THE CARE CERTIFICATE WORKBOOK
Privacy and
Dignity
The CARE CERTIFICATE
7
Standard
What you need to know
THE CARE CERTIFICATE WORKBOOK STANDARD 7
1
Privacy and
dignity
Two important values when
providing care and support are:
The safeguarding and wellbeing of
individuals are very important. As far as
possible, you should get to know each
individual; their background and ideas,
wishes, likes and dislikes. You should
always provide personalised care and
support that puts an individual at the
centre of their care. You should enable
them to be as independent as possible
and respect their privacy and dignity.
Working in this way reduces the risk of an
individual being treated in a way that is
degrading or harmful.
Privacy: giving someone space where and when they need it
Dignity: focusing on the value of every individual, including:
respecting their views, choices and decisions
not making assumptions about how they want to be treated
working with care and compassion
communicating directly with the individual whenever possible.
Privacy of information
Part of providing good care and support involves building trust and confidence and having
the best interests of individuals in mind. Do not discuss personal information where others
might overhear or by using too loud a voice. Personal information includes things like their
health conditions, sexual orientation, personal history or social circumstances. Individuals
may tell you other private information that they trust you to keep to yourself. Unless it
is necessary to pass this on for health and social care reasons you should keep this
confidential. That will have the added benefit of it helping to build trust.
Confidentiality is a very important right of individuals who receive care and support.
Information should always be shared on a need-to-know basis only, for example with other
workers involved in their care. You should not share information with anybody else, even
the person’s family or friends, without their permission. For example, an individual may not
want a friend to know about their health or if they have been unhappy.
THE CARE CERTIFICATE WORKBOOK STANDARD 7
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There might be occasions when an individual
does not want to share information that you
feel is important for other workers to know
to be able to provide good quality care and
support. It is important that you explain this
to the individual concerned, giving your
reasons. Try to find agreement over the level
of information they are willing for you to pass
on. If you still feel that this is not in their best
interests, talk to your manager about the
dilemma you are facing. They will help you
judge whether you should tell the individual
that you must pass something on in the best
interests of their care and support.
Privacy and dignity in care and support
Individuals should always feel safe and comfortable. Talk with them or look at their care
plan to find out how they want to be treated in different situations. In particular, it is
important to find out how the individual would like their carer, family members or friends to
be involved or kept up to date about their care and support. They may want to be totally
responsible themselves for passing on information or about how far they want to involve
them in their personal care or life. You should respect and support them in their choice
which will sometimes involve having to sensitively challenge the assumptions that others
have made.
Each individual has a different view of what they see as their personal space so it is
important to find out from them what is comfortable for them. In general these are some
examples of ways that you should protect their privacy:
always ask individuals before touching
them in any way
knock on the door or speak before you enter
the particular space or room they are in
if your role involves supporting
individuals to wash or dress make
sure you protect their dignity and
privacy by making sure curtains,
screens or doors are properly closed
clothing or hospital gowns should
always be arranged in a
dignified way
if someone needs support to go to
the toilet they should not have to
wait or be left too long for you to
return.
In each workplace, issues about privacy
and dignity will vary so make sure you
understand what they are by talking with
other workers or your manager.
THE CARE CERTIFICATE WORKBOOK STANDARD 7
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Making choices
To promote the dignity of all individuals they should be fully involved in any decision that
affects their care, including personal decisions (such as what to eat, what to wear and
what time to go to bed), and wider decisions about their care or support.
Choices can only be made if people have information. If they know the options, the risks
and possible implications they can make the choice that is right for them. This is ‘informed’
choice. Sometimes decisions are difficult even when an individual has all the information
available. There are a number of ways that you could help the individual to make informed
choices. You can explain information, find people who can share their experiences or ask
for the help of specialist workers. It might also support them to involve other people they
trust, like friends or relatives. An advocate might be an additional option to help someone
to make a decision where they need additional help to understand and consider their
options and the risks.
Sometimes an individual may not be able to understand and retain the information they
need to make a decision or communicate their choice. If this is the case they may lack the
mental capacity to make the decision.
The individual may be able to make day-to-day decisions, for example what to wear and
what they want to eat, but not able to make complex decisions - for example, about money
or medical issues. In situations where you are not entirely sure about the individual’s
capacity, please seek additional advice or guidance.
Risk assessment
When looking at options that you are helping a person make decisions about, risk
assessments are a legal requirement and will give clear guidance on how to keep
people safe and prevent danger, harm and accidents. Every individual should have a
risk assessment as part of their care, support, rehabilitation or treatment plan. This will
have information on the person’s daily care and support, for example personal hygiene or
mobility, and how best to protect them and others from harm.
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A risk assessment contains information on possible hazards to do with the care and
support provided and steps that need to be taken to control any risks.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) propose five steps to risk assessments:
1. Identify the hazards.
2. Decide who might be harmed and how.
3. Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions.
