Social care staff expected to be whistleblowers

    A draft code of conduct for social care staff is to include a
    clause requiring them to blow the whistle on colleagues who abuse
    or exploit clients.

    Sources told Community Care that the proposed General
    Social Care Council code would require people to ‘recognise
    and challenge any abusive or exploitative practice, and refer it to
    the appropriate person or authority’.

    They would also be expected to ‘use established processes
    and procedures to redress the problem’.

    Other clauses in the draft code would require registered staff
    to advise their employer or ‘appropriate authority’ if
    they do not think they are competent to undertake tasks allocated
    to them.

    Similarly, those allocating duties to other staff would be
    expected to address any concerns that those staff might have about
    their competence to do the work.

    The GSCC and its regional equivalents are due come into being on
    October 1, but arrangements for registering the various
    professional groups – not to mention unqualified staff – are
    expected to take several years.

    Codes of conduct are typical of regulatory bodies of other
    professions; similar whistleblowing clauses already exist for
    doctors, and one is being proposed for nurses.

    The General Medical Council’s code, Good Medical
    obliges doctors to ‘protect patients when you
    believe that a doctor’s or other colleagues health, conduct
    or performance is a threat to them’.

    And the United Kingdom Central Council for Nursing and
    Midwifery’s draft code of conduct requires nurses to act
    quickly to protect patients from risk ‘if you have good
    reason to believe that you or a colleague may not be fit to
    practice for reason of conduct, health or competence’.



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