Here to raise and maintain standards in care

Check a Member

Quality Care Approval Scheme

(“QCAS”)

Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct defines the minimum standards of the Quality Care Approval Scheme and supports you to deliver a high quality service for your clients. In complying with this Code of Conduct you will be committed to operating fairly and providing a high standard of service at all times. You agree to comply with the spirit, as well as the letter of this Code of Conduct along with all legislation that applies to your activities whilst delivering services to your clients. You must only deliver services for which you are qualified, experienced and sufficiently competent to carry out.

Purpose

This Code is based on the principles of protecting the public by promoting best practice. It will ensure that you are ‘working to standard’, providing high quality, compassionate, care and support.

The Code describes the standards of conduct, behaviour and attitude that the public and people who use health and care services should expect. You are responsible for, and have a duty of care to ensure that your conduct does not fall below the standards detailed in the Code. Nothing that you do, or omit to do should harm the health, safety and wellbeing of people who use health and care services and the public in general.

A) As an individual with responsibilities to those you support, you must:
  • 1. Be accountable by making sure you can answer for your actions or omissions.
  • 2. Promote and uphold the privacy, dignity, rights, health and wellbeing of people who use your services at all times.
  • 3. Communicate in an open and effective way to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of people who use your services.
  • 4. Respect a person’s right to confidentiality.
  • 5. Strive to improve the quality of healthcare, care and support through continuing professional development.
  • 6. Uphold and promote equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • 7. Ensure clear and accurate record keeping, invoicing and handling of payments for services provided.
B) Be accountable by making sure you can answer for your actions or omissions

As an individual working under the Quality Care Approval Scheme, you must:

  • 1. Be honest with yourself and others about what you can do, recognise your abilities and the limitations of your competence and only carry out or delegate those tasks agreed in your job description and for which you are competent.
  • 2. Always behave and present yourself in a way that does not call into question your suitability to work in a health and social care environment.
  • 3. Be able to justify and be accountable for your actions or your omissions – i.e. what you do or fail/ omit to do.
  • 4. Always seek advice or guidance if you do not feel able or adequately prepared to carry out any aspect of your work, or if you are unsure how to effectively deliver a task.
  • 5. Always inform your service user about any issues that may affect your ability to perform tasks competently and safely. If you do not feel competent to carry out an activity, you must not carry out the activity.
  • 6. Establish and maintain clear and appropriate professional boundaries in your relationships with people who use your services.
  • 7. Never accept any offers of loans, gifts, benefits or hospitality from anyone you are supporting or anyone close to them which may be seen to compromise your position.
  • 8. Report any actions or omissions by yourself or colleagues that you feel may compromise the safety or care of people who use health and care services and, if necessary, use whistleblowing procedures to report any suspected wrongdoing.
  • 9. You must not behave in a way either in work or outside of work, which would call into question your suitability to work as an individual approved by this scheme.
  • 10. You must not use social media in ways that may be seen as defamatory to Service Users or to the Quality Care Approval Scheme. This includes posting damaging or libellous comments about a service user, a company or its products or publishing sensitive commercial data..
C) Promote and uphold the privacy, dignity, rights, health and wellbeing of people who use your services

As an individual working under the Quality Care Approval Scheme, you must:

  • 1. Always act in the best interests of people who use your services.
  • 2. Always treat people with respect and compassion.
  • 3. Put the needs, goals and aspirations of people who use your services first, helping them to be in control and to choose the healthcare, care and support they receive.
  • 4. Promote people’s independence and ability to self-care, assisting those who use health and care services to exercise their rights and make informed choices.
  • 5. Always gain valid consent before providing care and support.
  • 6. You must also respect a person’s right to refuse to receive healthcare, care and support if they have capacity to do so.
  • 7. Always maintain the privacy and dignity of people who use health and care services, their carers and others.
  • 8. Be alert to any changes that could affect a person’s needs or progress.
  • 9. Always make sure that your actions or omissions do not harm an individual’s health or wellbeing. You must never abuse, neglect, harm or exploit those who use health and care services, their carers or your colleagues.
  • 10. Challenge and report dangerous, abusive, discriminatory or exploitative behaviour or practice.
  • 11. Always take comments and complaints seriously, respond to them in line with your concerns handling policy.
  • 12. You must not share protected personal data and ensure you have a privacy policy
D) Work in collaboration with your colleagues to ensure the delivery of high quality, safe and compassionate healthcare, care and support.

As an individual working under the Quality Care Approval Scheme you must:

  • 1. understand and value your contribution and the vital part you play with other professionals that support your service users.
  • 2. recognise and respect the roles and expertise of your colleagues from other agencies and disciplines and work in partnership with them.
  • 3. work co-operatively with colleagues from other disciplines and organisations and treat them with respect.
  • 4. work openly and co-operatively with people who use health and care services and their families or carers and treat them with respect.
  • 5. honour your work commitments, agreements and arrangements and be reliable, dependable and trustworthy.
  • 6. actively encourage the delivery of high quality healthcare, care and support.
E) Communicate in an open and effective way to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of people who use health and care services and their carers

As an individual working under the Quality Care Approval Scheme you must:

  • 1. Communicate respectfully with people who use health and care services and their carers in an open, accurate, effective, straightforward and confidential way.
  • 2. Communicate effectively and consult with your colleagues as appropriate.
  • 3. Always explain and discuss the care, support or procedure you intend to carry out with the person and only continue if they give valid consent.
  • 4. Maintain clear and accurate records of the healthcare, care and support you provide. Immediately report to necessary professionals and/ or family and/ or nominated representative, changes or concerns you have about a person’s condition.
  • 5. Recognise both the extent and the limits of your role, knowledge and competence when communicating with people who use health and care services, carers and colleagues.
F) Respect people's right to confidentiality

