Inter-professional working is itself a challenge. Various knowledge merges on one situation that involves one case. Yet the situation becomes more complicated when the patient has certain disabilities such as the case of Tom with multiple learning disabilities suffering stomach disease and experienced delayed if not totally ignored medical attention. …
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This essay will explore the interprofessional working environment’s challenges, solutions to barriers and problems, as well as how these scenarios have been translated or could have been avoided on the case of Tom.
Discussion Case Summary: Tom had a profound and multiple learning disabilities and attended a residential special school. One year prior to his death, a hospice consultant recommended an investigation by a gastroenterologist but the medical assessment promised during the NHS assessment never materialised. Tom’s parents relayed their concerns based on Tom’s expressions of pain on numerous occasions but it the social services workers did not heed the reports. The school interpreted Tom’s discomfort as dislike for school even whilst his parents insisted he needed medical investigation.
When brought to a hospice, the consultant suggested his digestive system be further investigated. During the discussion with his GP, Tom’s parents were not included and the GP decided that a PEG feeding tube will not be tolerable and that there was unclear direction as to how Tom could receive adequate nutrition. After leaving school, the professionals also decided there was nowhere suitable for Tom to go to. Instead, he was placed into an NHS psychiatric assessment unit. His parents were only promised of medical assessment but it never happened. His health deteriorated, he lost weight and started acting unusual such as gouging his head of which his parents interpreted as experiences of pain. By the time a place for social services residential home became available for Tom, it was also then that his health was acted upon and he was confined in a hospital. It was found Tom had ulcerated oesophagus and that he was inserted with a PEG in order to be fed by tube prior to an operation. However, it has been too late because Tom was already extremely weak and died in the process. Ethical and legal issues It was apparent on the case of Tom that there was serious negligence on the part of the general practitioner (GP) to act accordingly by making a decision without consulting or including Tom or Tom’s parents in the process. It was already obvious that a health consultant recommended the need for Tom to be inspected by a gastroenterologist. This should have been pursued and provided in a timely manner. The GP as the gateway for Tom’s more specific medical needs shares the biggest responsibility in the process. In addition, there is the Disability Discrimination Act which called for the full application of human rights principles on the case of Tom and others who have disabilities. The human rights concept is “key to the development and improvement of healthcare for people with learning disability,” (Jacques and Strank, 2009, 439). This calls for treatment and respect with equity of outcomes in healthcare the patient with disability receives. Additional support, in fact, is required because their disability increases the difficulties they experience and increases their rights instead of being diminished. Aside
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The researcher is using ‘health care services’ and not ‘health policies’ in order to stress the point that is glaringly presented by the case of Tom – health care services which is supposed to respond to the actual health care needs of actual patients do not ‘necessarily’ mirror the policies that established it.
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