Unit 5 Introduction to Duty of Care in Health, Social Care or Children's and Young Peoples Setting

Unit 5                                  

The definition of “duty of care” is a legal obligation and a requirement to work in a way that offers the best interest of the adult using the service, in a way which will not be detrimental to the health, safety and wellbeing of that person.

People have a right to expect that when a professional is providing support, they will be kept safe and not be neglected or exposed to any unnecessary risks. Thinking about the duty of care that you owe to people is helpful when you are planning your work. It makes you consider whether what you were planning to do is in the best interests of the person you are working with. This is not only about physical risks; you can also have duty of care to treat people with dignity and respect.

Exercising duty of care is not about wrapping people in cotton wool or preventing them from taking any risks. Just participating in everyday life involves risks- i.e crossing the road is risky as it is. There has to be a balance and you have to consider risks.
Although you have a duty of care for the people you support they still have the right to make their own choices and to reach decisions about actions they want to take. Sometimes there can be a conflict between a persons rights and your duty of care. Having duty to act in someone’s interests and also needing to ensure that they are not placed in harms way can be very hard to balance with encouraging people to take control of their own lives and to make choices and decisions about their lives.

Your first port of call if you are unsure about how to respond to a dilemma between your duty of care and a persons rights is your manager. They should be able to advise you about the best approaches to take and give you the opportunity to discuss both sides of the dilemma.
If you are a member of the professional association or a trade union, they will also be able to offer advise about the uncertainties you may have about whether...