The duty of care means a legal obligation to protect

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The duty of care means you have a legal obligation to protect wellbeing and prevent harm whilst always acting in the best interest of the service user, this is the case regardless of what health or social care setting you are in. In a Nursery for example the duty of care is required to be adapted into the age group of children that you are dealing with. Children that are in nursery are unable to care for themselves since they have not yet developed their full cognitive and physical capacity. You’re therefore placed in a position of responsibility to keeping the children safe and if any accident happens you are in risk of being held accountable. You must therefore work within the bounds of the safeguarding policies and take into account all procedures you may see as being permissible to use at different times. You have to take into consideration all risks within your workspace and be sure that you pay attention when a child comes into contact with these dangers.

You have a duty to keep them from any abuse; whether it be physical, emotional, sexual or any type of general harm.. Failure to provide a child with their rights, safety and wellbeing can be considered as neglect. You must ensure that all child protection policies are in place. It’s important to document every accident so that it can be investigated and so the causes are determined and you therefore avoid accusations of abuse so that whoever needs to be aware, can be by checking. Things like changing a nappy or feeding a child in a nursery is extremely important otherwise it could be seen as a form of neglect. In the instance of a nursing home the implications are largely the same as its your duty to care for the service users and cater to their needs. The elderly may have become vulnerable due to possible mental health issues, immobility and other restrictions that make them unable to fully care for themselves. You will need to make informed decisions on behalf of the service user. It would be necessary to build a good bond with the person you are taking care of so that you are given the trust needed in order to be able to properly understand their needs and therefore deliver on them; however you must be able to set professional boundaries as this is a part of the code of conduct.

You must not carry out any actions that you think you may not be able to do safely, such as manual handling of an immobile, fragile person. You must follow policies in order to keep both you and the service user safe. In this circumstance for example you would be required to be trained in using a hoist as well as other equipment that may be necessary in order to safely move and handle the person in a safe manner. Training is a necessity within this job as you need to be aware of how to act in different situations and is also a legal obligation for you to have training. You must uphold the rights of each individual, giving everyone the dignity everyone deserves as well as treating everyone fairly, practicing equality at all times and giving respect to all. If there are any accidents, it’s crucial that you document it in detail accordingly, ensuring safe practice. You must be aware of any signs of abuse and neglect; if there are and red flags that you may see, it’s important that you record it as soon as possible as it is your responsibility to report anything you think may be conducive to abuse.