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Your employer will tell you the safe and agreed ways in which you are expected to work. This may be shared with you as part of a policy or provided in person by your manager or another colleague. Agreed ways of working with each individual will be detailed in care plans. They ensure that you are working within the law and providing care and support that meet the needs of the individual. If you don’t follow the agreed ways of working, you could harm yourself or others without meaning to. You are responsible for your own work and could face disciplinary procedures if people come to harm as a result of your actions. This could lead to dismissal or even prosecution.

You have responsibilities to the people that you provide care and support for. You must ensure that:

  • Their safety and welfare is protected by ensuring that their care plan is followed and carried out in agreed, safe ways
  • The care that they receive meets their needs by involving them and their carer or support network in the planning, review and delivery of their care 
  • That they are treated fairly and that their rights are upheld by working in ways that promote equality and diversity and uphold their dignity and human rights.

Not all of the individuals you support will be confident or able to speak out. If their care is inadequate or they are treated in ways that do not uphold their rights you must support them to make a complaint, or raise concerns yourself.

We are all human and mistakes sometimes happen. When mistakes are made it’s important, to be honest, and identify where errors have happened. This will allow:

  • Action to be taken that may reduce the impact of the mistake
  • Lessons to be learnt through thinking about and agreeing what went wrong

Your employer should provide or explain their whistleblowing policy. You have a responsibility to report things that you feel are not right, are illegal, or if anyone at work is neglecting their duties. This is known as ‘whistleblowing’. In most cases, you should discuss your concerns with your manager. However, if you felt that it was not appropriate to speak to your manager for some reason, you should follow your employer’s whistleblowing procedure and ways of working.

Your role will involve you working with many people who have a variety of roles. This is known as ‘partnership working’. Developing good relationships will help to improve the quality of care provided.    

The main working relationships in health and social care can be categorised in four ways:

  • Individuals and their friends and family
  • Your colleagues and managers
  • People from other workplaces, including advocates who is someone who provides support by speaking for an individual on their behalf
  • Volunteers and community groups

For example, in providing care and support to an individual, their carer may provide support by visiting or providing food. You should be helpful and make sure that this is built into the care plan and routine, and is understood by other workers. You might also support the individual to share their wishes with the carer.

Other workers might provide a service to someone you provide care and support to. For example, a dietician might advise the individual about their weight and help them agree on a plan for their meals and snacks, taking into account any preferences or special dietary needs. As the worker likely to see the individual most regularly you could encourage them to keep to the diet and support them to feedback how the diet is working or if it needs to be changed. If the individual was not eating or unwell as a result you would arrange for the diet to be reviewed quickly.

Very often healthcare support workers or adult social care support workers are in a position to play an important role in making observations and links with other workers because they are in regular contact with the individual. They are very important partners in the overall health or social care provision to an individual.

All working relationships should involve mutual respect and should value other people’s skills and knowledge with a focus on working together in the best interests of the individual receiving care and support. The importance of people working together should not be underestimated as serious case reviews, which are the reviews carried out when a vulnerable adult dies or comes to significant harm, often identify failings in partnership working as being a key factor in what went wrong.

  • Standard 1.1 - Learning Outcome 1.1a
  • Standard 1.1 - Learning Outcome 1.1c
  • Standard 10.3 - Learning Outcome 10.3a
  • Standard 1.3 - Learning Outcome 1.3a
  • Standard 1.3 - Learning Outcome 1.3b
  • Standard 1.3 - Learning Outcome 1.3c
  • Standard 1.4 - Learning Outcome 1.4a
  • Standard 1.4 - Learning Outcome 1.4b