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Healthcare Research: Personalization Essay

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Table of Contents
Potential opportunities
How the plan will improve his health

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Personalization is not a new term to many people especially those in the service sector. Personalization simply calls for one to think about support and care in different perspectives. The service providers should see the person he or she is serving as an individual who has aspirations, preferences and strengths. These should be at the center of the process of identifying the individual needs and when deciding on how and when they need support to live comfortably.

It means putting people first and other things second. Personalization also means giving individuals more choice and control over their lives in all spheres of life. It entails addressing the needs of the aged to enable them make decision which they feel are good for their lives. Personalization also ensures that individuals have a lot of discretion when deciding on how to meet their needs and also how to get universal services such as housing, transport, leisure, health services and even employment without fear of their age or ability (At a glance, 2009, p.1).

In this case, as much as Mr. William may have mobility difficulties, we are told that his cognitive functioning is perfect. He is able to make informed decisions on the care he receives. We are also told that he is not happy with the support plan that is currently in use. To prevent this from harming Mr. William further, the support plan should be changed so that Mr. William can be given a choice to decide on who should serve him. Possibly, he could hire a personal care giver who will always be there for him. One who will understand his needs and therefore, serve him better (At a glance, 2009, p.1).

Potential opportunities

The main goal of personalization is independent living by each individual in every way possible. This is achieved through self directed support, use of personal budgets, and making direct payments. In this case, Mr. William will be in a position to direct the way he is supported, he will also manage his finances by using a personal budget that may be made with the help of a trusted carer. Personalization can also allocate a carer time outside the caring schedule if well planned. Personalization will give Mr. William a chance to choose a personal carer who will not be tied by time schedules, and therefore will be there when needed. This will also reduce the issue of multiple carers enabling Mr. William to have a reliable carer in whom he can confide (Glasby and Littlechild, 2009, p.187).


We are told that Mr. William does not like the way the carers treat him. To avoid this, a support plan will be needed to ensure that he gets proper care. First, I think Mr. William will wish to hire or employ a personal assistant to support him at home. The next thing I think should be done is for Mr. William to buy a computer. A computer will enable him to access group of individual lessons. The computer can then be installed with the appropriate software, for instance, Skype, to enable her interact with his family on a regular basis by seeing and chatting with them on the screen. Another thing that Mr. William can do is to look for someone who has an interest in sports.

To reduce on expenses, I think that the best option is to look for a Personal assistant with an interest in sports particularly swimming which is his favorite sport. Mr. William can also join a swimming group because he loves swimming. The personal assistant can give him support in the initial stages, but after sometime, am sure Mr. William will meet new friends to support each other (Personalization, p.8; Carr, 2008, p.1).

Personalized care is also needed to reduce Mr. William’s confusion about finding his wallet. He will be able to tell if there is anything missing in his wallet, if this is true, then he will not have to struggle identifying the culprit. The issue of carers coming and going will also be avoided. Mr. William can’t visit his son Ben who lives fifty miles away because he fears travelling alone due to his physical condition. This makes it more necessary for personalization to come in.

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Personalization, as already mentioned, will enable him have a personal assistant who can accompany him on these visits. Ben will not have to worry about how to support his father because he will also be able to do it through the trusted assistant. This will also help in improving the relationship between the two brothers because they can now both assist each other in the support of their father through the assistant.

A personal carer who is not tied to any schedule will also help Mr. William go back to enjoying his hobbies by accompanying him once in a while to watch sports. A personal assistant will also give Mr. William a chance to start worshiping with his local community, something we are told he has missed since his wife passed on. The personal assistant can do this by escorting Mr. William to church and back home.

How the plan will improve his health

It is said that social support is a very important factor in determining the physical health and the general well being of an individual. Research has shown that many people who lack social support in many cases end up with health complications. Absence of social support can serve as a trigger to the deterioration of one’s mental and physical health. In this case, Mr. William is an old man who has suffered from stroke at one point in his life. His wife is no longer with him; his sons stay far from him. This means that he is a lonely man who needs plenty of social support. Through personalization, a personal assistant will provide this social support.

It is proved that social support can significantly boost an individual’s ability to endure or deal with stress. By escorting him to visit his son, taking him to church as he always did when his wife was around, taking to sports or sitting with him to watch sports, and providing him with a computer, makes sure that Mr. William is in constant interaction with people. This reduces his loneliness thereby improving his health. He will not have the stress of living under the confusion of many carers who come and go as they please (Clark, 2005, p.1; Adams, 2008, p.3).

A personal assistant will make Mr. William feel that he is still valued on this earth. If someone knows that he is still of value in his life, he will live a health life because this is a very vital psychological factor that helps one forget the negative aspects of his or her life. A personal assistant will be his confidant, one who will understand his personal needs unlike the carers from the council who only attend to him as scheduled, who cant’ communicate to him, and who were giving him stress concerning the disappearance of money in his wallet. We are told in the case that Mr. William, on his own wakes up at 10 am, this means the waking up early than this was never his liking.

This also affects his health, but now with a personal assistant, they can both agree on what is the best waking up time and sleeping time for him. The possible conflicts that I think can happen is when Mr. Williams’s ideas do not agree with those of his personal assistant or vice versa. Too much choice and control can sometimes stand in the way of other people’s views (Clark, 2005, p.1; Department of Health, 2007, p.1).

In social work care, regular review of the support plan is needed because the personal needs of individuals keep changing. Mr. Williams is an old man who is no longer growing young. This means that his needs are also changing with age. If the personal assistant is not a resident at Mr. William’s home, it may reach a point when the assistant will be required to be there always and this means during the day and at night.