4. Record your findings and implement them.
5. Review your assessment and update if necessary.
(www.hse.gov.uk/risk/controlling-risks.htm)
If a new activity is going to be introduced, the fives steps of risk assessment must
be followed first.
Everyone’s choices are shaped by things like their
background, values, culture, religion or similar
beliefs (if any), education or past experiences.
Equally, everyone has the right to weigh up and take
risks that they believe will make their life enjoyable
and worthwhile. As a worker you can give your
view if the decision affects their health or social
care, but it is the individual’s right to make a choice
and take any risks once they understand all the
information available and are fully aware of the risks.
Risk enablement involves supporting individuals to
identify and assess their own risks and then enabling
them to take the risks they choose.
The person-centred approach in health and social
care tries to involve the individual in the planning
of their care and support as much as possible.
However, there might be times when someone is
unhappy with decisions that have been made on
their behalf or with the choices they are offered. If
this is not within your power to change you should
tell them about their right to complain and support
them to follow the complaints procedure.
Supporting active participation
Active participation is a way of working that supports an individual’s right to participate in
the activities and relationships of everyday life as independently as possible. The individual
is an active partner in their own care or support rather than being passive. The individual
is the ‘expert on themselves’ who knows best the way of life that matters to them, and
the worker must listen and take this into account at all times. For example, when it is a
birthday or a special occasion, the worker must ask the individual if and how they would
like to celebrate rather than making assumptions or telling others about the occasion
without their permission. Taking control of their own care and support helps an individual
build their identity and self-esteem. You should also keep equality and diversity in mind,
giving every individual an equal opportunity of achieving their goals, valuing their diversity
and finding solutions that work for them.
THE CARE CERTIFICATE WORKBOOK STANDARD 7
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Selfcare
The ability to have control and care for oneself contributes to privacy and dignity. Skills for
Care and Skills for Health have developed the Common Core Principles for Self Care. The
purpose of the principles is to enable all those who work in health and social care to make
personalised services a reality. They put people at the centre of the planning process, and
recognise that they are best placed to understand their own needs and how to meet them.
You can find the principles at www.skillsforcare.org.uk/selfcare
When working in health or social care you need to be positive, open-minded and show
respect for other people’s attitudes and beliefs, especially when they differ from your own.
Your job is to care for the physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of an individual and
allow them, as far as possible, to live their life the way they choose or to get back to the
best health possible to allow them to do this.
Prejudice and stereotyping have no place in health or social care and should always be
challenged. Reflecting on your own attitudes and beliefs is crucial to making sure that you
do not allow them to affect your quality of work.
Stereotyping
To have an opinion about a group and applying this to anyone belonging to this
group, for example, “No woman can park a car”.
Prejudice
This could mean to not like someone just because of the group they belong to.
There will be times when you face problems about how you can provide the best care and
support and need to ask advice from others. It is important that you share any concerns
about privacy or dignity with your manager and always follow your agreed ways of working.
THE CARE CERTIFICATE WORKBOOK
Privacy and
Dignity
The CARE CERTIFICATE
7
What do you know now?
Standard
THE CARE CERTIFICATE WORKBOOK STANDARD 7
7
Activity 7.1a
In relation to care practice,
describe what is meant
by the terms privacy and
dignity.
Privacy is...
Dignity is...
Describe - To describe means to create
a picture with words but not simply writing
a list of bullet points.
Describe - to describe means to create a
picture with words but not simply writing
a list of bullet points.
THE CARE CERTIFICATE WORKBOOK STANDARD 7
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Activity 7.1b
As a healthcare support worker or
adult social care worker, you will
be providing care to individuals who
have a range of different needs,
wishes and preferences and in
situations which may be sensitive,
personal or challenging. In the
table below, list situations where an
individual’s privacy and dignity could
be compromised and then for each
one describe how you would maintain
their privacy and dignity. An example
has been provided for you.
Situations when an individual’s privacy and
dignity could be compromised
Describe how you would maintain the
individual’s privacy and dignity in this
situation
1. When entering the space, bedside,
cubicle, room, home that an individual is in
The code of conduct for healthcare support
workers and adult social care workers
states that I must gain consent before
providing care and support to an individual.
Therefore, I must always make my
presence known and ask if the individual is
happy for me to enter the space they are in
2.
3.
4.
5.
Describe: to describe means
to create a picture with words
but not simply writing a list of
bullet points. Include details
like why and how.
THE CARE CERTIFICATE WORKBOOK STANDARD 7
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Activity 7.2c
It is essential that you do not
disclose anything about an
individual that they wish to
be kept private, unless it is
appropriate to do so. Explain why
this is so important. You could
include the aspects of a person’s
life in the grey boxes in your
answer.
