Duty of Care Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 20 August 2016

Duty of Care

Introduction

This unit will look at the importance of ‘Duty of Care’ within the health and social care area. It will aid in helping to identify standards of care required by carers and the actions needed to be implemented in order to maintain high quality care.

The courts have identified what standards of care a person can expect from those providing it: i.e. what a ‘reasonable person would think is reasonable’ in the circumstance. In English Tort law a duty of care (or depict in Scots law) is a legal obligation imposed on the person requiring that they adhere to a standard of reasonable care whilst performing any acts that could foreseeably harm others. It requires that everything reasonably practicable be done to protect the health and safety and wellbeing of others.

The standard of care an individual that you may care for or support is entitled to;

Care that meets the persons identified needs
Person centred planning around the person
Support to maintain independence
Well-trained staff
Care that meets the minimum standards as set down in law

Each person that we support has a right to expect a good standard of care which we need to uphold. By understanding and acknowledging people’s rights we gain greater awareness of circumstances which might give rise to concerns. Often it is when a person’s rights are breached that we become aware that we have a ‘duty of care’ to alert another person to a situation that may make a person we care for or support vulnerable or at risk.

There are a variety of terms that need to be understood in order to fully understand what constitutes ‘duty of care’, such terms include;

‘Duty of care’ is a requirement that a person act towards others and the public with the watchfulness, attention, caution, and the prudence that a reasonable person in the circumstances would. If a person’s actions do not meet this standard of care, then the acts are considered negligent and any damages resulting may be claimed in a lawsuit for damages

‘Reasonably practicable’ means that the requirements of the law vary with the degree of risk in a particular activity or environment which must be balanced against the time, trouble and cost of taking measures to control the risk. It enables the duty holder to choose the most efficient means for controlling a particular risk from the range of feasible possibilities. The duty holder must show that it was not reasonably practicable to do more than what was done or that he/she has taken ‘reasonable precautions and exercised due diligence’

‘Public Interest’ is anything affecting the rights, health or finances of the public at large. It is something that is of general benefit to the public or to which the general public would feel a ‘need to know’ in the general populations best interests.

‘Whistle blowing’ A whistleblower is a person who raises a concern about wrongdoing occurring in an organisation or body of people. Usually this person would be an employee from that same organisation. The revealed misconduct may be classified in many ways; for example, a violation of a law, rule, regulation and/or a direct threat to public interest, such as fraud, health/safety violations, corruption. Whistleblowers may make their allegations internally (for example, to other people within the accused organisation) or externally (to service commissioners, social services, regulators, Care Standards, law enforcement agencies, to the media or to groups concerned with the issues). ‘Whistle blowing’ is technically known as ‘Public interest disclosure’. The Law guarantees you protection in reporting abuse and neglect, where to do so could cause you difficulties with your employer.

We have a responsibility to the people we support particularly if those people are vulnerable. Listening and observation skills are especially important to develop when we support others. When considering safe practice we have to understand that care and support encompasses a wide area. If, for example;

We fail to report that we have observed that a person has a sore spot on the base of their spine, in a short time, that could develop into a pressure sore. If we see a colleague shouting or treating a person they support harshly, could that lead to abuse if we fail to use our ‘duty of care’ and report it?

Three criteria must be met for negligence to be proven and be actionable in the courts:

The ‘duty of care’ must actually be owed to a person
That ‘duty’ must have been breached
Harm must have been suffered as a result

Whether negligence has occurred is a matter of fact for the courts to decide. Where the ‘duty of care’ has been breached because the acts or omissions of a health or social care worker fell below those of the ‘ordinarily competent’ health or social care worker, it is important to bear in mind that it will be no defence to argue:

That the shortcomings in not acting occurred because of a person’s inexperience

If the task or circumstances required a person of a particular skill or standard, then if someone was too inexperienced to practise safely, they should have made that clear to their line manager or senior professional. In turn the supervising professional should have taken responsibility for checking that tasks are only delegated to, or undertaken by, competent staff.

Learning Outcomes & Assessment Criteria Mapping

The questions below target the following assessment criteria: Learning Outcome
Assessment Criteria the learner can
Question
4222-204 (Diploma) Outcome 1. Understand the meaning of duty of care 1.1. Define the term ‘duty of care’1.2. Describe how the duty of care affects own work role

4229-205 (Tech Cert) Outcome 1. Understand the Implications of Duty of Care 1.1. Define the term ‘duty of care’1.2. Describe how the duty of care affects own work role

Common Induction Standards Outcome 5.1. Understand how duty of care contributes to safe practice 5.1.1. Explain what it means to have a duty of care in your work role 2

5.1.2. Explain how duty of care contributes to the safeguarding or protection of individuals 3
4222-204 (Diploma) Outcome 2. Understand support available for addressing dilemmas that may arise about duty of care 2.1. Describe the dilemmas that may arise between the duty of care and an individual’s rights 4

2.2. Explain where to get additional support and advice about how to resolve such dilemmas 4
4229-205 (Tech Cert) Outcome 2. Understand Support Available for Addressing Dilemmas that may arise about duty of care 2.1. Describe the dilemmas that may arise between the duty of care and an individual’s rights 4

2.2. Explain where to get additional support and advice about how to resolve such dilemmas 4
Common Induction Standards Outcome 5.2. Know how to address dilemmas that may arise between an individual’s rights and the duty of care 5.2.1. Be aware of potential dilemmas that may arise between the duty of care and an individual’s rights 4

