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John Finch

Freelance journalist specialising in legal and ethical issues in healthcare

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The law that came in from the cold

Nurses in the community have a responsibility not only to treat but also to anticipate and, if possible, to avoid. This is more easily said than done for the simple reason that those to whom they owe...

Legal responsibilities relating to isolation

The image of personal isolation is more often than not, a negative image. Being alone is somehow thought of as a minus, contrasted with being in a group, which is a plus. To follow this assumption...

Legal issues related to heat

Community nurses are likely to find among their clientele, patients ranging from very young to very old, with vulnerabilities associated with those respective stages in life, as well as those with an...

Supervision and restriction of patients at home

We begin with a story that will hopefully bear no relation to the professional experience of readers. A GP once told me of a call he received from a gentleman who requested a home visit ‘to have a...

Advance planning in district nursing practice

As in all other aspects of clinical treatment and care, the genuine consent of the patient is essential, both now and in the future. The reliable prediction of consent at some future time may be...

Patient decisions in a domiciliary setting

There are numerous reasons why a patient may want, or require, a practitioner's help in making a decision while receiving treatment and care at home. The most obvious need is for information and...

Patients transferring from hospital care

The records that are kept of a patient's health and progress are central to the process of ongoing care. Records should not only be written in clear language but should also be expressed in such a way...

Legal aspects of COVID-19 pandemic management for community nurses

In some respects they do, but in most respects they do not..

Ageism in nursing

It is not easy to form a wholly dependable picture of staffing levels in healthcare. Much depends on the purpose for which the statistics are gathered. One such purpose is to gain an impression of how...

Autonomy in district and community nursing

To do something autonomously is to do it unbidden by others. Autonomy has shades of independence and self-governance, of not being interfered with in the making of a decision and even, in some cases,...

Nurses' duty of confidentiality towards patients

‘He who hath a secret to keep, must keep it a secret that he hath a secret to keep’. .

Community nursing and the working time laws

Accidents may or may not result from a faulty working regime, but they sometimes do. They are often one-offs, and serious instances can end a nurse's professional career. However, the number of hours...

Compensation for lifting accidents in community nursing

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 1974) created a Commission and an Executive to make policies for, and to oversee the enforcement of, safe working conditions...

Government proposal that nurses must report knife crime could undermine confidentiality

On 1 April 2019, the Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced that his department was to present proposals to place nurses, as well as teachers and certain other professionals, under a legal obligation to...

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