The Crucial Connection Between Duty of Care and Duty of Candour

It is of utmost importance that care workers uphold their duty of care and duty of candour.

Here, we will delve into the meaning of "duty of care," its relevance to care workers, and its correlation with "duty of candour."

What is Duty of Care?

"Duty of care" is the moral, legal, or professional responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of others.

Care workers have a legal obligation to fulfill their duty of care to the individuals they support, their colleagues, and the wider public, and failing to do so may lead to disciplinary or legal action. It is thus essential for care workers to comprehend how their duty of care aligns with their job role.

What is Duty of Candour?

The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014: Regulation 20 instated the" duty of candour," which obligates healthcare providers to remain open, honest, and transparent with the individuals for whom they provide care. If something goes awry, and there is the potential to cause harm or distress, organizations must notify the individuals, apologize, explain the implications, and, if possible, offer remedial action. These actions should convey empathy, compassion, and honesty.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) regulates the duty of candour and has the power to take action against organizations that infringe upon these regulations. Duty of candour encourages learning from mistakes, preventing their recurrence, and complying with legislation, regulations, and best practices.

How do "Duty of Care" and "Duty of Candour" relate?

"Duty of candour" and "duty of care" both promote the health, safety, and well-being of individuals receiving care, enabling care providers to provide exceptional care services. "Duty of candour" acknowledges that things can go wrong but prioritizes the individual's best interest and ensures the "duty of care" is fulfilled, even in the presence of error.

How does "Duty of Care" impact job roles?

Care workers have a duty of care to protect the individuals they support from harm, abuse, or injury and promote their well-being, as well as that of their colleagues, employer, other professionals, and the wider public. This obligation also pertains to personal conduct outside of the workplace, maintaining professional boundaries establishing trust, utilizing resources efficiently, and appropriately discarding waste.

Besides being a legal obligation, the duty of care is referenced in job descriptions and agreed ways of work. It is also included in The Code of Conduct for Healthcare Support Workers and Adult Social Care Workers in England and other industry standards.

Daily duties and responsibilities, such as writing risk assessments, hand-washing, personal care, escorting clients to activities, doing balance checks, and identifying potential hazards, are all associated with the duty of care. These tasks ensure the safety of others and promote their well-being and welfare.

Minimizing risks through risk assessments, preventing the spread of germs through handwashing, ensuring personal care for hygiene and dignity, promoting client well-being through activities, and conducting balance checks to prevent and identify financial abuse are important aspects of the duty of care in the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. As an employee, it is your responsibility to report any potential hazards and suspicions of abuse, even if they are against the client's wishes. Your employer should provide documented policies and procedures for reporting, which you must follow to fulfill your duty of care. In general, you should work in a way that prioritizes safety and the best interests of your clients, while lead adult care workers must monitor practices for safety.

In this video, we explore the relationship between Duty of Care and Duty of Candour, which is an assessment criterion for adult care qualifications. Duty of Care is the moral and legal obligation to avoid harm or injury to others, while Duty of Candour is the professional duty to be transparent and open about mistakes, provide explanations and apologies, and offer support or treatment to remedy the situation. Duty of Candour supports Duty of Care by prioritizing the wellbeing of the individual and preventing further harm through system improvements.

In a supervision session with a new social worker, it is important to explain the duty of care and how it affects the work of a social care worker. Duty of Care involves a moral and legal obligation to ensure the safety and wellbeing of individuals, and may involve working with other professionals, such as GPs or social services safeguarding teams. It is important to promote individual choice and report any suspicions of abuse, as well as follow documented policies and procedures for reporting. The Duty of Care also applies to caregiving organizations, which must prioritize the individual's wellbeing and contribute to safeguarding efforts.

What Is the Impact of Duty of Care on Our Work?

As adults in the field of caregiving, we are obligated to carry out our work legally and pursuant to company regulations, protocol, and approved modes of operation (such as the CQC's Key Lines of Enquiry). It is also good practice to follow the Code of Conduct for Healthcare Support Workers and Adult Social Care Workers in England. Specific activities and scenarios may necessitate risk assessments being written.

To put this into action, we need to report risks, maintain incident archives and notify pertinent professionals (such as GPs, social services, and psychologists) when required. We must also ensure that individuals have all the facts and information necessary to make informed decisions, and that their decisions are respected, even if we do not necessarily concur with them.

What Are the Benefits of Duty of Care for Our Organization?

The organization as a whole benefits from the principle of duty of care because everyone operates under the same framework, which guarantees that the wellbeing of the clients is at the top of everyone's objectives. It also means that the environment is safe for all and that the organization adheres to legal standards.

How Does Duty of Care Support Individual Protection?

Duty of care is a critical aspect of safeguarding individuals since everyone works to established standards that guard against abuse. We have procedures in place for reporting suspected abuse or potential risks, which can be quickly documented and escalated. There is also a whistleblower mechanism that allows employees to report any potential misconduct by their employer without concern of backlash. The balancing of rights with risks to promote choice and independence can also aid in safeguarding individuals against abuse. All of these factors contribute to a safe and secure environment for both work and living.

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