Code of Conduct for Health and Social Care

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The Code of Conduct for Healthcare Support Workers and Adult Social Care Workers in England, created by Skills for Care, outlines the expected standards for care professionals. It ensures that healthcare support workers and social care workers provide safe, respectful, quality care while upholding individuals’ dignity and rights.

This guide will help you understand and apply these standards effectively.

Introduction to the Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct provides an ethical framework that guides workers in their decision-making and professional behaviour across different care settings. It applies to all support workers and adult social care workers in England, no matter their role or workplace.

Implementing the Code of Conduct

Education and Training:
Hold regular workshops and training sessions to teach workers about the code and how to apply it every day.

Supervision and Support:
Managers should help workers follow the code, offering advice and feedback on their actions.

Assessment and Appraisal:
Carry out frequent evaluations to check if workers are following the code and find areas that need improvement.

Reporting Mechanisms:
Set up straightforward processes for workers to report any breaches or unethical actions safely, without fear of retaliation.

The 7 Standards and What They Mean

The Code of Conduct is essential for providing safe, effective, compassionate, and respectful care in the health and adult social care sectors.

Following this code supports the integrity and reputation of these fields. It also protects and empowers both practitioners and service users.

Adherence to this code maintains public trust in healthcare and social care services, promotes a professional environment, and enhances societal wellbeing.

Here, we explain what each standard means and what is expected from healthcare professionals.

Standard 1: Be accountable by making sure you can answer for your actions or omissions.

Being accountable means taking responsibility for your actions and their results. Healthcare workers must meet professional standards and justify their decisions.

This standard focuses on being open, accepting responsibility, admitting mistakes, and correcting them.

Standard 2: Promote and uphold the privacy, dignity, rights, health, and wellbeing of people who use health and care services and their carers at all times.

This standard stresses respecting each person’s dignity and individuality. Workers should protect users’ privacy rights while keeping confidentiality intact. They must prioritise individuals’ health in every decision they make.

Standard 3: Collaborate with colleagues to deliver high-quality, safe, and compassionate healthcare.

Working together is crucial in healthcare. This standard emphasises the need for teamwork and good communication among staff. It highlights sharing knowledge and skills to improve care quality and ensure it remains safe, effective, and compassionate.

Standard 4: Communicate openly and effectively to support the health, safety, and wellbeing of service users and their carers.

Clear communication is key in healthcare. This standard requires clear, honest interactions with both colleagues and those receiving care.

Communication must be easy to understand and tailored to individual needs, so that everyone involved can make well-informed decisions about their care.

Standard 5: Respect a person’s right to confidentiality.

Confidentiality is essential in healthcare and social care.

This standard demands that workers protect the information shared by service users and their carers.

Confidential data must be handled carefully and only disclosed if it benefits the individual or when legally required.

Standard 6: Strive to improve the quality of healthcare, care and support through continuing professional development.

This standard highlights the need for ongoing learning to enhance healthcare skills. Healthcare professionals must keep their knowledge current.

Continuous professional development ensures that patient care meets the newest evidence and highest standards.

Standard 7: Uphold and Promote Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion

This standard requires healthcare workers to treat everyone fairly and equally, no matter their background or characteristics. It calls for proactive efforts to create an inclusive environment where diversity is valued and discrimination is actively opposed and eradicated.

Code of Conduct Examples for Care Workers

Here are practical examples of how a care worker can follow each standard in the Code of Conduct:

Standard 1

A care worker gives a client the wrong dose of medication. They immediately tell their supervisor, inform the client and their family about the mistake, and take steps to correct it. The worker also reviews medication protocols to avoid future errors.

Standard 2

While helping a client with personal tasks like bathing or dressing, a care worker ensures privacy by closing doors or drawing curtains. They talk with the client to understand their preferences and consistently respect these during care.

Standard 3

A team of care workers meets regularly to review the health progress of their clients. They exchange effective strategies and seek advice on complex cases to maintain consistent and improved care quality.

Standard 4

A care worker explains a new care plan in simple terms to a client and their family. They make sure everyone understands the process and its purpose, answer questions, and address concerns to support informed decisions and cooperative care management.

Standard 5

A care worker should only discuss a client’s health status with people who are allowed to know. They must avoid talking about it in places where others might overhear. Personal information must also be protected online, ensuring that all electronic communications are secure and private.

Standard 6

A care worker goes to workshops and training sessions on the latest dementia care practices. They use this new knowledge in their daily work, changing how they approach tasks to better serve individuals with dementia and sharing useful tips with colleagues.

Standard 7

In a diverse community setting, a care worker learns basic phrases in the main languages spoken by their clients. They also make sure cultural dietary needs are considered when planning meals.

By fostering an inclusive environment, the care worker makes everyone feel valued and understood.

These examples show how care workers can follow the Code of Conduct. They help maintain high-quality care and create a trustworthy, respectful, and professional environment in healthcare and social care settings.

Code of Conduct Documents PDF

General Code of Conduct

Outlines expected standards for conduct, behaviour, and attitude from the public and users of health and care services. Useful for setting objectives, reviewing personal development, and handling complaints.

Code of Conduct for Employers

Guides employers on the code applicable to healthcare support workers and adult social care workers in England.

Code of Conduct for Support Workers

Provides a user guide on the code for Healthcare Support Workers and Adult Social Care Workers in England.

Code of Conduct for the Public

This document sets out expectations from Healthcare Support Workers and Adult Social Care Workers in England.

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