Unit (2016)) ‘Duty of care’ is used

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Unit 7: Principles of Safe Practice
in Health and Social Care


P1 criteria: Explain the implications of a duty
of care in a selected health and social care setting

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“A duty of care is a responsibility to behave in a way that
promotes welfare and does not cause harm and applies to all health and social
workers”. (Billingham et al (2016))

‘Duty of care’ is used to define the obligations contained in
the roles of every health and social care worker. Health and social care
workers owe a duty of care to patients/service users, employers, colleagues and
themselves. Duty of care is something nobody can opt out it is a legal
requirement! The duty of care applies to all staff from all occupations not
matter the level they are at.

There are many ways to promote duty of care firstly, legal
obligation to protect wellbeing and prevent harm; all health and social
care workers must not act or fail to act in a way that may lead to or cause
harm as a result, each worker must be aware of their own limits and capability,
the aims of this is to prevent harm and reduce the risk of abuse or neglect.

Secondly, upholding the rights and promoting the interests
of individuals experiencing abuse or neglect the aim of good quality
service is to encourage a way of life for service users which permits them to
enjoy to the greatest amount, their right as an individual is as follows;
Privacy- An individual’s right to privacy involves being free from disturbance
or unwelcome attention, Security- making sure that they are not exposed to
unnecessary hazards and risks, Dignity- 
The right to dignity involves recognising the fundamental value of people
as individuals and “the specific nature of each person’s particular needs”,
Independence- means having opportunities to think, plan, and act independently,
Civil rights- Aim is to help services users to carry on enjoying their civil
rights, Choice-  enable the service user the
opportunity to select independently from a variety of options, Fulfilment- This
is defined as having the opportunity to release personal aspirations and
abilities this identifies and benefits the levels of human satisfaction.

Fourthly, protecting health, safety and wellbeing,
this can be done by encouraging effective communication and consultation in
workplace, access to knowledgeable health, safety and wellbeing advice and
support, assessment of the risks that could exist this could be controlled by
setting clear health, safety and wellbeing objectives and providing a strong
leadership. A secured co-operation between service users and employees will
also be needed to protect health, safety and wellbeing of service users.

Fifthly, ensuring safe practices can also support the
promotion of duty of care by making the workplace safe, avoid risks to health,
certify that equipment’s in the workplace are safe to use, confirm that safe
working practices are set up and followed, validate that all materials are
handled, stored and used safely and to conclude provide adequate first aid
facilities and training.

Lastly, balancing individual rights with risks, as a
multicultural nation people understand right and risks differently. The choice
people make can affect others positively or negatively. People in care fear
that they will lose their freedom when they require external care- either in a
care setting or their home, it is essential we see a service user as an
individual they have hey right to make choices even if there is a risk
involved, any decision made is in their best interest.

As part of the duty of care it is essential to understand and
follow he codes of conduct for healthcare workers in England. The code of is a
set of rules that sets standards of what is expected of healthcare workers. Its
summaries the behaviour and attitudes that is expected from the workers who
signed up to the code it also helps them to provide safe and guaranteed support
and care.

The code of conduct applies to healthcare support workers
such as registered nurses of midwives; it also applies to adult social care
workers such as a domiciliary care worker. The code aims to provide people that
use health and care services the satisfaction that they will be treated with
dignity, respect and compassion at all times. There are seven rules to follow
as a healthcare support and social worker;

1-“Be accountable by making sure you can answer for your
actions or omissions” one of the guidance statement attached to this is “(8) comply
with your employers’ agreed ways of working” an example of this is completing
any tasks asked of me and I shouldn’t do what I am not supposed to do

2- “Promote and uphold the privacy, dignity, rights, health
and wellbeing of people who use health and care services and their careers at
all times” one of the guidance statements linked to this is “(2) always treat
people with respect and compassion” an example of this is if I listen carefully
to what the service user for example telling me about their favourite hobbies

3- “Work in collaboration with your colleagues to ensure the
delivery of high quality, safe and compassionate healthcare, care and support”
one of the guidance statement added to this is “(4) work openly and
co-operatively with people who use health and care services and their families
or carer and treat them with respect” an example of this is if I greet the
services users family that came to visit and offer them ‘tea or coffee’

4- “Communicate in an open and effective way to promote the
health, safety and wellbeing of people who use health and care services and
their care and support” one of the guidance statements coupled with this is “(2)
communicate effectively and consult with your colleagues as appropriate” an
example of this is if a service user who is also a wheelchair user needed to
use the toilet I will need to consult with my colleague to assist me in taking
the service user to the toilet this is also a 
form of communication

5- “Respect people’s right to confidentiality” one of the
guidance statements attached to this is “(1) treat all information about people
who use the health care services and their carers as confidential” an example
of this is following the data protection act 1998,

6- “Strive to improve the quality of healthcare, care and
support through continuing professional development”  one of the guidance statements linked to this
is “(5) maintain an up-to-date record of your training and development” an
example of this is complete all training required of me and keep the
certificates that are given after completion of a particular training

Lastly number 7- “Uphold and promote equality, diversity and
inclusion” one of the guidance statement attached to this is “(1) respect the
individuality and diversity of the people who use health and care services,
their carers and your colleagues” an example of this is abiding by the equality
act 2010.

