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Topics: Health care, Law, Health care provider Pages: 40 (14317 words) Published: September 5, 2014
UNISON duty of care handbook
For members working in health and social care

‘‘

At a time of change, patients and service users
depend more than ever on the integrity of care
professionals. This handbook is a valuable guide
to health and care professionals’ responsibilities
and rights, and to sources of help when it may be
hard to know the right thing to do and even harder
to do it.

‘‘

Harry Cayton, chief executive, Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence

‘‘

Safeguarding the public and delivering high
quality patient care are essential. Key to this is
creating a culture where nurses and midwives
are able to appropriately raise concerns,
particularly in a time of significant structural change
across health care organisations. This handbook
is a useful supplement to the Code and other
NMC standards and guidance which specify the
responsibilities of nurses and midwives in raising
and escalating concerns.

‘‘

Professor Dickon Weir-Hughes, chief executive and registrar, Nursing and Midwifery Council

‘‘

The Health Professions Council (HPC) is committed
to protecting the public and ensuring that professionals
are meeting UK standards for their training, professional
skills, behaviour and health. Unison’s Duty of Care
Handbook provides a useful accompaniment to the
HPC’s guidance and standards, and assists in maintaining
good practice across the health and social care setting.

‘‘

Marc Seale, chief executive and registrar, Health Professions Council

Foreword
By Dave Prentis
The Duty of care handbook is intended to
assist all those seeking guidance on how best
to question and challenge unsafe practice in
health and social care settings. Its broad scope
means that it is applicable to all occupations across the public, private and voluntary sectors, making it relevant for all those who have concerns and wish to find an effective and responsible way of voicing them.

In recent years, there have been high-profile cases which
demonstrate how pressures on staff and services can lead to
failures in the duty of care – including the report into the tragic death of baby Peter as well as the Francis Report which
revealed failings in care standards at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.
Both of these events have changed the landscape of how we look at the duty of care. They have reminded us of the vital importance of raising concerns and acting on them before it is too late, and of developing a workplace culture which enables staff to have the confidence they need to speak out.

There is clear evidence, including recent research conducted by Aston University, which shows that high levels of staff engagement, where staff are encouraged to contribute to decisions that
affect them in the workplace, have a positive impact on financial management, health and well-being, quality of service and
patient satisfaction.
This handbook aims to empower UNISON members working
in health and social care to have a positive influence and be the guardians of safe, effective and high-quality services.

Dave Prentis
UNISON duty of care handbook

3

Contents
1
2
3

4
5

6
7

8
9
10

Introduction.................................................................................................. 5

The duty of care ........................................................................................... 6

Your duty of care .......................................................................................... 7

3.1 Registered professionals........................................................................ 8

3.2 Members of professional bodies or associations....................................10

3.3 Managers...
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