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National Health Care Code of Conduct

June 13, 2016 1 Comment

A National Code of Conduct for Health Care Workers is expected to be operational come 2017. This Health Care Code of Conduct is aimed at health care workers, including aged care personal care workers.

National Standards

Creating a National Code for Health Care Workers

As there has been no ‘national’ professional standards in place for personal care workers, setting them has become an issue as reviews of the aged care sector, as well as heartbreaking cases of misconduct, have taken place. And considering that personal care workers make up almost 70% of the care in residential aged care facilities, addressing the issue has gained even further momentum.

As a health care worker who is not currently registered under the national registration and accreditation scheme you will be held accountable to nationally agreed standards of conduct. It’s important that you be aware that serious breaches of the code can result in you having conditions placed on your work (ie. a prohibition order with limitations) or being banned from being involved with care duties completely. Breaches of a prohibition order can actually result in heavy fines or imprisonment.

As this is a ‘national’ code, any prohibition order issued in one state or territory will apply in every other state or territory within Australia. An online national register of prohibition orders will be set up, and can be searched by potential employers and the general public.

This National Health Care Code of Conduct will apply to anyone who provides a health service. This includes:

  • personal care workers
  • assistants in nursing
  • speech pathologists
  • dietitians
  • allied health assistants
  • audiologists
  • social workers
  • massage therapists

Many of the standards within the code of conduct are already part of health care industry training and what would be considered basic ethical treatment of another human being. In summary, the code states that as a health care worker you must provide services in a safe and ethical manner, report concerns about the conduct of other health care workers, not misinform clients, and not financially exploit clients.

You can read the code in full at the COAG Health Council website.

About the Author:

Susan Stephens is the Managing Director and driving force behind Back to Basics Care. She is dedicated to providing quality learning and development opportunities to the Health Care Industry, and bringing you current and useful information applicable to the sector.

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