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According to the “World Health Organization” (WHO), patient empowerment is a process of encouraging patients to gain more control over their health to minimise the health affecting factors. The studies show that the global adverse situations are decreasing the life expectancy of many people and thus, patient empowerment is essential to promote control over the health affecting factors (Wakefield et al. 2018, p. 1289). Patient empowerment is achieved by a good patient-doctor relationship (Agner. and Braun 2018, p. 2055). The doctors are required to provide self-efficacy and self-management tips on patient empowerment. Certain patient encouragement and empowerment tools are available which the healthcare professionals to promote patient empowerment use.
The patient empowerment tool involves the understanding of "EMPATHIE" where both involvement and empowerment is combined to empower a patient. The above figure 1 shows the patient empowerment framework with different strategies.
Patient empowerment involves a non-binary and non-linear method where both clinician and patient need to have an education on patient involvement and empowerment. The patient involvement model is shown in figure 2 where the complaint is first listened to by the clinicians then consultation is conducted (Akeel and Mundy 2019, p. 1279).
Patient empowerment can also be encouraged by following the above framework (Figure 3). Apart from patient empowerment, a healthcare professional needs to understand patient-centred care as well to encourage them to live a healthy lifestyle (Johansson et al. 2021, p. e19911).
The NHS has a set of laws under the charter of Patient Rights and Responsibilities which has summarized what the clients or patients can expect from the services of the NHS and while receiving care from them (Nhsinform.scot, 2019). According to the charter, the patients have the right to protect their personal information regarding health by informing the NHS staff that the information must not be accessed by many other specific people or in any particular way. This right has been considered an important legal and ethical responsibility of the NHS to ensure confidentiality of information.
The NHS can only share the information they can justify that the information is required for wider public interest such as to prevent the outbreak of a disease or to prevent any kind of crime. In such a scenario, the NHS can share the information. However, it has to be lawful and can be done only if they can receive an order from the court. Moreover, it has been observed the NHS can make personal access only when the patient shows a lack of interest to provide permission for sharing (Nhsinform.scot, 2019). The NHS can also share it if receiving the permission can lead to a serious risk to the patient as well as others.
According to the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in the UK, it has set seven principles that explain the trust must function and process regarding personal data of the patients and clients in a health care setting. It is very important that the social and health care settings in the UK must work and operate in with compliance against the mentioned principles (Uhs.nhs.UK, 2021). If the trusts fail to comply with the principles, then the authority takes regulatory actions against the trust. The first principles have explained the importance of lawfulness, fairness and transparency. It has stated that the processing of data has been lawful and it must be handled according to the reasonable expectations of the patients and staff. It is important that the trust be very clear about their processing of personal data. The second principle has claimed that the trusts have to be clear and maintain transparency on the actual purpose of processing any personal data and they have to record the purpose of it.
According to the third principle of GDPR, the trust must provide adequate data so that it can meet the requirements and needs of the purpose. The trust has to make sure that the data they are providing are relevant and limited so that it is not accessed more than the need of the purpose. The trust must ensure that the processed data is accurate and does not cause any kind of misleading information. According to the other fourth principle, personal data can be stored as long as it is being needed for the purpose and it should not be stored more than that (Uhs.NHS.uk, 2021). It is also important for the trust to ensure that the appropriate organizational and technical measures have been taken. The last principle states that the trust has to be accountable for having compliance with the regulations of the General Data Protect Act of the UK and must demonstrate their compliance.
It has been observed that the NHS has laid out certain principles of confidentiality for the clients and patients. According to their principles, any kind of information that may provide identification of a person or confidential information must be protected effectively so that it does not get disclosed when this information is received, transmitted, stored or disposed of (England.nhs.uk, 2019). However,
It has also suggested that confidential information or other information that is identifiable of a person can only be accessed based on need-to-know.
If the confidential information is being disclosed for any specific need or purpose then it is important to make the accessibility of it limited to that specific purpose only. The receivers of the person's identifiable or confidential information must consider and respect that it has been shared within confidence. If there has been any decision by the authority of the NHS to disclose any confidential information then it is very important to justify making that decision and it also needs to be documented (England.nhs.uk, 2019). In such cases, any concerns related to the disclosure of information are discussed with the line managers or the team of Corporate Information Governance.
In UK, the equality Act of 2010 has been implemented to protect the citizens from harassment, discrimination and victimization. However, it is also the responsibility of professionals to promote equality, diversity and inclusion. As a professional, it is important to be and make people aware of unconscious biases. It often happens that people do not recognise the biases and discrimination. I would promote the rules and regulations of the equality act as people need to be aware of their legal rights under the equality act so that they can protect themselves from any kind of discrimination, harassment or victimization.
In such a scenario, it would be necessary to have communication with the people so that they can be aware of the laws and regulations of discrimination and harassment. Communication is an effective way of making people understand cultural differences such as language, behaviours, thoughts, choices and p
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