The safety and well-being of service users, staff, and other stakeholders is a priority for any organization. Failure to comply with legislation can result in an unsafe working environment that has negative effects on the people it impacts (e.g., They may not be able to get jobs elsewhere). There must therefore exist systems in place at all times which ensure compliance so we donít end up putting our clientsí health at risk
Important legislation that relates to NHS, social care, and voluntary sector providers are discussed below.
Health & Safety At Work Act (HASAW) 1974
This act applies to all staff working for an organization with the exception of volunteers. It provides rules and regulations for employers who must ensure that their employees are safe whilst at work. Staff is expected to work in a safe environment that is free of risks to their health and safety.
This act applies to those who provide social care as part of their business. In addition, anyone involved in the trading and selling of adult services has a legal obligation to register with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The CQC is an independent body that carries out checks on providers and can take enforcement action if they find breaches relating to safeguarding, quality of care, and the registration process. It is therefore vital to check with them before registering an adult service business or providing any services at all.
CQC also provides guidance on legislation relating to social care services which can be accessed here. This includes safe staffing levels for residential homes, nursing staff in hospitals, childrenís homes, and home care services.