Professional identity, autonomy and accountability

The Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC,2013) is the statutory supervisory body for health care professionals (HCP), including occupational therapists (OT) in the United Kingdom, that sets the standard that that every OT needs to meet to be registered with HCPC. After the registration, each OT is obliged to follow the statutory guidelines or standard set by the HCPC in terms of providing the safe care to each patient and maintain their professional accountability and competency towards their practices. The standards set by HCPC have been effective since the March, 2013. Th major purpose of HCPC is to provide the necessary skill development training and professional education to the care professionals and OT before they get the registration with HCPC. Through setting the professional standard HCPC aims to improve the professional skill and competency level of the OT in terms of meeting the care standard thereby achieving thigh proficiency level to meet patient’s needs.


HCPC has specified 15 'Standards of Proficiency' for OT (HCPC, 2013), which must be met following the Royal College of Occupational Therapy (RCOT) guidelines for a professional organisation affiliated with OT. The fundamental goal of the HCPC is to ensure the protection of patients by maintaining a register of HCP who comply with HCPC requirements.

Continuing professional development (CPD) is described as how professionals keep their learning and development up to date throughout their careers, regularly updating their skills and expertise to practice legally, safely, and appropriately (HCPC, 2013). CPD is an essential factor of HCP's work and practice, keeping them informed of changes to relevant policies and procedures, enabling them to become specialists in their areas of work, and providing a high standard of care to service users.

This essay will discuss two standards supporting information that reflects on an OT student's placement experiences in preparation for practice.

The author has chosen to address the HCPC Proficiency Standard Section 15: Understand the need to establish and maintain a safe practice environment (HCPC, 2013).

This standard is because the author maintains that all HCP' duty and moral obligation is to ensure service users' treatment is carried out safely and lawfully, to mitigate injury to both the patient and the HCP.

The HCPC (2013) set the expectation that OTs and other qualified healthcare professionals must demonstrate the ability to select suitable personal protective equipment and use it correctly. They must be able to create safe practice environments that reduce risk to service users, HCP, and the use of hazards and infection control (HCPC, 2013).

The OT is responsible for assessing and managing defined risks associated with providing services to patients (COT,2015). Consequently, this allows positive risk-taking (RCOT, 2018) in a secure atmosphere, allowing the patient the opportunity to achieve occupational performance and autonomy in their lives. The author demonstrated an awareness of establishing and maintaining a safe practice environment during her second placement at a mental health inpatient rehabilitation setting. In his late twenties, a male who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and admitted from the inpatient acute mental health ward due to a suicide attempt by slitting his wrists was assigned to the authors' caseload.

The practice educator requested an activity analysis (appendix 1) to enable the service user to participate in a cooking group.

In this activity analysis, the service users with schizophrenia needs to provide with the proper safeguarding environment in which the services user will be protected from the risk of any kind of harm of health risk such as fire, cut of the skin due to improper use knife, fall down on the sleeper floor due to water leak from the basin and burning on the skin due to improper adjustment of flame (Worsley et al. 2017.), Under HCPC professional standard section 15, while carrying out an activity analysis of the mentally ill patients the care-providers must ensure that the they must watch and administer each activity of patient and protect the patient from being harmed by any of their activity [HCPC, 2013]. Here the author ensures the service user is provided with all the ingredients and the equipment that are needs to prepare the baguette. As mentioned by Pickard (2020.), while performing any activity analysis with the mentally ill patients the care professionals need to ensure that the service users are provided with all the resources that are needed to perform the task otherwise the scarcity the any of the resources can make the service user puzzled and over excited thereby increasing the risk of self-harm. In this activity analysis, the author also ensure that proper protection is taken before, during and after the cooking such as the service users provide with the safe gloves that can protect him from any cut by the knife. Also, the author check that whether the service user uses the oven, basin and the knife safely which eliminate any risk of harm. As stated by Timms (2018), during the activity analysis the care professionals must have the proper risk assessment and crisis management techniques that will assist the care professionals to use the measures to protect the patients from any possible harm., here, the author has arranged the fire prevention arrangement, safety alarm, fire alarm and the first aid services that provide the immediate care and safety to the patient if there is any possible risk of harm.

Throughout the activity analysis, the author will train and guide the service user how to use the cooking appliances such as oven, cocker, knife, gas lighter and the basin safely that can prevent any chances burning, or fall down or cut on skin. Under the HCPC standard, the care professionals must ensure that patients’ autonomy, dignity and their rights to the fair treatment will be maintained throughout the activity analysis (Lowes et al. 2020). Here the author ensures that services user is treated with proper respect and dignity in every stage of the task. The author listens to the needs and the issues faced by the service user while preparing the baguette, thereby providing proper assistance to the service user to meet the needs. As mentioned, by Timms (2018), the activity analysis must intend to provide guidance and training to the services users in relation to certain activities that will improve their self-management skill. Through this coking activity, the service user is provided with the training on how to cook safely in oven, how to use the gas lighter, basin and others cooking appliances and what measures need to follow to maintain self-safety during cooking.

