Duty of care
Sometimes individuals may want to do something which could be a risk to their health and safety. Being a staff member means having a duty of care to that person, it includes doing everything possible to keep them safe, but also having a duty to respect the individuals rights and choice, therefore there is a dilemma. It could be that the individual no longer wishes to use their walking frame, but their care plan states that they need it to move from place to place and as a member of staff, their responsibility is to ensure and encourage the use of the walking frame for the individual. In this scenario a risk assessment could be carried out to ensure that it is managed as safely as possible. The risks would need to be explained that are involved to the individual and make sure they understand. The staff could come to a compromise, to use a stick for a while instead, to see how they managed, then monitor the situation. All this should be documented including any risk assessment carried out. If the individual still insists on walking unaided they should sign to say they are aware of the risks involved. Another scenario could be that an individual refuses to take their medication. Remind them of why they take the medication and it’s benefits and again advise them of the risks involved in not taking their medication. If they still refuse, ensure this is noted on their medication record and reported so others are aware if a problem occurs. If the individual insists on doing something which is unsafe or risky that is their choice it must be respected as it’s their right, but there is a duty of care to uphold and everything must be done to keep them safe for their individual’s rights. Conflicts could arise between staff to staff. One staff member may think that there is an issue. An example of this is that a member of staff may think a child is a slow developer, and may need additional support to help them, such as with their communication...
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