Example 11. Duty
person owes a duty of care to every other person who is reasonably
likely to be injured by the first person's actions or failure
law requires professionals to take all reasonable care in carrying
out their work and ensure that appropriate standards of care
appropriate standard of care is assessed on what action a reasonable
person would take in a particular situation.
need to use their professional skills and experience to decide
on what actions they should take in each situation of potential
harm. Where possible, decisions should be discussed with the
of care is breached by failing to do what is reasonable or
by doing something unreasonable that results in harm, loss
or injury to another. This can be physical harm, economic loss
or psychological trauma.
of care must be balanced with dignity of risk, that is, the
right of informed individuals to take calculated risks. Everyone
has a right to an assumption of competence. Informed decision
making involves a general awareness of the consequences of
the decision and the decision is made voluntarily and without
factors to be considered in situations of potential harm are:
risk and likelihood of harm
sorts of injuries that could occur and an assessment of the
seriousness of those injuries
that could be taken to minimise the risk or harm or seriousness
of the injury
usefulness of the activity involving risk
professional standards about the issues.
harm or injury involves:
when harm or injury is foreseeable
account of the seriousness of the potential harm or injury
risks from the other person's perspective
that some risks are reasonable
actively harming or injuring the other person
discrimination and overly restrictive options
compromises to the rights of others
risks that the person alerts you to
when people are at risk of injury from others
people to confront risks safely
others from harm or injury
confidentialityDuty of care will be greatest to those who
are relying on the worker the most.
workers, volunteers and contractors involved in client care
will at all times provide a standard of care that is reasonable
and consistent with the policies and procedures outlined in
providing care services, workers, volunteers and contractors
will not carry out tasks which require qualification or training
that they do not have
volunteers and contractors will promptly report concerns about
the safety of clients (including environmental hazards) to
the Coordinator so that appropriate action can be taken.
will be encouraged to make their own decisions regarding their
care at all times. This may require the support of other significant
people (e.g. family or friends) on an informal basis or more
formally through case planning with other professionals (e.g.
GP, community nurse, ACAT).
there is concern about the ability of a client to make informed
decisions, the Coordinator will arrange for assessment by the
appropriate health professionals (e.g. mental health or psychogeriatric
team). It may be necessary to apply for a Guardianship Order
for ongoing formal support in decision making if they are at
managing aggressive or threatening behaviour workers/volunteers
will first ensure their own safety and the safety of others.
No punitive action (including restraint) will be taken.