The 10 Essential Shared Capabilities are to set out the minimum requirements that all mental health services staff should possess as best practice. They are about relationships, behaviours, expectations and attitudes. They also allow service users and carers to be aware of what to expect from staff and services (NES 2006).
The 10 ESC’s are, working in partnership, respecting diversity, practising ethically, challenging inequality, promoting recovery, identifying people’s needs and strengths, providing service user-centred care, making a difference, promoting safety and positive risk taking and personal development and learning.
I will now give an overview of each of the above capabilities.
Working in Partnership involves working with service users their families and carers in a positive way to develop and maintain supportive relationships. Working this way helps people to make decisions and choices. (Edwards 2000). Whilst on placement when involved with service users who were starting treatment for Hepatitis C treatment it was very important to make them aware of how a good support network helps as this treatment can have an impact on everyday life causing flu-like symptoms, emotional issues, sleeping problems and loss of appetite. (Roche 2009).
Respecting Diversity is about providing care that makes a positive difference taking into account, age, race, culture, disability, gender, spirituality and sexuality. (The Scottish Government 2006). On placement within the Addiction Services it was very important not to discriminate any service user. There were many different people who attended the addiction team and it was imperative to treat them equally. According to NHS Quality Improvement Scotland (2009), we as nurses must try to eliminate discrimination and promote equality of opportunity for everyone.
Practising Ethically is about identifying the hopes and rights of patients and their families. It is important to work within the law and treat all service users as individuals. (NMC 2008). Whilst on placement the NMC Code of Conduct must be adhered to and The Code (2010) states that “you must support people in caring for themselves to improve and maintain their health”.
Challenging Inequality involves addressing the consequences of stigma. Patients with mental health problems must be treated with the same rights as everyone else suffering from other health needs. (See Me 2010). On placement the service users I cared for all had substance misuse concerns. This group of people are often stigmatised. I found that most of the service users had many contributing factors to their addictions and could sympathise with them more.
Promoting Recovery is all about working together with patients and professionals to provide care which helps service users overcome mental health problems. It gives service users hope and optimism in working towards a valued life. (Tidal Model 2000). The recovery process on placement was about helping the service users try and overcome their addiction or help them to manage it better.
Identifying people’s needs and strengths involves gathering information about service users’ health and social care needs. Assessments can be carried out to help focus on the service users strengths. (De Jong and Miller 1995). On placement I spoke with a service user who had remained drug free for 3 months. This service user had had her children taken from her and put into care. She was being assessed by the GP and nursing staff to see if they felt she was ready to have her children returned to her.
Providing service user-centred care involves working alongside service users and their families to help them negotiate achievable goals for the individual and identifying all resources that are available to help these goals be achieved. (Shepherd, Boardman and Slade 2008). On placement I worked alongside my mentor in helping a young pregnant girl with a benzodiazepine addiction. Her goal was to slowly detoxify herself from the drug as it can cause cardiac problems and facial clefts in unborn babies (Be My Parent 2010). The GP decreased her prescription by 2mg each week.
Making a difference involves ensuring that services are of a high quality and are suited to each individual. (The Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health 2003). Most of the service users found it very helpful if they were provided with leaflets to make them aware of the effects that the illegal substances had on their lives.
Promoting Safety and Positive Risk Taking involves working with service users to decide the level of risk they are prepared to take with their health and safety. All care must be planned to maximise the benefits for the patient ensuring safety is maintained. (Morgan 2000). It was important on placement to make service users aware of the damage they were doing to both their physical and mental health. Again leaflets being available seemed to help.
Finally, Personal development and learning involves keeping up to date with any changes in the way services are provided. It is a lifelong learning process and is important to reflect on the practice you provide. The Nursing and Midwifery Council 2008, state it is important to keep your knowledge and skills up to date throughout your working life.
The 10 ESCs relate to and support the delivery of mental health policy and legislation in mental health practice in Scotland by linking up with the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003. The principles of this act should influence our practice accordingly. Some of the principles include non discrimination, equality, respect for diversity, respect for carers and participation all of these principles relate to the 10 ESCs. The Nursing and Midwifery Council Code of Conduct framework exists to give nurses the foundation of good nursing and midwifery practice, and is a key tool in safeguarding the health and wellbeing of the people in our care.
During this placement I have found working through the 10 ESCs very beneficial as they have helped me improve my experience of mental health nursing and how to better my care for service users. I am also aware of the importance of keeping up to date with any changes and how the learning experience will continue throughout my nursing career.
Work Based Learning 1 – Module 3
This part of the assignment will describe the links between service users and carers involvement and the 10 ESCs. It will also discuss different levels of involvement that service users and carers have. Also what local approaches are available to help increase service users involvement in their care.
NHS Education for Scotland (2010) states that involving service users and their carers is about encouraging them to have responsibility in their own care and treatment and to be involved in the development of services. By using the 10 ESCs there are things that can be done to overcome any of the following barriers, losing hope, negative experiences of mental health services and stigma. ESC 3 – Practising Ethically helps service users to build up a relationship with their nurse and shows the nurse how to recognize the services users rights and hopes
There are three levels of involvement which are, individual, organisational and strategic levels I will now discuss the service user and carers involvement at each of these levels.
Involvement at an individual level includes individuals being given choices and having involvement in all stages of