A1. A duty of care effectively means that as a carer it is our job to always act in the best interests of those individuals that we provide care for. This not only includes treating them how they like to be treated but also protecting them from harm, even if that’s from themselves. As long as you are competent in the roles that you are being asked to perform it is the carers obligation to protect service users and remove them from harmful situations.
A2. As a carer you not only have a duty of care to the service user you support, but also other staff, your employers and members of the public. When you act in persons best interests you must do so with that persons consent unless they lack the capacity to understand that it is in their best interest to comply. For example when you support a service user to a doctors appointment and they will not allow the doctor to inspect their injuries, your duty of care to that individual dictates that you act in their best wishes and so may have to go against what the individual wants in order for them to get treatment. You should follow company policies and procedures concerning your duty of care and follow/write up risk assessments for any perceivable risks. You should also ensure that you always act to the best of your ability to be trustworthy, respecting service users dignity, with compassion and integrity to ensure they are safe.
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A3. The care providing company’s duty of care is to both the service users and the staff who work for them. They should ensure your knowledge and skillset are suitable and updated regularly and that you are fully trained and competent at tasks that are expected of you. This would include writing and updating polices and procedures for staff to follow as well as responding to any complaints or reported risks, then taking corrective action to keep everyone safe.
The company must keep accurate and up to date records of the care and support that is being provided, including any assessments of a persons capacity and the rationale for decisions taken on their behalf. They should also protect all individuals confidentiality unless some details directly effect the duty of care over another service user, staff member or the public. Overall the company’s duty of care must ensure that they are assisting/enabling you as a carer to complete your duty of care towards your service users and do all that is reasonable to ensure both staff and clients are kept safe at all times.
A4. In our role as a carer we have a duty of care to protect service users and ensure all safeguarding issues are raised with our employer or government agency. To ensure effective safeguarding we should raise any health and/or safety concerns we notice at work such as poor working practises, lack of equipment or training and suspicion of abuse or neglect. Even if these complaints are aimed at the company we work for, it is the carers duty to notify the authorities or the carers themselves could be accused of neglect or incompetence by failing to act. If carers take their duty of care seriously, as we all should, by following legislation, the polices and procedures and respecting those we provide care for by protecting them from harm we ensure the service users are safeguarded.
Task C Guidance notes
C1. Your company should have a Complaints Procedure in place and will often be found within the policies and procedures file. The main purpose of it is to ensure that the complaints procedure is properly and effectively implemented and that service users feel confident knowing their complaints and worries are listened to and acted upon promptly and fairly. This should correspond to meet the minimum standards when processing complaints as outlined in the laws that govern it. When dealing with complaints company’s are to ensure that service users and their representatives, carers and visitors are made aware of how to complain and that the company makes it easy for them to register such complaints. A named person is responsible for administration, processing and investigating any complaints received.
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Once a complaint is lodged it should be acknowledged in writing by the company and state what will happen next. Complaints should be dealt with promptly, fairly and sensitively with due regard to the distress that may be caused to both staff and service users involved. If the company believes that the complaint is best dealt with and settled at a local, in house level between the complainant and the accused then it may chose to do so. However if either of the parties are not satisfied by this process the case could be referred to the Care Quality Commission. Either way the company must do all it can to fully investigate any complaints and ensure that all preventative and/or disciplinary procedures are followed to prevent it reoccurring.
The legal requirement for dealing with complaints include the Health and Social Care Act 2010, Freedom of Information act and National Minimum Standards – complaints policy. These standards require care home managers to have clear procedures that enable service users to make their views, concerns and worries known, and to reassure them that appropriate action will be taken. Policies and procedures for dealing with suspicion or evidence of physical, financial, psychological or sexual abuse, neglect, self harm or degrading behaviour should also be put in place. These standards should ensure that every care home has clear and effective complaints procedure, which includes the stage of, and time scales, for the process and detail what will happen to look into and prevent further incidents. Everything should be documented and kept on record for further study to ensure an efficient service and that any potential similar incidents can be prevented.
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C2. Taking both the legal and organisational requirements into consideration, we must respond openly, calmly and appropriately to any comment or complaint made to us. When a complaint is made to you then you should ensure that the individual making it understands how to follow the correct complaints procedure. This includes explaining how the system works, what they can expect as a result of their complaints and when they hear back from the company. You may need to support individuals completing the process and you should remain objective , professional and act with integrity throughout. You should make no promises to those who complain but reassure them and ensure that all complaints are taken seriously, that it will be investigated properly and that they are kept informed throughout the process.
You should also inform your manager as soon as is possible so that any safeguarding issues can be put into place straight away. We should never discourage individuals from making a valid complaint and never discuss any concerns raised with any staff members other than your manager. Complaints procedures are to be followed because they allow people to express their concerns and ensure that all accidents, claims of abuse and risks are identified and acted upon. Complaints allow the company and staff to ensure they are working safely, that they make necessary improvements and that all service users are happy and safe when accessing care services. It is the service users, staff and family members right to complain when they feel something is not right and its our legal duty to ensure we take their concerns seriously and find a solution.