You must always keep high standards of performance:
1. Keep your professional knowledge, skills and experience up to date;
2. act within the limits of your knowledge, skills and experience and, if necessary, refer on to another professional;
3. maintain proper and effective communications with patients, clients, users, carers and professionals;
4. effectively supervise tasks you have asked others to carry out for you;
5. get informed consent to give treatment (except in an emergency);
6. keep accurate patient, client or user records;
7. deal fairly and safely with the risks of infection; and
8. limit your work or stop practicing if your performance or judgement is affected by your health.
You must keep within you scope of practice. This means that you should only practice in those fields in which you have appropriate education, training and experience.
When accepting a patient, client or user, you have a duty of care. This includes the obligation to refer them for further professional advice or treatment if it becomes clear that the task is beyond your own scope of practice. A person is entitled to a referral for a second opinion at any time and you are under an obligation to accept the request and do so promptly. If you accept a referral from another health or social-care professional, you must make sure you fully understand the request. You should only provide the treatment or advice if you believe this is appropriate. If this is not the case, you must discuss the matter with the practitioner who has made the referral, and also the patient, client or user, before you begin treatment.
3. You must maintain proper and effective communications with patients, clients, users, carers and professionals;
You must take all reasonable steps to make sure you can communicate properly and effectively with your patients, clients or users, and their carers and family. You must also communicate effectively, co-operate, and share your knowledge and expertise with professional colleagues for the benefit of patients, clients and users.
4. You must effectively supervise tasks you have asked others to carry out for you;
People who consult you or receive treatment or services from you are entitled to assume that a person who has the knowledge and skill to practice their profession will carry out their treatment. Whenever you give tasks to another person to carry out on your behalf, you must be sure that they have the knowledge, skills and experience to carry out the task safely and effectively. If they are not health professionals, you must not ask them to do the work of health professionals. If they are health professionals, you must not ask them to do work that is outside of their scope of practice. If they are training to be health professionals, you should always be sure that they are capable of carrying out the task safely and effectively.
Whoever you ask to carry out a task, you must always continue to give adequate and appropriate supervision and you will stay responsible for the outcome. If someone tells you they are unwilling to carry out a task because they do not think they are capable of doing so safely and effectively, you must not force them to carry out the task anyway. If their refusal raises a disciplinary or training issue, you must deal with that separately, but you should not endanger the safety of the patient, client or user.
5. You must get
informed consent to give treatment (except in an emergency);
You must explain to the patient, client or user the treatment you are planning on carrying out, the risks involved and any other treatment possible. You must make sure that you get their informed consent to any treatment you do carry out. You must make a record of the person’s treatment decisions and pass this on to all members of the health or social-care team involved in their care. In emergencies you may not be able to explain treatment, get consent or pass on information to other members of the health or social care team; however you should still try to do all of these things as far as you can.
If someone refuses treatment and you believe it is necessary for their wellbeing, you must make reasonable efforts to persuade them, particularly of you think that there is a significant or immediate risk to their life. You must keep to your employer’s procedures on consent and be aware of any guidance issued by the Ministry of Health or other appropriate authority in the country in which you practice.
6. You must keep accurate patient, client or user records;
Making and keeping records is an essential part of patient care and you must keep records for everyone you treat or who asks for professional advice or services. All records must be complete and legible, and you should write, sign and date all entries.
If you are supervising students, you should also
sign any student’s entries in th notes. Whenever you review the records, you
should update them and include a record of any arrangements you have made for
the continuing care of the patient, client or user.
You must protect information in records against loss, damage or use by anyone who is not authorised. You can use computer based systems for keeping records but only if they are protected against anyone tampering with them (including other health professionals). If you update a record, you must not erase information that was previously there, or make that information difficult to read. Instead you must mark it in some way (for example, by drawing a line through the old information).
7. You must deal fairly and safely with the risks of infection;
You must not refuse to treat someone just because they have an infection. You must keep to the rules of confidentiality when dealing with people who have infections. For some infections, such as sexually transmitted infections, these rules may be more restrictive than the rules of confidentiality for people in other circumstances. Confidentiality is discussed in more detail in this document.
You must take appropriate precautions to protect your patient, client or user, their families and carers, your staff and yourself from infection. In particular, you should protect your patient, client or users from infecting one another. You must take precautions against the risk that you will infect someone else. This is especially important if you suspect or you know that you have an infection that could harm others, particularly patients, clients and users. If you believe or know that you may have such an infection, you must get medical advice and act on it. This may include the need for you to stop practicing altogether, or to change you practice in some way in the best interests of protecting your patients. We discuss health issues in more detail later.
You have a duty to take action if your health could be harming your fitness to practice. We may take action against you if you do not take action and your physical or mental health is harming your fitness to practice. You should get advice from a consultant in occupational health or another suitable qualified medical practitioner and act on it. This advice should consider whether, and in what ways, you should practice, including stopping practicing if this is necessary. You should also tell us about significant changes to your health and any changes you make to your practice as a result.