AuthorMartin Seager, Chris Manning
Resource TypeTerms of reference
The Core Principle underpinning safe and high quality care
Delivering the highest quality of health and social care requires all carers themselves being cared for.
Just as users of health and care services should be able to expect consideration and respect as core elements of safe and high quality care, the National Health Service should equally respect its workforce so that they are safe, sound and supported. The highest quality healthcare can only be provided in a work culture and environment that sustainably supports the health and wellbeing of staff and enables them to be effective, safe and resilient in meeting the many demands made of them.
The Core Principle requires that the following Conditions can and should be followed by all health and social care organisations:
1. Encourage all staff to develop a sense of personal responsibility for their own health and wellbeing within the context of an employment and service environment that is committed to promoting and enabling the optimal health of all by being transparent; through understanding, not blaming and by setting realistic expectations;
2. Provide and protect the reflective space and time required to process the emotional impact of caring for distressed and suffering patients and honour the positive value of the care their staff provide;
3. Ensure that all their staff receive the appropriate and sufficient support, supervision and training both to nurture their professional development and prevent the build-up of job-related stress and distress;
4. Manage workloads, caseloads and working patterns in ways that take account of what is known about the physical and emotional limits of healthy and compassionate caregivers and in ways that do not exceed them;
5. Use targets only in ways that are consonant with the professional values and healing goals of medicine, nursing, therapy and social care;
6. Ensure that work, wherever possible, is based in supportive and well-functioning teams with adequate time being available for meeting with colleagues who provide mutual support, understanding and sense of belonging, thereby ensuring that the individual caregiver is known, appreciated and respected.