Addressing Activity 1.2e & f Part ii) involves understanding the procedure and rationale for raising concerns or whistleblowing in the care environment. When you come across situations that are harmful, unsafe, or go against legal and ethical practices, it is imperative to speak up to protect individuals, colleagues, and the integrity of the care provided.
Considering the scenarios identified in Part i), here is how you could explain raising concerns:
If you believe that the health and safety of staff is endangered
“I would report this concern to my line manager or the designated safety officer as soon as possible. If the issue isn’t addressed or if reporting it to the manager isn’t appropriate (for instance, if the manager is part of the problem), I would follow my organisation’s whistleblowing policy which may involve contacting an external body such as the Health and Safety Executive. It is important to raise this concern to prevent harm, maintain a safe work environment and fulfil my legal responsibilities.”
If you observe environmental damage due to work activities
“I would document what I’ve observed and communicate this to my workplace’s environmental officer or a senior manager. If the issue is not resolved or if it is being ignored, I would then consider reporting it to an external agency like the Environment Agency. It is my duty to report these concerns to help prevent further damage and ensure the organization is compliant with environmental legislation.”
For cover-ups of wrongdoing or inadequate care being provided
“Both situations would be reported following my employer’s formal procedures, starting with a direct supervisor or manager, or possibly through a confident reporting tool if provided. The reasoning is that covering up wrongdoing and providing inadequate care both go against the core values of health and social care, including the responsibility to provide safe and effective care. Should internal reporting not lead to action, I would follow the whistleblowing policy, potentially reporting to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) or other relevant supervisory authority.”
If a manager or anyone else is involved in abuse
Explain: “I would bypass the individual involved and report directly to a higher management level, safeguarding lead, or external authority such as the CQC. It is vital to ensure the safety of service users and colleagues and uphold the zero-tolerance policy on abuse within care settings.”
In your explanation of how you would raise your concerns, ensure you outline the appropriate internal processes first, such as reporting to a supervisor, manager, or through other internal channels. If the internal process is exhausted, ineffective, or unsuitable, detail how you would use the whistleblowing policy – this may include contacting external bodies like the CQC or local authority safeguarding teams.
The rationale for raising concerns is rooted in ensuring the safety and well-being of service users, upholding legal and ethical standards, and reinforcing a culture of transparency and accountability within the care environment. Remember, as a care worker, your priority is the welfare of those you support, and it’s important to act if you believe someone’s care or safety is being compromised.