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The definition of “duty of care” is a legal obligation and a requirement to work in a way that offers the best interest of a child, young person, or in my case vulnerable adult, in a way which will not be detrimental to the health, safety and wellbeing of that person.
Carrying out my “duty of care” in accordance with my Role, Responsibility and Competence, I must always carry out my duties that are in my own job description and decline those that are not, I must follow procedure, and provide a standard of care in line with the principle codes of practice in all aspects of my daily work, and make sure I have access to all resources and equipment that may assist me, I must observe confidentiality at all times, I must also be observant and make sure I update my knowledge and skills on a regular basis, I must also understand the importance and have the confidence to air concerns, which may be delicate and involve not only work colleagues, but also people I support.
Understanding support available for addressing dilemmas that may arise about duty of care.
A dilemma may arise between the duty of care and an individual’s rights when the basic human rights and freedoms of the individual are put to challenge, this could be the persons own concept of “mental capacity” against that of a care plan or risk assessment, or simply giving the individual a choice, but at the same time understanding the need to keep the individual safe.
A dilemma may also manifest when there is a need to divulge information about the individual but is also in the individual’s best interest, or where there may be a public safety concern.
I would get additional support from my mentor, tutor, line manager, the care quality commission, Ofsted, the association of Health Care Professionals (AHCP) unions such as Unison, also Skills Councils such as Skills for Care, Skills for Health. And where children were concerned, The Children’s Workforce and Development Council.
It is very important to respond to the individuals feelings in a way that is fair and non-judgmental, listen to what is being said so I can clearly understand the problem, share advice on the procedures for making a complaint, make sure that the problem is my focus and not the personality, I would then pass this information on to my line manager, reflect on my response, and if necessary, seek further training or look for alternative practices that are available to me.
The main points of agreed procedures for handling complaints are:
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