5.2.3. Know who to ask for advice about anything you feel uncomfortable about in relation to dilemmas in your work 4
4222-204 (Diploma) Outcome 3. Know how to respond to complaints

3.1. Describe how to respond to complaints

3.2. Identify the main points of agreed procedures for handling complaints 8
4229-205 (Tech Cert) Outcome 3. Know how to respond to complaints 3.1. Describe how to respond to complaints
5,7

3.2. Identify the main points of agreed procedures for handling complaints 8
Common Induction Standards Outcome 5.3. Know how to recognise and handle comments and complaints. How to record and report information 5.3.2. Know what you can and cannot do within your role in handling comments and
complaints and how you should respond 4

5.3.4. Recognise the importance of learning from comments and complaints to improve the quality of service 9

Duty of Care

Q1. Define the term ‘duty of care’
(Guidance SCILS Hand-out 1)
Duty of care, in any setting, is the level of service that is expected, as a minimum, to be provided. In health care and social care, this may include: act in the best interests of individuals. Do not act or fail to act in a way that could cause harm, always act within your own competence and do not do something which you can not do safely.

Q2. How does duty of care affect your work role
Guidance: SCILS Hand-out
How it affects work role
It means the duty of care I have in my job is to keep yourself safe and the individuals safe. Keeping up to date on my training. Adhering to the policies and procedures that reflect the CQC Standards. Promoting health and safety regulations and ensuring these are adhered to, reporting and hazards or risks to my line managers Promoting personal hygiene to both individuals and team members. Provide an example

Reflect over the individuals Care Plans and Essential Life style plans, ensuring these documents are updated accordingly. Reporting any health and safety issues to the health and safety rep or my line manager. Highlighting any new risks that have been identified to these can be minimised. Ensuing all policies and procedures have been read, understood and signed. Attending all mandatory training.

Q3. How could your ‘duty of care’ contribute to….
(Guidance: SCILS Hand-out 3b)
Safe Practice
Unsafe Practice
Ensuring when administering medication, the correct procedures are followed. Checking the individuals care plan as to what support is required. Ensuring the medications agrees with the mars sheets times, dosage and route of administration. Ensuring the correct individual is present and I have observed the medication being taken. Filling in the mars sheet according to the correct time and date. Not reflecting over the mars sheet details and care plan.

Assuming not changes have been made and not checking.
Not signing for the medication.
Leaving medication out where it is accessible to others.
Ensuing all documents are filled in accurately and accordingly. All changes are highlighted to all team members and the line manager. Updating risk assessments according to hazards identified. Not reporting hazards to the line manager of the health and safety rep. Not filling in documents of relevant changes or informing the team or line manager.

Dilemmas and Support

Q4. Describe dilemmas that may arise between the duty of care and an individual’s rights (Guidance: SCILS Hand-out 3c + 4)
Dilemma
What additional support and advice would resolve this dilemma? Refusing medication
To explain to the individual why the medication needs to be take, risk to health and other implications. Speak to team member and line manager as they may provide support to speak to the individual with a more positive outcome. Speak to GP, Learning disability nurse or medical professionals. Ensure it is documented in case of further issues. This may lead to a Best Interest meeting. Activities that may cause harm

Speak to the individual about the risks that have been identified. Discuss with them on how these risks could be minimised to ensure safety. Document in care plan and essential life style plan. Seek support from line manger on how this can be effectively supported. Best interest meeting my be required to see if the individual has the capacity to make the relevant decisions.

Complaints

Q5. It is important to have a policy instructing on how to deal with complaints to ensure that everyone knows what to do and in what timescales. It is very important that you know the procedure for your work situation. These are legal and regulatory factors to consider and statutory bodies to be informed.

Can you name some of these?
(Guidance: SCILS Hand-out 4)
Fylde Community link work in line with legislations-
The Health and Social Care Act 2008
Regulated Activities regulations 2010
There a complaints process in place, complaints will be recorded for statistical purposes and communicated to the staff members concerned. The organisation welcomes complaints as the information from investigations will provided additional learning and help improve services. A complaint can be made to any staff member who will fill in a complaint form in order to record what has been said and immediately inform their line manager. Complaint regarding staff member should be made to the Chief Executive. If a complainant is not satisfied with the response the matter will be escalated to the Board of Directors/ Trustee’s. If still not satisfied with the outcome it can be taken to the Local Authority or the local government ombudsman.

Q7. Describe how to respond to complaints
(Guidance SCILS Hand-Out)
A complaint can be made to any staff member who will fill in a complaint form in order to record what has been said and immediately inform their line manager. Feed back form can be obtained for relatives who wish to comment on any aspect of the service.

Q8. Describe the process of handling complaints from a service user (Guidance SCILS Hand-Out)
A complaint can be made to any staff member who will fill in a complaint form in order to record what has been said and immediately inform their line manager.

Q9. How can complaints help your workplace learn and identify actions or changes that are needed after a complaint has been received? (Guidance SCILS Hand-Out)
There a complaints process in place, complaints will be recorded for statistical purposes and communicated to the staff members concerned. The organisation welcomes complaints as the information from investigations will provided additional learning and help improve services.

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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

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  • Date: 20 August 2016

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