All health and social care services in Scotland have a duty of candour. This is a legal requirement which means that when things go wrong and mistakes happen, the people affected understand what has happened, receive an apology, and that organisations learn how to improve for the future.
An important part of this duty is that we provide an annual report about the duty of candour in our services. This short report describes how The Cottage Family Centre has operated the duty of candour during the time between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019. We hope you find this report useful.
The Cottage Family Centre was established in 1987. The focus of the work at the Centre is to provide a range of support to those families and individuals within family units who are vulnerable to social exclusion as a result of factors such as poverty, unemployment, poor housing, relationship breakdown, drug and alcohol problems and health related issues.
The Children’s Service provides childcare for children aged from six weeks to 7 years. The crèche facility is regulated by the Care Inspectorate. The children’s service area is used for caring for children whilst parents are involved in the adult activity programme in the Centre. Although registered and inspected as a crèche, the work undertaken by the staff is more involved and complex than that of a traditional crèche facility due to the nature of the business of the Centre and the reasons for the referral for support. For example, children’s services staff will undertake specific pieces of work with individual children following on from the assessment and are required to undertake observations on the children attending and ensure that case records are maintained to identify:
The Children’s Workers maintain records of each child to assess their developmental stages and to identify where they are in respect of their milestones.
In the last year, there has been no incident to which the duty of candour applied. These are where types of incident have happened which are unintended or unexpected, and do not relate directly to the natural course of someone’s illness or underlying condition.
Type of unexpected or unintended incident
|Type of unexpected or unintended incident||Number of times this happened|
|Someone has died||0|
|Someone has permanently less bodily, sensory, motor, physiologic or intellectual functions||0|
|Someone’s treatment has increased because of harm||0|
|The structure of someone’s body changes because of harm||0|
|Someone’s life expectancy becomes shorter because of harm||0|
|Someone’s sensory, motor or intellectual functions is impaired for 28 days or more||0|
|Someone experienced pain or psychological harm for 28 days or more||0|
|A person needed health treatment in order to prevent them dying||0|
|A person needing health treatment in order to prevent other injuries||0|
The Cottage Family Centre implemented the Duty of Candour policies and procedures to come into effect within our service from the 1st of April 2018. The children’s service co-ordinator and strategic Manager are responsible for ensuring:
Where something has happened that triggers the duty of candour, our staff report this to the Children’s Service Co-Ordinator who has responsibility for ensuring that the duty of candour procedure is followed. The Co-ordinator records the incident and reports as necessary to both the Strategic Manager and The Care Inspectorate. When an incident has happened, the Co-ordinator and staff set up a learning review. This allows everyone involved to review what happened and identifies changes for the future.
All new staff learn about the duty of candour at their induction. We know that serious mistakes can be distressing for staff as well as people who use care and their families. We have occupational support in place through our HR Peninsula Business Services for our staff if they have been affected by a duty of candour incident.
Where parents or children are affected by the duty of candour, we have arrangements in place to provide welfare support as necessary.
We made a change to our policies and procedures as a result of the duty of candour. We have reviewed the way in which we provide snacks to children to ensure that allergies are known to all staff and that staff are confident about how they can avoid harm arising from them.
This is the first year of the duty of candour being in operation and it has been a learning experience for our Centre. It has helped us to remember that people who use care have the right to know when things go badly, as well as when they go well.
As required, we have submitted this report to the Care Inspectorate but in the spirit of openness we have also placed it on our website and shared it with our families too.
If you would like more information about our The Cottage Family Centre please contact us using these details:
The Cottage Family Centre
29-31 Cawdor Crescent
Telephone: 01592 269489