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Standard 3: Duty of Care

Overview

Standard 3 of the Care Certificate explores duty of care, managing dilemmas between duty of care and an individual’s rights, dealing with complaints, incidents, errors and near-misses and handling confrontation.

Some of the assessment criteria in this unit are similar to the Duty of Care unit for the Level 2 Diploma in Care. Where there is crossover, links will be provided.

Contents

Study Guide

3.1a Define ‘duty of care’

See ‘Define the term ‘duty of care’‘.

3.1b Describe how the duty of care affects their own work role

See ‘Describe how duty of care affects own work role‘.

3.2a Describe dilemmas that may arise between the duty of care and an individual’s rights

See ‘Describe dilemmas that may arise between the duty of care and an individual’s rights‘.

3.2b Explain what they must and must not do within their role in managing conflicts and dilemmas

When managing dilemmas and conflicts, you must not prevent an individual from making their own choices. This can be a violation of their human rights and could be classed as abuse.

Even when an individual is making an unwise or unsafe decision, you must respect their choice and allow them to take risks.

However, you should also ensure that the individual has all the information they need to make an informed choice and help them to understand the ramifications of the choices they make.

If they make a decision that you believe is unwise or unsafe, you can write a risk assessment to reduce or minimise the risks. Sometimes, writing a risk assessment in collaboration with an individual can help them to gain a better understanding of the risks they are taking and the potential consequences.

If you believe an individual does not have the capacity to make a decision, for example if they do not understand the risks or cannot retain the information, then you may need to arrange for a Mental Capacity Assessment (MCA).

3.2c Explain where to get additional support and advice about how to resolve such dilemmas

See ‘Explain where to get additional support and advice about how to resolve such dilemmas‘.

3.3a Demonstrate how to respond to comments and complaints in line with legislation and agreed ways of working

Your employer will have agreed ways of working for responding to and handling complaints, which you should follow. You should also ensure that the individuals you care for know that they have the right to make complaints and comments about the comments they receive.

All care providers are governed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and one of their fundamental standards is a duty of candour, which means that care providers must be open and transparent to the individuals they care for about their care and treatment and inform them when mistakes are made.

If you work for a local authority or the NHS then then The Local Authority Social Services and NHS Complaints (England) Regulations 2009 regulate how complaints are managed.

3.3b Describe who to ask for advice and support in handling comments and complaints

If you have concerns about handling comments and complaints, you should request advice and support from your manager who should be able to offer guidance.

Some organisations may have a complaints officer or complaints department that offer support.

Your organisation’s agreed ways of working should specify where and from whom you can access support.

3.3c Explain the importance of learning from comments and complaints to improve the quality of service

Comments and complaints are essential for improving the quality of service that you provide.

Positive comments can provide encouragement to the workplace and verification that that particular aspect is working well.

Complaints can highlight areas the require improvement and sometimes these may be areas that you never even realised were an issue. This is why complaints should be treated positively and seriously.

By investigating and analysing complaints, you can make improvements to the way you work and achieve better outcomes for the individuals that you support.

3.4a Describe how to recognise adverse events, incidents, errors and near misses

Despite all the best safeguards, practices and agreed ways of working, mistakes do still happen.

It is important to be able recognise when these things happen and handle them in a transparent way so that the impact of any errors can be reduced or rectified quickly and so that you can learn from them and put things in place to reduce the likelihood of them happening again.

Adverse events are when an action (or inaction) results in unexpected harm that could have been prevented.

Incidents are serious events that cause harm to an individual or the organisation that you work for.

Errors are when something that should have been done either wasn’t done or wasn’t done correctly.

Near misses are situations that could have caused harm to an individual but were narrowly avoided.

3.4b Explain what they must and must not do in relation to adverse events, incidents, errors and near misses

Following an adverse event, incident, error or near miss, you should tend to the immediate needs and wellbeing of the individual involved.

You have a duty to report all adverse events, incidents, errors and near misses to your organisation in line with agreed ways of working.

Often this will mean documenting what happened and informing your manager.

When you record what has happened, you should remain objective. This means that you should only record the facts of the situation and not your personal thoughts or feelings. The information must be accurate and legible.

3.4c List the legislation and agreed ways of working in relation to reporting any adverse events, incidents, errors and near misses

Your organisation will have agreed ways of working about how adverse event, incidents, errors and near misses are recorded and handled. It usually means filling out a form to explain what has happened then passing it onto management to investigate.

Legislation that relates to this includes:

  • The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974
  • The Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999
  • The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR)
  • The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH)
  • The Provisions and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)

3.5a List the factors and difficult situations that may cause confrontation

Confrontations can be caused by several factors and difficult situations. It is often a result of needs not being met adequately. The four primary causes are:

  • Biological e.g the individual is in pain or suffering from the effects of medication or drugs, hungry, thirsty
  • Social e.g. needing attention, needing control, being neglected etc.
  • Environmental e.g. physical barriers, background noise, temperature (too hot, too cold etc.)
  • Psychological e.g. loneliness, upset, depressed

3.5b Describe how communication can be used to solve problems and reduce the likelihood or impact of confrontation

Communication can often solve problems or reduce the likelihood/impact of confrontation because an individual can explain what is wrong and measures can be taken to resolve the issue before it escalates.

This should be done in a quiet place where the individual feels comfortable and you should listen well to what they have to say.

Ensure you understand them by asking questions and using active listening. Demonstrate compassion and empathy and be non-judgmental.

You should always treat the individuals you work with with dignity and respect and take the issues that they have seriously. Then work with them to find a resolution.

3.5c Describe how to assess and reduce risks in confrontational situations

The best way to assess and reduce risks in confrontational situations is by getting to know the individuals that you support.

By doing so, you will have a better understanding of the triggers can cause confrontation and be able to remove or reduce them early. You will also be better able to recognise when an individual is becoming upset by looking out for early warning signs.

In confrontational situations, you can ease tension by giving the individual space and speaking slowly and clearly.

Avoid using aggressive language and be prepared to walk away to give the individual time to calm down.

3.5d Demonstrate how and when to access support and advice about resolving conflicts

Support and advice about resolving conflicts will often be from your manager in the first instance. Other colleagues may also be able to offer guidance.

Your organisation may offer training on conflict resolution and there are many resources on the Internet.

3.5e Explain the agreed ways of working for reporting any confrontations

Your organisation will have agreed ways of working for reporting any confrontations and this will vary between different organisations.

They will, however, have some similarities; you should always report confrontations to your manager and ensure that they are well-documented.

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