part of the cycle checks this. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence produced statements relating to good care by the NHS services in England. The first statement is that “Patients are treated with dignity, kindness, compassion, courtesy, respect, understanding and honesty.” This links to FREDP and dignity and respect are two keys principles of FREDP and are important to offer good care to individuals as dignity and respect help build relationships and make the client feel comfortable. The next statement that relates to FREDP is statement number 9 which is “Patients experience care that is tailored to their needs and personal preferences, taking into account their circumstances, their ability to access services and their coexisting conditions.” This relates to FREDP as FREDP ensures respect and equality by supporting their individual needs. This also supports dignity as it ensures that the client is treated fairly and too a good care standard.

Multi-agency working is a variety of different company’s coming together for a meeting and discussing what is the best thing to do that would benefit everyone and to save time on things with all of the company’s. By multi-agency it means that all the company involved are saving money and getting the job done together and can save time with organising when to do the job and when it is suitable for everyone. Multi-agency working brings together practitioners from different sectors and professions to provide an integrated way of working to support children, young people and families. “Multidisciplinary teams consist of staff from several different professional backgrounds who have different areas of expertise. These teams are able to respond to clients who require the help of more than one kind of professional. Multidisciplinary teams are often discussed in the same context as joint working, interagency work and partnership working” Drinkwater (2008)

In relation to adults Steven Hoskins was a man with learning disabilities who had input from services but was systematically abused and then murdered by a gang. “Hoskin, 39, was subjected to “harrowing” abuse ending in his death in St Austell, Cornwall on 6 July 2006. He was forced to swallow a lethal dose of paracetamol, hauled around his bedsit by a dog collar and burned with cigarettes. Hoskin’s body was found at the base of the St Austell railway viaduct”.Ahmed 2007 When working with vulnerable adults who have been abused or who are potentially vulnerable to abuse multi-disciplinary working can be key to detection and protection and in reported cases of abuse it has often been found that it has remained undetected because professionals failed to work together to minimise risk and highlight concerns. Hoskin used the health service after he stopped his support service.

The SCR “ if primary and secondary healthcare personnel had been attuned to Steven’s learning disability arguably his visits could have been regarded as alerts”. Each agency focused on single issues with in their own responsibilities and did not link them. A professional who comes into contact with a vulnerable adult should be able to determine immediately whether other agencies need to be involved and they have a duty to share concerns with individuals that need to know. By multi-agency working this would allow good quality care to be given in an appropriate way which is suitable to the individual’s needs. The Hoskin case study is an example whether these agencies have not communicated and listened effectively to realise the abuse which was going on. Hoskins medication should have regularly been reviewed and regulations sure as security weren’t follow effectively caused Hoskin to be abused.

The advantages of working in a multi-agency is that there is a lot of different ideas form everyone and if they put them all together they will have a very strong plan on what to do. This means that individuals are able to receive the best care which is suitable to their needs and build a better relationship with the different individuals. When in multi-agency working there is also a case conference and liaison meetings, where professionals are able to attend a meeting about a specific individual. This is an opportunity for everyone to share information and notes to be taken. This allows decisions to be made in which the best care can be provided to the individual.

However, when it comes to multi-agency work communication isn’t sometimes strong which leads to problems and messages not are sent to the right people. This sometimes means that tasks for the individual aren’t completed and the care isn’t the best. Another advantage would be that more support is giving to family’s that need it and are giving them a range of different support, for example, Counselling, family support workers and social workers. However, a disadvantage of multi-agency would be not sharing every bit of information with each other so that everything gets covered.

Case conference and Liaison Meetings
This is where a number of professionals are able to attend a meeting about a specific individual. This is an opportunity for everyone to share information and notes to be taken. This also allows there to be a discussion about the decisions that should be put in place to support the individual. This could minimise abuse as professional can put all their ideas together and make a better plan for service users. Case conference and Liaison Meetings are an advantage to both the professionals as they know everything they need to know and the service users as they will have the best care provided tailored to their needs.

Joint visits
Joint visits are where professionals may visit a client to discuss concerns and strategies of the individual. This can minimise abuse as they will understand the patients’ needs so the needs can be met and prevent abuse.

Joint training
Joint training involves different organisations coming together to participate in training sessions on preventing abuse and responding appropriately when abuse occurs. This will prevent abuse as all professional understand what the regulations are and how they should respond to abuse therefore preventing abuse as they know what is expected.

This assignment has explained what makes a supportive relationship and has explained what qualities are needs to support the care value base with then explain multi-agency working and explaining benefits and disadvantages.

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