“Duty of care is a moral or legal obligation to ensure the safety or
well-being of others.”
Duty of care is simply means to set out the responsibilities, pledge
and concern with the service users, which is used in every health and
social care settings. Health and Social care workers are required to care and
protect patients, service user and even themselves.
Even more, everyone in a health or social care setting must be aware of their
duties of care.
The duty of care should be related to all member of staff in different professions
and of any position. Similarly, the duty of care is valid to each and single
person whether they work in a health or social care setting for part time or
full time, the individuals who work in an agency and on the students or volunteers.
Furthermore, it is also useful to everybody from a doctors to nurses, nurses to
porters, cleaners to the receptionists, paramedic to therapists and technicians
to social workers.
The first key aspect of duty of care is Balancing individual rights
and risks. If the service
providers wants to encourage the service user’s self-respect it is essential
that they completely involve the individuals in any discussion which is related
to them, impacts the care they are receiving, this also take account of
personal decisions like what they want to eat or usually eat, what do they
wear, how often do they go for shopping or what time do they sleep, and wide
decisions with reference to their care and support.
However, the choices are only made when the person has all the
information and if the individual is aware of the opportunities, the risks and believable
consequences they have high probability of making the accurate course of action
for them. This can be termed as an “informed choice”,
meaning the individual was already mindful of the alternatives, hazard and
suggestions. Moreover, in some situation making any kind of decision is
extremely tough even if they have been given the information.
But there are various ways to solve this problem and comfort the service
user to make informed choices. For instance, you can search for the people who
are in a similar situations and ask them to share their experiences, seek for
the help from specialist in those fields or you can explain the information to
the service user in easy words that anyone can understand. Through this
procedure they might include the people they trust or close to like family,
friends and relatives. In other cases the advocate can be incorporated too.
They are involved to help the service user to understand and if they are unable
to speak because of any reason they speak behalf of them and make decisions for
them but before they consider all risk factors ,opportunities and then they
come on to any conclusion.
One of the example from the case study is, when the couple thought that they should been
given a double room however they weren’t aware of their legal right. But they
both didn’t ask the service providers to assist them in this issue so they
could have been acquainted with their rights. This may be because they were
already discriminated against due to them being in a same-sex relationship, so
they might have thought that the service provider won’t do anything so it’s
better to be quiet. Also, this is entirely against the rights of the service
users that are not treated as the same way as other just because they are in a
same-sex relationship, the service providers in the resident are treating them
in a different way.
The second key aspect of duty of care is Ensuring safe practice. It is role of service provider to
help and support the service user to make decisions but before they have to
take into consideration all the risk and hazards that can affect the individual
mentally or physically. Henceforth, before making decisions related to any
topic the service provider do risk assessments which are legal obligation that
provide a brief guidelines on how to keep an individual; protected and safe
from danger, damage and harm. Every single person should have a risk assessment
by way of their maintenance, support, help or management plan. This can provide
information about the individual’s daily care and support they are receiving,
for instance the individual sanitation or flexibility, and the way to protect
them and other individuals away from any sort of harm and exploitation.
Taking the case study into Meryyvale Residence consideration, the cleaner Mary Jones has left the resident
after having a disagreement with the deputy manager of the place. Therefore,
the member of staff have distributed work among them however they fail to
manage the work. So, there is spilled food and drinks are left on the floor and
waste bins aren’t been replaced for couple of days. As a consequence the
service users can fall over and break their bones at any moment not even that
on account of falling they can even die as well which will be a poor example of
ensuring safe practice. Moreover, there are waste bins which aren’t changed for
couple of days in the residence that can be reason of the old people staying ill
for long -time period and more so residents can get other serious disease.
The third key aspect of duty of care is to Protecting health, safety
and wellbeing of the service user.
This can also be termed as to protect, welfare
and comfort service users. So, if we talk about protecting the
service user it is in a way that the healthcare professionals have to care for
the children, adult and old people as they are guarded by any kind of harm and
abuse or neglect. This purely means to confirm that service users are maintained
to get good right to use to health care and be in a good condition which also
involves to safeguard the individual’s well-being, health and human rights, and
empowering them to be able to live without facing any kind of discrimination, abuse
Therefore, this is massively required to develop a high-quality health
and social care setting. Conversely, there are different safety requirements
for children and adults, even in providing safeguarding them. For example, safeguarding
children take account of defencing the children from ill-treatment, stuff that
are harmful for their growth and health as well as making certain that the
environment that a child is growing is non-violent and harmless, the child is
been given an effective and constructive care. On the other hand, the care for
adults most requires safeguarding their rights and freedom to live in peace,
different service providers working together as a team to avoid the risk of
abuse, neglect and making sure that they are doing something to stop them. In
addition to that the need to confirm that they are involving the individual and
listening to his/her opinions, feelings and take into consideration.