Under HCPC standard 15, the HCP (healthcare professional) must have the clear and in-depth understanding of the guidelines of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (HSWR) 1999. Under this act the HCP must have the skill and expertise to perform the safe transfer and movement of patient from one place to the other by eliminating the risk of falls or harm [HCPC, 2013]. In this case, a risk assessment was carried out before trailing the re-turn and was reviewed after the transfer to ensure best practice and safe moving handling techniques could be followed. This review was highly informative to the author that assisted the author as well as other HCP to use best-suited equipment for the patient that will assist the patient to move from one place to other such as while transferring the patient from wheel chair to the bed or vice versa (Clarke, 2019.). The author learnt about the safe use of the hoist to pull patents while moving them from the bed to the wheel chair. Under HCPC standard 15, HCP must be enough competent and highly skilled in using the right procedure to pull the patients by using the hoist as any negligence can lead to the patient’s falls that can cause the health risk as well as the life risk of patient (Crisp and Dinham, 2019). The author learnt the process of transferring patients by using the right techniques or procedures thar protect the patients from falls or any sudden injury in the arm.

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Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 2013 governs the statutory obligation to record deaths, accidents, illnesses, and "dangerous occurrences" like near misses, that take place at work. The author was able to undertake Datix training (See appendix 5 for certificate) during her third placement at an inpatient mental health rehabilitation unit. All incidents are reported using the Trusts reporting electronic system called Datix. Datix provides a systematic process that enables incidents and accidents to be reported and then investigated. Under HCPC (2013), HCP must have taken the Datix training for maintaining a systematic reporting system in which the the accidents and injuries are reported accordingly [HCPC, 2013]. The Datix training was highly informative to the author in terms of gathering in-depth knowledge about how to report the accident cases at the workplace to the higher healthcare authority (Lawrence and Wier, 2018). The Datix training assisted the author to maintain a transparent information delivery system in workplace in which if there is a possibility of accidents or injuries, the information will be easily sent to all the healthcare professionals [HCP] and the healthcare authority to take the needed measures to eliminate the risk. The Datix training assisted the author to ensure that there is highly effective crisis management system that will report the incident fast to higher healthcare authority for taking immediate action (Crisp and Dinham, 2019).

Proficiency Standard Section 8: To be able to communicate effectively (HCPC, 2013).

The author selected this proficiency standard because effective communication is a crucial attribute for any HCP. On admission to the hospital, a patient receives care from several teams across different healthcare sectors

Although the care processes of occupational therapy and the physiotherapy are different, the work together in terms of meeting the similar objectives, improving the holistic wellbeing of patients. The accusation therapy is associated with implementing a holistic approach in who patients are involved into therapeutic activities such as exercise , stretches and cognitive developmental activities (Crisp and Dinham, 2019). Physiotherapy is associated with improving mobility by healing the specific impairment such as the bone joints or bone fracture. Through physiotherapy, HCP are able to improve the bone function and mobility of patients hereby improving their ability to body movement. In in modern healthcare field the occupational therapy and the physiotherapy go hand in hand, to promote holistic wellbeing of patients rather than focusing on only physical or emotional development. Physiotherapists assist the occupational therapists to develop effective care plan that not only assist patients to improve their mobility, body movement and the physical strength, but also encouraging patients to increase their ability to be socialised (Clarke, 2019). Through combining the occupational therapy with the physiotherapy, HCP are able to provide the physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological support to the patient by improvising their physical strength, bone strength, flexibility body, cognitive ability and their interactive as well as communication skill (Lawrence and Wier, 2018). By applying the occupational therapeutic techniques physiotherapist can increase the mobility of patients faster by encouraging them to do different physical and psychological exercises such as moving the legs and arms, and performing stress management by deep breathing.

The author shadowed a physiotherapist (appendix 8) to gain an insight into interaction with patients. The author observed that HCPs communicate in different ways. For example, physiotherapist had a more succinct approach to communication, focusing on facts; in contrast, OTs take a more holistic focus. For example, they may prioritise their way of working and lack an understanding that could misinterpret information or a conflict of ideas. (Diamant et al., 2018).

Interprofessional education allowing healthcare professionals to train together is a way to overcome these barriers. Implementing these approaches in an interprofessional team would improve communication skills with other professionals in future practice, delivering optimal patient treatment. (Nester, 2016).


Reflecting on all experiences in both mental and physical settings has helped to identify future learning needs.

The author addressed standards eight and fifteen by focusing on experiences acquired in practice, mandatory training, and training undertaken at placement.

The HCPC (2013) standard 15 has allowed the author to understand the importance of taking positive risks in a safe environment to enable patients to engage in meaningful activities and ensure that a holistic approach will be taken. In doing So, patients' physical and mental capacities need to be considered to allow patients' achievable interventions.


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