Improve Responsiveness and Limit Service User Risk

Having an open and transparent approach to the reporting of adverse incidents is an essential part of promoting safety, ensuring good safeguarding practice and meeting CQC’s expectations in relation to duty of candour. Operating a simple but clearly understood system will improve the likelihood that incidents are promptly brought to your attention so that you can take action and ensure that the risks to your service users are minimised.

However, even though your team may be excellent at reporting incidents, do you ever consider whether you’re involving them in your response? Managers frequently put in place responses based on what they think is the best approach, rather than encouraging input from their team. This can limit the effectiveness of your response and encourage a culture where staff see it as their responsibility simply to report problems, leaving management to solve them alone.

Using reflective practice can be an excellent way of encouraging your team to think about adverse incidents in more depth and to identify any measures that could be implemented to reduce the risk of a recurrence. After all, encouraging your team to identify the factors that contributed to the incident can only help to make your response better informed and more effective.

Read on to learn more about how you can avoid adverse incidents and create a safer workplace by encouraging reflective practice within your team.

Reflective Practice

 Reflective practice aims to encourage staff to review how they responded to a situation in order to help identify whether their actions were effective or if a different approach could be used in future. By asking your staff to complete a reflective practice feedback form as part of their incident report, you can encourage them to share their feedback with you and improve the quality of your response.

Improve Your Responsiveness: Ask Your Staff these 4 Questions 

  1. What do you think contributed to this incident? Encourage your team to think about the events leading up to the incident or possible triggers that could have been responsible. This may help you take steps to prevent a situation escalating in future.
  2. Could you have done anything differently? By making staff think about their role in the incident, they are more likely to be able to identify areas for learning and adapt how they deal with other similar incidents.
  3. How would you respond next time? This question encourages the individual concerned to think about strategies that could be used in future or, if they are unsure, to seek help from a senior member of staff. Having been involved in an incident, there’s no excuse for not being better prepared next time.
  4. If the incident involved a service user, do their support plan and risk assessments need updating? Any learning from an incident involving a service user should always be reflected in their care records. Ensure that these are updated promptly to include any changes to care interventions or support needed.

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