Exploring UK medical and social work students’ legal literacy: comparisons, contrasts and implications

2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10547/334463
Title:
Exploring UK medical and social work students’ legal literacy: comparisons, contrasts and implications
Authors:
Preston-Shoot, Michael ( 0000-0002-9347-0524 ) ; McKimm, Judy
Abstract:
To ensure acceptable practice standards both doctors and social workers should draw on relevant legal rules when reaching professional judgements concerning, for instance, children requiring protection, people with severe mental distress and adults at risk, information sharing, consent to intervention and service user involvement in their care and treatment. Many practitioners use the law to maintain high standards of professionalism. However, research has uncovered limited awareness of legal rules and poor standards of health and social care. Academic benchmarks and practice requirements for health and social care professions centrally position legal knowledge for secure decision-making. Model curricula exist. However, the outcomes of the taught curriculum on students’ confidence in their legal knowledge and skills have been relatively overlooked. This article introduces the concept of legal literacy, a distillation of knowledge, understanding, skills and values that enables practitioners to connect relevant legal rules with their professional practice, to appreciate the roles and duties of other practitioners and to communicate effectively across organisational boundaries. It presents the outcomes for a 2006–2009 study of 1154 UK medical and 638 social work students of their law learning for practice, response rates of 46% and 68%. Significant differences were found between medical and social work students’ attitudes towards the law, and in their self-ratings of legal knowledge and skills. Confidence levels were low and anxiety high, especially among medical students, although law teaching had some positive outcomes on knowledge and skill development. Social work and medical students associated different themes with the law, the latter especially foregrounding ethics, negligence and liability, which could affect inter-professional working. Students are not fully prepared for legally literate practice, with a consequent need to review the time allocated for, and the content of law learning and the subsequent availability of continuing professional development.
Affiliation:
University of Bedfordshire
Citation:
Preston-Shoot, M., McKimm, J. (2013) 'Exploring UK medical and social work students’ legal literacy: comparisons, contrasts and implications' Health & Social Care in the Community 21 (3):271-282
Publisher:
Wiley
Journal:
Health & Social Care in the Community
Issue Date:
May-2013
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10547/334463
DOI:
10.1111/hsc.12014
Additional Links:
http://doi.wiley.com/10.1111/hsc.12014
Type:
Article
Language:
en
ISSN:
0966-0410
Appears in Collections:
Research Centre for Applied Psychology

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorPreston-Shoot, Michaelen
dc.contributor.authorMcKimm, Judyen
dc.date.accessioned2014-11-11T09:14:21Z-
dc.date.available2014-11-11T09:14:21Z-
dc.date.issued2013-05-
dc.identifier.citationPreston-Shoot, M., McKimm, J. (2013) 'Exploring UK medical and social work students’ legal literacy: comparisons, contrasts and implications' Health & Social Care in the Community 21 (3):271-282en
dc.identifier.issn0966-0410-
dc.identifier.doi10.1111/hsc.12014-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10547/334463-
dc.description.abstractTo ensure acceptable practice standards both doctors and social workers should draw on relevant legal rules when reaching professional judgements concerning, for instance, children requiring protection, people with severe mental distress and adults at risk, information sharing, consent to intervention and service user involvement in their care and treatment. Many practitioners use the law to maintain high standards of professionalism. However, research has uncovered limited awareness of legal rules and poor standards of health and social care. Academic benchmarks and practice requirements for health and social care professions centrally position legal knowledge for secure decision-making. Model curricula exist. However, the outcomes of the taught curriculum on students’ confidence in their legal knowledge and skills have been relatively overlooked. This article introduces the concept of legal literacy, a distillation of knowledge, understanding, skills and values that enables practitioners to connect relevant legal rules with their professional practice, to appreciate the roles and duties of other practitioners and to communicate effectively across organisational boundaries. It presents the outcomes for a 2006–2009 study of 1154 UK medical and 638 social work students of their law learning for practice, response rates of 46% and 68%. Significant differences were found between medical and social work students’ attitudes towards the law, and in their self-ratings of legal knowledge and skills. Confidence levels were low and anxiety high, especially among medical students, although law teaching had some positive outcomes on knowledge and skill development. Social work and medical students associated different themes with the law, the latter especially foregrounding ethics, negligence and liability, which could affect inter-professional working. Students are not fully prepared for legally literate practice, with a consequent need to review the time allocated for, and the content of law learning and the subsequent availability of continuing professional development.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherWileyen
dc.relation.urlhttp://doi.wiley.com/10.1111/hsc.12014en
dc.rightsArchived with thanks to Health & Social Care in the Communityen
dc.subjectconcept mappingen
dc.subjectlawen
dc.subjectmedical educationen
dc.subjectself-auditen
dc.subjectsocial worken
dc.subjectteaching outcomesen
dc.subjectlegal literacyen
dc.subjectsocial work educationen
dc.titleExploring UK medical and social work students’ legal literacy: comparisons, contrasts and implicationsen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentUniversity of Bedfordshireen
dc.identifier.journalHealth & Social Care in the Communityen
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