Referring it to the case study of Zebra Ward, when the doctor was inspecting the children, she
found out bruises at the base of Kevin’s spine and round marks on Lucy’s neck
that were clear sign of burn. When the father was interrogated, he declared
that the marks were from his wife who died three months ago because of her
long-term illness which infected her mental condition. However, doctor wasn’t
fully satisfied with what the father said as the marks appear to be more recent
and the doctor needed to attend another emergency case so she forgets to write
her opinions. This demonstrates that how careless the doctor was and because of
this small mistake it can put the service users meaning Lucy and Kevin’s life
at risk. Also, if the doctor wasn’t convinced by the father’s response then why
didn’t she take an immediate action and let it later to deal with.
The fourth key aspect is Legal
obligation to protect wellbeing and prevent harm which signifies to
consider to do things according to legislations.
The code of conduct refers to the set of information which gives the standards
that the service provider should work on a daily basis. The code of conduct
helps both the healthcare professional and service user. Typically, the code of
conduct are based upon the main beliefs of safeguarding the public and reflecting
to the public that what can you deliver them an d the way you can provide help
for them. In this process healthcare professionals are “coordinated”
too. For instance, the service provider can use the code of conduct to ensure
that whatever he/she is doing is accurate and precise to what they are
expected. Furthermore, the code of conduct meets the standard of both the
service user and the service provider and are safe and secure from harm and
Taking the case study of Zebra Ward into, the nurse who gave each child a sedative drug to
help the kids sleep, he saw marks but didn’t quickly completed the medicine
before he goes off duty and fails to record what he observed. This signifies
that the nurse did not do his job properly and did not realise how badly it can
affect those two young children. Also, this tells us that the nurse failed to
follow his code of conduct and is putting the lives of two young children in
The fifth duty of care is Upholding the rights and promoting the
interests of individuals experiencing abuse or neglect. As we all familiar with the
statement that everyone is unique and individual. This means that each and
every individual will have different needs and requirements. This clarifies
that if everyone has different requirements and wants therefore different
people must be given the care that suits best or the type of treatment they prefer.
In some cases even advocates are involved, their role is to speak for the
rights of the service user and also an advocate’s role is to speak behalf for
the individual who are unable to express their opinions, beliefs, needs and
wants. Furthermore, if the service provider see that the patient is interested
something or are actually willing to take part in some activity but lacks the
ability to take part. They will prepare certain of stuff they can use to help
the patient as it’s their right to be treated as equal as everyone.
Taking the case study into consideration, the two females who were discriminated against
should complain about it to the deputy manager. Because this is tremendously in
contradiction of the rights of homosexual. The service provider’s duty is to
help the two women get their civil rights and support them to express their
needs and wants. For instance, the manager or the service provider can help
them to fight for their rights and save them
from getting abused or harmed.
The sixth aspect of duty of care is Privacy of information. To be able to provide good care and
deliver support to individuals the first thing the service provider needs to do
is to develop a relationship of trust and confidence between them and keep in
mind that they are here to show the best interest of the patients. Then, the
next step to ask about the patient’s personal information which consists of
things like the individual’s health conditions, personal history, circumstances
and history of illnesses. One when the relationship of trust is build up
between the service user and service provider then there is a possibility that
the patient will tell the patient more personal information and will ask them
to keep it to themselves. However, in a small number of situations the data
needs to passed on to other health and social care provider but it is always a
safe option to ask the service user before sharing their personal data with
anyone and ask for their permission. Also, it is always necessary keeping the
information private and keep in top of their mind because it is
the top priority of the patient who is been given protection and support. This rule
and regulation is really simple and can be understood by everyone in the
healthcare setting that information should only be shared on a need-to-know basis,
for instance the other health care provider who are involved in the same case.
Taking the case study of Meryyvale Residence into account, if the couple in same-sex relationship
complaint about them being discriminated against because of their sexuality.
All the information about the two females and about their case should be
private thing which shouldn’t be shared with anyone else especially without the
permission of one of the females involved in the case. Also, the data should be
passed on other healthcare provider only if they are involved in the case.
The seventh key aspect of duty of care is Privacy and dignity. Privacy: it is to do with
providing individuals with personal space whenever they feel like it. Dignity:
it is to do with importance of each and every individual which contain
respecting the views, feelings and decisions, not predicting the way they want
to be treated and working with care and sympathy.
Privacy and dignity of any individual should be seems supreme priority
of the service user because it makes the patient feel that they matter. On top
of that, it makes the service user to believe that their rights, viewpoint,
beliefs and relationships all these aspects will be hold in high regard and in
any case would be dealt as they want it be. Also, it implies on every service
users regardless of what their gender, ethnic group, age, background or what
their physical or physiological needs are. For instance, service provider
should get the hint if the service user is trying to avoid the any particular
topic and do not want to talk about it. Therefore, the service provider’s duty
is to take the persons feelings in regards and respect their emotional state. And
provide them the space and see maybe few days later the patient feel confident
enough to share their details.
Referring to the case study of Zebra Ward, when the doctor and nurse noticed
marks on the Lucy and Kevin bodies they should straight away report the
incidence to the manager or one of the authorities to investigate about the
real cause behind the marks. Because their duty was to ask the father about the
marks however when the doctor wasn’t convinced by the answer, her duty was to
share her opinion and pass the case to someone higher than her. This is because
if she waits for the children to give permission and then they should go take
any action then that wouldn’t help because they may be scared to tell the truth
and due to that they may not give approval to take the case any further.