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The only option for this is for the personal assistant to stay with Mr. Williams. Visits to his son’s place may also reduce as he becomes weak with age. This will mean that his sons will have to visit him at his place as frequent as they can. Mr. Williams may also not be able to swim any more, this may require specialized help from the assistant including joining him in the swimming to offer assisted swimming.

This may also require that perhaps a special swimming pool is made specifically for him at his place. Of course this may be a problem especially if he is being funded directly by the local council, but it can be possible if Mr. William is under a self supported personalization program. At his age there may also be the problem of sight, if this happens, then Mr. Williams might find it hard to use the computer any more or even watch sports.

These measures will only be taken if the initial plan fails. However, in the event that the initial plan has worked, and Mr. William’s health improves in the process, then efforts should be made to increase the support. If Mr. William finds it comfortable to visit his son Ben, then it may be possible for him to go for a long trip such as visiting his son Craig in Canada. As a social worker, I will know that the support plan has worked from the response that Mr. William will give.

If on my visits, I get no more complains from him as it used to be before the plan, then I will be sure that the plan has worked. The personal assistant can also be a reliable source to show whether the plan needs a review or not. If he or she is comfortable and agrees with what Mr. William wants, then all will be well, but if he does not agree with the plan then a review will be needed. In social care, the support plan should not just worker for the receiver, but also for the provider.

In this case study, Mr. William receives care from different groups of people. We can generally take these groups to be his carers. The first group is the agency staff that comes in the mornings and evenings. This is the group that he has complained about. The other group is his sons, Ben and Craig, Ben usually checks on his father every Sunday while Craig only visits once a year. The last group of carers is the outreach ministry team from his local Methodist Church that visits him one every week. The carers from the agency staff do not seem to be doing their duty well, they are not attending to his needs as required, and they tend to value their own needs first.

They do not understand that Mr. William is a vulnerable adult that should treated with dignity. To the sons, I think Ben is doing well so far, but it would be better if he finds more time to check on his father including bringing his kids to see their grand father. The same applies to Craig, although he is far, but he can visit at least twice a year. The church group should keep up their support, but I feel they would have done more like picking him on Sundays so that he can also join them in service.

This case has many issues to do with the safeguarding of vulnerable adults. To start with, Mr. William is a vulnerable who needs great care. To understand whether SoVA issues are present in this case, we will have to look at the meaning of abuse and vulnerable adult. Abuse in this case refers to any maltreatment or neglect of an adult who needs care by another. A vulnerable adult is a person whose wellbeing or independence is limited if he or she does not get the necessary social and healthcare support.

Mr. William is such an adult; he is vulnerable and therefore can survive on his own. Under SoVA, vulnerable adults have a right to privacy, to be given respect and dignity, should be assisted to lead an independent life which they free to choose, and also considerations about the rights of humans, particularly is the right to life. In this case the carers from the agency don’t seem to respect these rights and therefore, have gone against the SoVA requirements (Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults, 2006, p.50).

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Mr. Williams has complained of being neglected, not treated with dignity, and he even suspects that one of the carers may be stealing from him. Abuse also occurs when an individual does not consent to the procedures being taken. Mr. William does not entirely agree to the schedule followed by the carers, but because he has no option, he is forced to go through it. The Carers or the agency in this case went against the principles that are required under the “Good Practice in Consent” that is contained in the mental incapacity legislation.

There are adult protection procedures that guide one on how to take measures against any violations such as those mentioned in the SoVA. In social care, those working with vulnerable adults have a duty to report any concern about abuse (Social Work Legislation, 2005, p.5; Department of Health, 2008, p.1).

In this case, Mr. William has already complained about the carers, this means that there is concern. Under the Mental Health Order of Northern Ireland 1986, article 121 stipulates that it is an offense for a staff member from any social care provider to neglect or maltreat a patient. It goes ahead to state that anyone who is owed the duty of care will be guilty for maltreatment or neglect. The carers in this case are therefore guilty and disciplinary measures should be taken against them.

In case the support plan for Mr. William does not work, or care at his home fails, then I will recommend basing on article 37 of Northern Ireland health and personal social services order that Mr. William be transferred to a suitable care home. Evaluations and studies carried else where have indicated that support that is self-directed and the use of personal budgets helps a lot in improving outcomes if efficiently and effectively implemented at the same cost (Carr, 2010, p.5).


When dealing with Mr. William’s case, I have realized that there are many dilemmas that social care providers meet. For instance, in this case, Mr. William needed great care which he was not getting from the carers, his sons could also not provide it, but still he did not want to sign up for residential care in a care institution. One is left to decide between the benefits of personalization and what is good for the patient in the present circumstances.

It also emerged that social workers are not only involved in the care of the patient, but also in other interventions. For instance, in this case, I was forced to tackle advocacy issues between the carers and Mr. William. Generally I have learned that personalization is the best way for providing support care to vulnerable individuals like Mr. William.


Adams, R. (2008) Empowerment, Participation and Social Work. 4th Edition. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.

At a glance. (2009). Implication for Residential Care Homes: Personalization briefing. Web.

Carr, S. (2008) Personalisation: a rough guide. London, SCIE.

Carr, S. (2010) Personalization, productivity and efficiency: Science Organization. Web.

Clark, C. (2005) Relations between Social Support and Physical Health: Personality Research. Web.

Department of Health. (2007) Putting people first – a shared vision and commitment to the transformation of adult social care. London, DH.

Department of Health. (2008) High quality care for all: NHS next stage review final report. London, Oxford Press.

Glasby, Jon and Littlechild, Rosemary. (2009) Direct Payments and Personal Budgets: Putting Personalization into Practice. New York, Cengage.

Personalization. (n.d.) Putting personalization into practice: Science Org. Web.

Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults. (2006) Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults: Regional adult protection policy and procedural guidance. Web.

Social Work Legislation. (2005) Social Work related legislation in Scotland. Google Documents. Web.

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