Case study:

Merryvale residence

Merryvale is a residence that provides support for 10 elderly
men and women who are over the age of 75. Some of the residents have a
disability such as hearing impairment, dementia or reduced mobility. Two of the
residents are in the same-sex relationship and have experienced discrimination
from one of a member of staff this is a breach of a duty of care that this
member of staff has for the service users, the staff that discriminated against
the couple is not upholding the rights and the interest of the couple. The
residences are lacking personal care “…as staff cannot keep up with all the
cleaning in addition to caring for the residents” this is not protecting the residents’
health, safety or wellbeing.


Cherry Trees Children’s centre

The cherry tree children centre is a centre for children who
require additional support or require medication whilst at the centre. The
managers at this centre are not meeting the legal requirements which can put
the people at the service at risk, this is also a breach of the duty of care
that they need to uphold, and they are not ensuring safe practice. The use of safe
equipment is also a problem that has been raised, the centre has a legal
obligation to protect wellbeing and prevent harm but this is not being
maintained “she has not bothered to ask the volunteer’s to complete a
disclosure and barring service (DBS) form”.

P2 criteria: Discuss ways in which complaints and
appeals procedures address failure in a duty of care in a selected health and
social care setting

A complaints procedure is “an expression of dissatisfaction,
made either verbally or in writing about the standard of service, actions or
lack of action by its staff or by its service users”.

It is important that people have the right to complain
because it keeps the service users and family safe, it can also recognise where
the staff are lacking and may need training. It is also important that people
have the right complain because it makes quality of care better for the service

The CQC (care quality commission) has the control to respond
to complaints about the lack of quality in a service. It is advised you
complain directly to the service first before contacting them.

Complaints are made for many reason, one of the reasons could
be the service user might not be happy with the service that they are receiving
or the cost of the care might be too much for them to afford, alternatively the
service user might be experiencing abuse or neglect in a service or
organisation, or the care workers behaviour or attitude towards the service
user is unacceptable and inappropriate. Another reason why complaints might be
made is because the service users might be facing discrimination due to their
race, gender, religion or sexual orientation. Here are some of the complaints
made about NHS hospitals: noisy staff nurses’ that disrupts with the patients
sleep, staff are not knocking before entering patients’ room this can be
interpreted as a sign of disrespect, messy rooms and smelly bathrooms,  surfaces and floors are not cleaned

Investigating complaints is done by an NHS organisation which creates measures
for dealing with complaints that follow The Local Authority Social Services and
NHS Complaints Regulations 2009. The regulations state that any complain must
be made within 12 months of the cause of complaint, unless explanatory
circumstance exists. Complaints need to be investigated in a set period of time
with the complainant kept up-to-date about the progress of the investigation.

Investigating complaints comes with some rules and
regulation first of all the complaints must be investigated by the a suitable
person, furthermore the individual making the complaint must be mindful of
which organisation is investigating their complaint, it is essential that the
complaints are investigated properly, thirdly complaints ought to be taken
seriously and also be treated with respect, the complaint must give authorisation
for disclosure in respects of the complaint, everyone must have assurance in
the complaint process, those who make a complaint must be told the outcome of
the investigation, last but not least all actions must be taken to safeguard
future services users.

Responding to complaints include many steps these steps include paying
attention to what the complaint is saying, providing the complainant with time
and respect, recording the information given by the complainant, report
findings to a senior member of staff, gain access to the complaints policy,
ensure the complainants also has access to the complaints policy and in
conclusion ensure the complainant knows about what will occur next. The
complaints policy must be recorded and documented and also needs to be accessible.

When responding to complaints it must be dealt with
respect and taken very seriously here are some ways to respond to complaints; acknowledge
the complaint and show that it is appreciated, explain to the complainant what
has been done to investigate the complaint, let the complainant know what has
been done/could be done to address the complaint, ensure the complainant is
aware of any changes or action taken, offer the complainant an opportunity to
talk about the choices available, encourage the complainant to use the services
available so they can receive further services and advice.    

Using complaints is one way of improving the quality of a
service provision;
complaints can develop areas that may not currently be working well. It is essential
that health and social care workers understand  the positive side of the complaints procedure
it is vital that complaints are taken very seriously and changes are mandatory  to be put in place in order to address them this
can mean simple changes to refurbishing current practices.

Legal proceedings should be taken against healthcare specialists
who have caused harm to a service user; clinical negligence is actions taken to
claim compensation. Once care drops below standard it can cause neglect or harm
to the service user. In some instances service users or advocates believe that the
problem is extreme enough to be measured as a criminal act. ‘No secrets’
guidance was replaced with the care act 2014 and states it is a statutory duty
to safeguard all adults if a worker suspects a service user to be a victim of
criminal behaviour or is at risk of becoming a victim they must instantaneously
enlighten the police. Legal proceeding cannot; punish the healthcare
professional, force the worker to change how it works and carries out its services
and to sum up make a healthcare worker apologise to the claimant. Majority of
the cases for clinical negligence arise form: late diagnosis, misdiagnosis, errors
made during surgery, lack of informed approval, lack of mental capacity or
injury due to treatment.

Categories: Case Study


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