Code of Conduct
1.1 Welcome to this code of conduct for support workers in healthcare.
1.2 As a care worker you play a vital role in:
- Helping RAMSY Healthcare deliver its services
- Protecting patients from harm
- Valuing all aspects of equality and diversity
1.3 This code of conduct is necessary because the work you do as a member of healthcare team is very important. The code is a list of statements that set the standard on how you should work on a day to day basis.
1.4 This code is here to help you, your employer, and the patients* you work with. It is based on the basic principal of protecting the public, and mirrors what is required of all regulated care professionals you work with.
1.5 You can use the code to check that you are working to standard. Your employer can use it to make sure that service is meeting the standards and that both the public and the patients* safety is assured. Employers can also use it to help them understand what kind of service they can expect from you and your colleagues.
1.6 The statements are based on existing good practice. You will probably find you are already working to standard in most, if not all of them. If not, the code will show you how you can change the way you work to make sure you are working to standard.
1.7 The statements are designed for all healthcare support workers in Britain, wherever you work and whatever job you do. So, it is a national code of conduct that will help to make sure that patients all over the country can get the same high quality, safe and effective service from care workers.
* The term patient is used throughout the code. However, in practice you may hear the patients being referred to as ‘service users’, ‘clients’, or ‘residents. Basically, the term means any person that you come into contact with who needs care.
2) Working to standard
2.1 As a care worker, you are expected to work to a certain standard. You need to be able to do your job properly, always behave properly, and always do the right thing. This is essential to protect patients and others from harm. Patients and their relatives, your employer and your colleagues all expected this, and you should expect this of yourself.
2.2 But what does this mean on a day to day basis? It means that in your work, you should always be of ‘good character. (Ongoing work by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) on good health and good character has defined this as: “someone who is capable of safe and effective practice at all times.” It is important that healthcare support references and check for a satisfactory criminal records check). This means that you should always display the characteristics outlined in paragraphs 2.2.1 to 2.2.12 below.
2.2.1 Accountability – Making sure that you can always answer your actions or omissions. Make sure you are happy with the things you do (actions) and the things you don’t do (omissions) in your daily work and that you justify them to patients, your supervisor, your employer and others.
How will I know if I am working to standard on accountability?
When you are working to standard on accountability, you may be asked to explain anything that you do or do not do, with or for, the patients. So, you need good reasons for the way you have acted. Your employers will draw on the knowledge and skills you have used when they judge your actions.
2.2.2 Awareness – being honest with yourself and others about what you can do. Know yourself, what you can do and what you can’t do. The safety of your patients is your priority. Always ask colleagues for help if you have any worries or concerns about your abilities.
How will I know if I am working to standard on awareness?
When you are working to standard on awareness, you’ll know yourself well enough to know what you can do. You’ll show you understand that some procedures can only be carried out by people who have had special training and that in certain circumstances, you need permission from qualified staff before you do certain things with patients. If you feel you are being asked to do something you haven’t been trained to do and that you don’t have the skills to do it, you will speak up.
2.2.3 Integrity – always do what is right to protect the patient. Always do your best to make sure nothing you or anyone else does, or does not do, will harm the patients mental or physical health or delay their recovery.
How will I know if I am working to standard on integrity?
When you’re working to standard on integrity, you will be protecting patients every way you can, taking into account all aspects of equality and diversity. You should be prepared to report issues that cause you worry.
2.2.4 Advocacy – doing your best for patients and their relatives. This means being responsible for promoting and protecting the interests of patients, many of whom may not be able to protect their own interests. This could involve speaking up for a patient to make sure that you treat them equally and fairly.
How will I know if I am working to standard on advocacy?
When you are working to standard on advocacy, you will always be putting patients’ interests first and making sure that you are meeting their wants and needs. All patients are individuals with different likes and dislikes, and you must acknowledge their equality and diversity to make sure that you treat them equally and fairly.
2.2.5 Sensitivity – respecting the patient. Every patient is an individual with real feelings and emotions. When working with patients, think about how they may be feeling and what is the most appropriate response to their situation.
How will I know if I am working to standard on sensitivity?
When you are working to standard on sensitivity, you’ll be treating patients and their relatives politely while being aware of the situations they are in and their reactions to it. For example, they may be feeling confused, angry, or frustrated. It is important that you are sensitive to this and do not take their reactions personally.
2.2.6 Objectivity – treating all patients in the same way. It is the duty of public bodies and their employees to promote equality. Personal feelings about patients must not interfere with the standard of your work. By law, you must provide all patients with high quality care which reflects their individual needs, whatever their race, sex, age, religious belief, or disability. This means that you owe patients a duty of care and they can expect a ‘reasonable’ standard of care from all workers.
It is important to maintain clear boundaries when caring for patients. This means that you should always have a professional relationship with your patients. If you have strong feelings about a patents’ religious, social, or cultural beliefs, you should tell your manager as soon as possible so they can take appropriate action.
2.2.7 Consideration and respect – making sure that patients are always treated with dignity. Consider and respect patients’ privacy to make sure that neither you or they are ever placed in an embarrassing situation.
How will I make sure if I am working to standard on consideration and respect?
