“Duty of care” means to provide care and support to individuals within the law and also within the policies, procedures and agreed ways to work. It is about keeping the service users independence, to support and enable them to live within an environment free from prejudice and safe from abuse. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, choices and we should respect that at all times while promoting them as an individual.
By working within standards set out and within our own capacity we will prevent harm from occurring to ourselves, others and the individual. By giving an individual choice and respecting their views/wishes they know that their independence has not been taken from them, giving them more confidence if an issue of safeguarding etc. were to arise.
To understand and be able to pass on the procedures in place if we are suspicious or aware of abuse, an individual being endangered or poor work practice by another carer or agency. Reporting, recording are the steps needed to ensure that any form of safeguarding or protection issues are dealt with immediately and correctly.
While working in care, the aim is to give the best possible standard of care to service users, but sometimes there can be a conflict beetween the individual’s or their family’s wishes and rights and the duty of care. In this case the most important thing is to decide whether the person is aware of the risks and consequences of the decision and has the capacity to make the decision. Before taking best interest decisions I have to make sure that the person definitely lacks the capacity. The person or their next of kin has an overall right and responsibility in decision making for issues relating their care, and I need their consent to deal with certain issues. When a dilemma arises, my responsibility is to support individuals or their families to make informed choices. Even if I disagree with their decision, I can only give advice but can not force them.