For healthcare providers, having clear standards of behaviour is absolutely essential to delivering safe and high-quality care.
However, for those whose operations transcend borders, there are different, albeit very similar, Codes of Practice for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
What Codes of Practice are in place?
In England, there is a Code of Conduct for Healthcare Support Workers and Adult Social Care Workers.
In Scotland, there is a Code of Conduct for Healthcare Support Workers, which has been designed for all healthcare support workers in NHS Scotland.
In Wales, there is a Code of Conduct for Healthcare Support Workers within NHS Wales.
In Northern Ireland, there is a Standards of Conduct and Practice for Social Care Workers.
What do these Codes of Conduct aim to do?
As we discussed before, they do vary slightly from country to country, but the main principle that underpins these Codes is accountability. Workers should be accountable for both their actions and omissions and they should only do the job laid down in their job description.
From a HR and Employment Law perspective, what should employers do to ensure staff abide by these Codes of Practice?
You can incorporate the Code of Conduct into your normal way of working and ask employee to sign up to the Code, ideally once they start working for you and before they start working without direct supervision.
You should also refer to it when carrying out performance appraisals and reviews. If it is found that there are staff, who are not acting in line with these standards, you should provide them with the necessary support and training.
The Codes ultimately regulate the employer so it is important to follow the expectations set out in the codes and to ensure all your employees are aware of their behaviour. If you would like to discuss codes of conduct or performance management, get in touch with us.