Duty of Care
The legal definition for the term ‘Duty of Care’ means that person acts towards others and the public with watchfulness, attention, caution and prudence that a reasonable person in the same circumstances would. If a person’s actions do not meet this standard of care then their acts are considered negligent and any damages resulting may be claimed in a lawsuit for negligence. ‘Duty of Care’ means that whilst we are responsible for another persons wellbeing we must act with responsibility and diligence at all times to ensure their safety and wellbeing. The term Duty of Care’ affects the work of a Social Care Worker in several ways:- ‘Duty of Care’ can be applied to every aspect of your work from duties you undertake to equipment that you may use to carry out your work safely. You must always act in the best interests of the clients and their care needs. You must not let any act or omission on your part be detrimental to their care. Act within your own competence and not take on any tasks that you believe you cannot do safely, keep your knowledge and skills and training up to date. Follow your company’s policies and procedures and work within all relevant legislation. Keep accurate records, protect confidential information (except where it conflicts with safety) Provide service at the standard of a reasonable person, know what can be done to ensure service can be provided safely. Respect diversity, and difference, work in a person centred way, support individual choice and decision making, promote good communication. Uphold the rights of everyone at work and share power do not keep important information to yourself.
‘Duty of Care’ for a Care Giving Organisation
For an organisation the term means that they must ensure the wellbeing of not only their clients but also their staff, they must ensure that staff are fully trained and that all training is kept up to date, that staff are aware of all safeguarding procedures, that they have correct policies and procedures in place. That relevant legislation is covered including:- The Whistleblowing Public Disclosures Act 1998
Health and Safety Act 1974
The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999
The Employment Rights Act 1996
And all other relevant legislation.
The Company should be open and honest and have an easy to use complaints and whistleblowing procedure. They should promote good communication between staff and management. ‘Duty of Care’ and Safeguarding
The term can help with safeguarding because it ensures that the safety, needs and wellbeing of the client come first, that person centred planning is implemented. That staff feel able to voice any concerns they may have by having an easy to use complaints and whistleblowing procedure. That staff feel competent and trained to do their job safely. Staff are aware of all policies, procedures and legislation. The clients should also be aware that their complaints will be heard, also that they feel empowered to make their own choices.