Unit 204 - Introduction to duty of care in health, social care or children’s and young people’s settings
Duty of care means that we must do everything we can to keep the people in our care safe from harm.
As care workers, we aim to help people live independently. That means encouraging them to make decisions for themselves. When someone in our care decides to do something that we think is unsafe, we face a dilemma (a difficult choice between two decisions).
If we stop them doing it, are we denying them the right to take risks?
If we let them do something dangerous, are we failing in our duty of care?
For example: The person I’m care for wishes to make a cup of coffee by himself, but I’m afraid he may spill boiling water and scald himself. Forbidding him to do it would be to deny him the right to free action, letting him do it may put him in danger. Also the resident may wish to feed himself independently, but he can hurt himself with the cutlery, or spill the food and not feeding himself properly. Feeding him would affet his dignity as self-sufficient individual, but not helping him would be neglecting his basic needs.
The best approach would be to offer assistance and prevent the risks.
Additional support should be asked to our senior colleagues and supervisor after reading well the resident’s care plan.
- Taking time to listen, clarify and empathise with the complaint. Consult with other people if appropriate;
- Agree an appropriate course of action and check back when you have delivered the solution;
- Report the incident to your manager;
The main points of the complaints procedure are:
- Listen to the complain;
- Written reports given to the supervisor or to the manager;
- Investigate and clarify the complaint;
- Implement course of action;
- Check results are satisfactory to all concerned;
- Review results;