1 Understand the meaning of duty of care
1.1 Define the term ‘duty of care'
A duty of care is a moral or legal obligation given to carers requiring that they provide good quality care. As a carer it is my responsibility to care for vulnerable adults and ensure their needs are being met to the best of my ability. I provide care by putting the individuals’ best interests first, this includes protecting them from any potential harm, abuse or injury that may occur within the setting, while also respecting their wishes and allowing them to make their own choices.
1.2 Describe how the duty of care affects own work role
In my work role the duty of care is to keep myself safe and the service user’s safe, meeting all their care needs, protecting them from any harm or abuse that may occur in the setting. I need to ensure that I am kept updated on any changes in the setting (building work, new service users, service users who aren’t in the setting e.g. due to being in hospital, any changes to the health or well-being of service users, broken equipment/other hazards etc.), kept up to date on all training and following all policies and procedures within the setting in order to protect others and myself. I also have a duty to record all relevant information in the correct place following an accident or incident in the workplace, report any suspicions I have concerning abuse, as long as I have sufficient reason to suspect it. The whistleblowing policy ensures staff know that it is their responsibility to report any inappropriate behaviour that could cause harm to service users, whilst ensuring information remains confidential.
2 Be aware of dilemmas that may arise about duty of care and the support available for addressing them
2.1 Describe dilemmas that may arise between the duty of care and an individual's rights
The individual has rights to have a choice in their care/how their care is carried out, however if their choices put themselves or other service users at risk then it will cause conflict with my duty of care. For example I have had a service user who has smoked in their room, this can cause harm to others in the setting, however they have refused to go to the designated smoking area outside. To deal with this situation I had to ask advice from my manager as it is my duty of care to protect people from harm, but I cannot force someone to do something they do not wish to do.
2.2 Explain where to get additional support and advice about how to resolve such dilemmas
Within the organisation I can find additional support from certain training I receive, my supervision, my manager/deputy manager or any of my colleagues. Outside of the setting I can find support from the internet, other professionals e.g. nurse/GP, or even the service users family/friends/Next of Kin. For example if I wasn’t sure on what to do in the case of a service user refusing to eat I could ask the GP or my manager for advice, as it is my duty of care to ensure that they eat but it is their choice not to eat.
3 Know how to respond to complaints
3.1 Explain why it is important that individuals know how to make a complaint
It is important for the individuals to know how to make a complaint to ensure they are protected from any harm or abuse that may occur within the setting and to ensure they are receiving the