Safe Practice

Accountability

This unit will help to clarify what accountability means to you as a registered practitioner. The role of your regulatory body is important, but equally so are the processes and policies which will ensure that your practice is safe and that you have learned about in the other sections of this unit.

Personal accountability

As a newly qualified, registered practitioner you should revisit your knowledge of accountability. Reflect on the following questions:

  • what does accountability mean to me?
  • what is my professional/regulatory body's definition of accountability and how is this stated by your regulatory body
  • what are my employer's expectations with regard to accountability within my role?
  • how will I deal with demands/expectations or situations that take me beyond my normal role boundaries?
  • how can I use this knowledge help me develop as an autonomous practitioner?

You will need information from your professional body when considering these questions.

HCPC Standards of conduct, performance and ethics and own professional code

NMC The code: Standards of conduct, performance and ethics for nurses and midwives

The following resources about delegation may also be useful to you:

NMC: Delegation information

Royal College of Nursing: Accountability and delegation

Your professional body may also have specific guidance.

Throughout your career, you will find that the issues you have considered in this activity arise occasionally and it is important that you deal with them appropriately. Reflect on your answers to the questions above and situations where you think these issues could come into play. Record your reflections and add them to your portfolio. Discuss your reflections with your mentor; they will have valuable experience and knowledge.

Selecting Clinical Guidelines

Select an aspect of care that you have carried out which has followed a clinical guideline protocol and/or procedure.

  • why was this guideline selected?
  • did the multi-professional team agree with using this guideline?
  • how did using this guideline benefit the patient/client?

Discuss your findings with your mentor, included in this discussion could be:

  • why are clinical guidelines important?
  • what guidelines are used?
  • are they always used?

Revisit this activity if you rotate to another area or extend your range of practice within the same clinical area.

Using Clinical Guidelines

Select an aspect of care that you have carried out which has followed a clinical guideline protocol and/or procedure.

  • why was this guideline selected?
  • did the multi-professional team agree with using this guideline?
  • how did using this guideline benefit the patient/client?

Record what you have found for your portfolio.

Revisit this activity if you rotate to another area or extend your range of practice within the same clinical area.

What do you do?

In the activities above, and elsewhere in Flying Start NHS®, you have considered your accountability how guidelines are used in your work setting, and working in a person centred way.

Bearing all of these factors in mind, what do you do when a patient/client does not want their care to be provided in line with the guidelines you are trying to implement?

You may want to

  • think of a specific situation you have encountered and to reflect on your reaction and how you would react in this situation in future
  • using a guideline implemented in your work setting identify potential issues
  • identify why the patient/client feels this way

Record your reflections for your portfolio and there may be issues that you want to discuss with your mentor.

Portfolio Accountability

Make a portfolio entry which summarises what you have learned about accountability. Make sure you discuss this with your mentor/supervisor and/or NHS KSF reviewer and that your future learning needs are reflected in your Personal Development Plan.

Add an alert to your Flying Start NHS® portfolio and /or make a date in your diary to revisit Accountability.