As an individual working under the Care Quality Approval Scheme you must:

  • 1. treat all information about people who use health and care services and their carers as confidential.
  • 2. only discuss or disclose information about people who use health and care services and their carers in accordance with legislation and agreed ways of working.
  • 3. always seek guidance regarding any information or issues that you are concerned about.
G) Strive to improve the quality of healthcare, care and supporting through continuing professional development

As an individual working under the Quality Care Approval Scheme you must:

  • 1. ensure up to date compliance with all statutory and mandatory training as required for your role.
  • 2. participate in continuing professional development to achieve the competence required for your role.
  • 3. maintain an up-to-date record of your training and development.
  • 4. contribute to the learning and development of others as appropriate.
H) Uphold and promote equality, diversity and inclusion

As an individual working under the Quality Care Approval Scheme you must:

  • 1. respect the individuality and diversity of the people who use your services, their carers and your colleagues.
  • 2. not discriminate or condone discrimination against people who use your services, their carers or your colleagues.
  • 3. promote equal opportunities and inclusion for the people who use your services and their carers.
I) Ensure clear and accurate record keeping, invoicing and handling of payments for services provided.

As an individual working under the Quality Care Approval Scheme:

  • 1. You will provide clear information as to the cost, or how the cost will be calculated and description of services prior to starting delivery of services.
  • 2. You must not accept payments in cash. Cash payments are risky and make both you and your service user vulnerable.
  • 3. You must provide an invoice for any and all services provided to your service user.
Glossary of terms

ACCOUNTABLE: accountability is to be responsible for the decisions you make and answerable for your actions.

AGREED WAYS OF WORKING: includes policies and procedures where these exist; they may be less formally documented among individual employers and the self-employed.

BEST INTERESTS: the Mental Capacity Act (2005) sets out a checklist of things to consider when deciding what’s in a person’s ‘best interests’.

CARE AND SUPPORT: care and support assist people to do the everyday things like getting out of bed, getting dressed and going into work, cooking meals, seeing friends, caring for our families and being part of the community. It might include emotional support at a time of difficulty or stress or helping people who are caring for a family member or friend. It can mean support from community groups or networks: for example, giving others a lift to a social event.

It might also include state-funded support such as information and advice, support for carers, housing support, disability benefits and adult social care.

COLLABORATION: the action of working with someone to achieve a common goal.

COMPASSION: descriptions of compassionate care include dignity and comfort, taking time and having the patience to listen, explain and communicate, demonstrating empathy, kindness and warmth; care centred around an individual person’s needs, involving people in the decisions about their healthcare, care and support.

COMPETENCE: the knowledge, skills, attitudes and ability to practise safely and effectively without the need for direct supervision.

COMPETENT: having the necessary ability, knowledge or skill to do something successfully.

CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: this is the way in which a worker continues to learn and develop throughout their careers, keeping their skills and knowledge up to date and ensuring they can work safely and effectively. It can include formal training and informal research.

DIGNITY: covers all aspects of daily life, including respect, privacy, autonomy and self-worth. While dignity may be difficult to define, what is clear is that people know when they have not been treated with dignity and respect. Dignity is about interpersonal behaviours as well as systems and processes.

DISCRIMINATE: discrimination can be the result of prejudice, misconception and stereotyping. Whether this behaviour is intentional or unintentional this does not excuse it. It is the perception of the person discriminated against that is important.

DIVERSITY: celebrating differences and valuing everyone. Diversity encompasses visible and non-visible individual differences and is about respecting those differences.

EFFECTIVE: to be successful in producing a desired or intended result.

EQUALITY: being equal in status, rights and opportunities.

INCLUSION: ensuring that people are treated equally and fairly and are included as part of society.

MENTOR: mentoring is a work-based method of training using existing experienced staff to transfer their skills informally or semi-formally to learners.

OMISSION: to leave out or exclude.

PROMOTE: to support or actively encourage.

RESPECT: to have due regard for someone’s feelings, wishes or rights.

SELF-CARE: this refers to the practices undertaken by people towards maintaining health and wellbeing and managing their own care needs. It has been defined as: “the actions people take for themselves, their children and their families to stay fit and maintain good physical and mental health; meet social and psychological needs; prevent illness or accidents; care for minor ailments and long-term conditions; and maintain health and wellbeing after an acute illness or discharge from hospital.” (Self care – A real choice: Self care support – A practical option, published by Department of Health, 2005).

UPHOLD: to maintain a custom or practice.

VALID CONSENT: for consent to be valid, it must be given voluntarily by an appropriately informed person who has the capacity to consent to the intervention in question. This will be the patient, the person who uses health and care services or someone with parental responsibility for a person under the age of 18, someone authorised to do so under a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) or someone who has the authority to make treatment decisions as a court appointed deputy). Agreement where the person does not know what the intervention entails is not ‘consent’.

WELLBEING: a person’s wellbeing may include their sense of hope, confidence, self-esteem, ability to communicate their wants and needs, ability to make contact with other people, ability to show warmth and affection, experience and showing of pleasure or enjoyment.

WHISTLEBLOWING: whistleblowing is when a worker reports suspected wrongdoing at work. Officially this is called ‘making a disclosure in the public interest’ and may sometimes be referred to as ‘escalating concerns.’ You must report things that you feel are not right, are illegal or if anyone at work is neglecting their duties. This includes when someone’s health and safety is in danger; damage to the environment; a criminal offence; that the company is not obeying the law (like not having the right insurance); or covering up wrongdoing.

Working in partnership with

Buckinghamshire County Council