Health and Social Care

Chapter 1
Understand the meaning of duty of care

Peter has lived in this home for the last twenty years. Like the other people
who live here he spent a long time in an old long stay hospital for people with a
learning disability. He started smoking in the hospital and he still smokes today
at least 30 cigarettes a day.
Although Peter has always smoked and it’s not something he started when he
came to this residential home the staff here feel responsible for supporting Peter
to stay healthy. Lots of people including the GP, the learning disability nurse
and my colleagues who have known him for a long time have tried to convince
him that it would be good for his health to stop smoking. People have explained
the risks of smoking to Peter in lots of accessible ways so he can understand.
Even so he has decided to carry on smoking.
I know we have a duty of care towards Peter to keep him safe from harm, but
Peter is able to make his own decision too! As a new worker it’s difficult to
know what my duty of care is towards Peter.
Louise, residential support worker

Amina has recently moved into a small flat and is enjoying her own space and
independence. She is keen to get better at cooking and wants to be able to
make her own breakfast every day so that her support worker doesn’t need to
come in and help her with it. Together we have looked in detail at what she
wants to learn to do such as using the kettle and the toaster. We have also
discussed possible risks both with her parents and my manager. It’s lovely to
see Amina being more independent and having more control over her life. I feel
it is part of my duty of care to promote her independence and choices.
Marie, Amina’s key worker

Understand the meaning of duty of care

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04/05/2011 16:05

You might already have come across the term ‘duty of care’ and need to
understand the term and what it means for you in your role as a learning...