When you are working to standard on consideration, you’ll always show thoughtfulness or patients, feelings and needs. You will protect patients to make sure that they are never unnecessarily exposed to embarrassing situations, whether in front of relatives, fellow patients, or healthcare workers.
2.2.8 Consent – telling patients what you intend to do and listening carefully to what they say about it. Working in partnership with the patients at all times, is a basic principle that you must keep to a all times. Always explain to patients what you intend to do with them, even when it is basic care or routine procedure, and only continue with your planned work once the patient agrees to it. You must check that this agreement is written in the patient’s records, and you should report any concern that the patient or a relative has to your supervisor.
How will I know if I am working to standard on consent?
Where you are working to standard on consent, you’ll be demonstrating that you ill always make sure that the patient knows what you are planning to do and is happy with it. If the patient cannot give consent for themselves because of their age of condition, you must always check with a relative or senior member of staff if you are in doubt.
2.2.9 Confidentiality – protecting the patient’s privacy. Confidentiality is essential to protect the interests of patients. It is a main feature of any code of conduct and most terms and conditions of service in a healthcare environment. You must make sure that you don’t give out personal information about patients, or about their condition or treatments to protect patient’s right to confidentiality, you my be breaking data protection laws. If you feel that a patient is at risk of harm and that you need to speak out, you should tell your supervisor. You should not discuss patients with anyone out of work.
How will I know if I am working to standard on confidentiality?
When you are working to standard on confidentiality, you’ll maintain a professional attitude at all times when handling patient information and you won’t gossip about patients to anyone at any time. When you do pass on information to a colleague as part of your job, you will take care to be accurate and clear in what you say.
2.2.10 Cooperation – working effectively with your colleagues as part of a team. Value the part you play in the team and respect the part played by other members of the team.
How will I know if I am working to standard on co-operation?
When you’re working to standard on co-operation the contribution you make to the team will be valued. You’ll be communicating effectively, sharing information and working to meeting team’s shared goals in the best interests of the patient.
2.2.11 Protection – making sure that you don’t put patients and colleagues at risk of harm. Make sure patients, visitors and colleagues are protected from dangers and risks and that nothing you do, or do not do, results in harm or risk to others.
2.2.12 Alertness – observing any changes that could affect patients needs or progress. Always try to notice when a patient is not doing what you expect of them and report your observations to an appropriate person.
How will I know if I am working to standard on alertness?
When you are working to standard alertness you will notice when patients are ‘just not right’. You will notice, for instance, when the patient can’t move as usual or perhaps hasn’t eaten their meal. Reporting these observations will be in the best interest of the patient.
3) What this means for you
3.1 The code of conduct means that, as a healthcare support worker, you have responsibility to work to standard. This means that you must do the following:
3.1.1 Only do what your job description or specification allows you to do. If you do something or accept any instruction from another healthcare worker to do something that isn’t within your description or specification or level of skill. You could be putting the safety of the patient at risk and you could be disciplined. Let your manager or supervisor know if you feel you are being asked to do something you don’t know how to, or something you know isn’t in your job description or specification.
3.1.2 It is within code of conduct of all healthcare professional to not delegate tasks unless they are sure that the person they are delegating to has the skills and is happy to perform the task. The person who delegates will remain professionally accountable for delegating the task. However, if you accept the task, you will be accountable for how well you perform it.
3.1.3 Make sure that you always follow the standard procedures for carrying out tasks and duties.
3.1.4 Make sure that you obtain consent, in line with your organisation’s policies, before doing anything to a patient.
3.1.5 Follow the rules on ‘duty to care’ (see paragraph 2.2.5). This means you must always make sure patients and colleagues do not come to harm because of something you’ve done, or something you have not done, or because you’ve been careless or taken risks.
3.1.6 Making notes and keeping patients records up to date and accurate is an essential part of care. You should only write down information that is relevant to the care you have given to patients and get an appropriate person to sign the record inline with the organisations policy. If you are not sure, ask for advice. As you are accountable for anything you write, no matter how informal it may seem, what you wrote can be used as evidence in any enquiry by your employer or the courts in future.
4) 24-hour clause and breach of contract
This is an agreement between yourself and RAMSY Health Care Ltd. You agree to attend work as booked. If you fail to attend work, you must notify the agency within 24 hours on the mobile telephone number provided to you.
Failure to notify or leaving work without prompting 48-hour notice will put you in breach of your contract. You agree to lose your holiday and any other entitlement if you are in breach of your contract. We will, at our discretion pursue legal avenues to cover any losses that would happen.
~ As an employee of RAMSY Health Care Ltd, we expect you to carry out all duties diligently and cooperatively. You are expected to arrive at appointments of work on time, in a clean presentable form and a positive working attitude. You are a representative of our company and any reports of misbehaviour or refusal to complete tasks required will NOT be tolerated and you will be dropped from our system. ~
You are signing this form as confirmation that you have read and full and understood our Code of Conduct. By signing this you are taking full responsibility for yourself regarding any breach of this contract. If a breach of contract has been made you will be subject to a disciplinary hearing. Therefore, please make sure you have fully understood the document.