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
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
Practice 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’.