Health condition
Social circumstances
Sexual orientation
Personal history
Explain - to explain something you will
need to provide a clear account of your
understanding including details like why
and how.
THE CARE CERTIFICATE WORKBOOK STANDARD 7
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Activity 7.3a
There are a number of ways
that you can help individuals
to make informed choices.
Describe three different
ways in the boxes below. An
example has been provided
for you.
1. Provide as much information
as possible
2.
3.
Describe - To describe means to create
a picture with words but not simply writing
a list of bullet points.
Describe - to describe means to create a
picture with words but not simply writing
a list of bullet points.
THE CARE CERTIFICATE WORKBOOK STANDARD 7
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Activity 7.3b & c
Risk taking, risk assessment
and risk enablement are three
terms that you should be
familiar with as a care worker.
Familiarise yourself with these
terms and answer the two
questions below.
1. How can risk assessment be used to support the right of individuals to make their
own decisions?
2. Why must you ensure that your personal views do not influence an individual’s
own choices or decisions?
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Activity 7.3d
Part i) For each of the
statements below, decide
whether you need to support
the individual to question or
challenge the decision.
Would you support the
individual to question or
challenge the decision?
An individual has been transferred to a new service
or situation without being informed of the change
YES NO
An individual has consented to being referred to a
speech therapist for support after a stroke
YES NO
An individual’s diet plan has been changed but they
are not sure why
YES NO
Part i) Thinking about the statements above, describe why you would need to support
individuals to question or challenge decisions made about them by others. Include the
following in your answer:
Confidence
Empower
Self-esteem
Person-centred care
Describe - To describe means to create
a picture with words but not simply writing
a list of bullet points.
Describe - to describe means to create a
picture with words but not simply writing
a list of bullet points.
THE CARE CERTIFICATE WORKBOOK STANDARD 7
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Activity 7.4d
As part of your duty of care, you have
a responsibility to support individuals
to question or challenge the decisions
that are made about them by others,
especially if these decisions have
been made without their involvement
or consent. For the two examples
below, state how you would support
the individuals to question or challenge
the decision and also describe how
you would report your concerns to a
relevant person.
State how you would
support the individual
to question or challenge
the decision
Describe how you would
report any concerns
you have to the relevant
person (this could include
a senior member of staff,
carer or family member)
Example 1: An individual
tells you that their
medication has been
changed and they are
experiencing side effects;
they think this is because
of another pre-existing
condition.
Example 2: One of the
individuals you support
who has dementia has
been declined access
to a service or activity
as it is believed it may
cause unwanted negative
emotions.
Describe: to describe means
to create a picture with words
but not simply writing a list of
bullet points. Include details like
why and how.
THE CARE CERTIFICATE WORKBOOK STANDARD 7
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Activity 7.5a, b & d
Valuing the individuals you
care for and support makes
a very important contribution
to encouraging active
participation.
Part ii) Complete the table below to show how
you can support active participation for the
individual involved:
Explain how you
would enable the
individual to make
informed choices
about their lives
Why is it important
to enable the
individual to
develop skills in
self-care?
Why is it important
to enable the
individual to
maintain their
own network of
friends within their
community?
A young ex-
serviceman is
being rehabilitated
in hospital
after receiving
significant trauma
to both legs. He
is soon to return
home to his wife
and children
with support of
an occupational
therapist to ensure
his home is
equipped with the
correct services
to continue his
rehabilitation. Prior
to sustaining his
injuries, he was
engaged in many
social activities
and enjoyed sports
such as basketball
and surfing.
THE CARE CERTIFICATE WORKBOOK STANDARD 7
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Activity 7.5a,
b & d
Part ii)
Describe the importance
of how valuing individuals,
such as the one above,
helps to contribute to
and encourage active
participation. You could use
the example to help you
describe your points.
Describe - To describe means to create
a picture with words but not simply writing
a list of bullet points.
Describe - to describe means to create a
picture with words but not simply writing
a list of bullet points.
THE CARE CERTIFICATE WORKBOOK STANDARD 7
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Activity 7.5c
Complete the diagram
below to list other ways you
can use to support active
participation.
Ways to
support active
participation could
include...
List - this term means to identify the
main points which can be written as
bullet points
THE CARE CERTIFICATE WORKBOOK STANDARD 7
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Activity 7.6b
Self-awareness and reflection
is an essential part of your care
practice and being aware of
your own attitudes and beliefs
can help you to make sure
the quality of your work is not
affected negatively. Produce a
written account to show how
your personal views could
restrict the individual’s ability to
actively participate in their care.
Reflection: reflection is the process of
thinking about your experiences in an critical
way to explore what you could do differently,
improve on or remember for next time. A
reflective account could include:
What happened?
What went well?
What didn’t go so well?
What could you do to improve?
How will you put this into practice
next time?
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