Risk management and mitigation planning is described asthe procedure of establishing options and activities that enhancesopportunities in order to reduce the amount of risk in the organization. Due tothe attention to risk management and mitigation in health and social caresector which will not only reduce risk to patients and staffs, it will alsocreate a safe environment for care and it helps organizations in achievingtheir strategic, corporate and clinical goals. The plan will provide theoverall framework which shows how risks are managed by the organisation. Thisstrategy will be focusing on risk management procedures from an organisational pointof view rather than an individual perspective (Camden and Islington NHSfoundation trust). In the context of the scenario, there was a significantrisk because Mrs Jones had dementia. “Dementia is a syndrome (a group ofrelated symptoms) associated with an ongoing decline of the brain and itsabilities” (NHS Choices, 2017). Dementia arises as a result of several diseasesor illnesses that affect the brain- the prominent of these diseases are strokeand Alzheimer’s disease (WHO, 2016).
Dementia becomes extremely challenging inthe later stages for the people who experience feelings of being lost,frustration, anxiety, fear, confusion, understanding, stress and become progressivelymore dependent on others to fulfil their needs (NHS Choices, 2017). However, asan adult, Mrs. Jones has a right to wishes and choices respected (Koubel and Bungay, 2012).Although Nurse Butler contacted social services about MrsJones’ gas that was switched on and left unlit, but the nurse did not act accordingto (RIDDOR 2013) which is a law that requires all staffs to report and keeprecords of any work-related incident that may cause death and injuries in theplace of work. The death of Mrs Jones in her apartment through gas explosionwould have been avoided if Nurse Butler followed required procedure set out inRIDDOR. Therefore, the plan for managing and mitigating such risk in the futurewill be to identify the root cause of the accident, analyse the risk Mrs Jonesand other vulnerable people experience daily, then manage and mitigate thoseknown risk. Moreover in the cause of this scenario, it is obvious that apatient with dementia lived alone and was allowed to manage her affairs withoutsupervision and gas was not required for her central heating which should havebeen cut off earlier; Risk assessment was not performed regularly to determinethe decline in mental capacity of Mrs Jones.
Risk assessment for mental healthpatients like dementia is a continuous process because of the risk they pose tothemselves and others around them (Morgan, 2007). Risk management mitigation plan is vital to every healthand social care organization in order to avoid incident like this fromhappening in the future. This plan involves implementing the risk managementculture into the organisational culture and ensuring that staff have definedroles in managing risks and are well trained to deal with risks as required bylaw. The care Act (2014) set out a clear legal framework onhow local authorities and health and social care organizations should protectadults at risk of abuse or neglect. Nurse Butler has the duty of care tosafeguard Mrs Jones. Across all healthcare sectors, a range of policy,protocol, and standards assist compliance with the duty of care and assistshealth and social care organizations in achieving effective practices all overtheir services and within every department of caring, treatment, supporting andadvising service users.
ConclusionManaging risk in organizations that provide care andsupport to vulnerable adults is very important because it is theirresponsibility to ensure that risk are managed in order to avoid the kind ofincident that occurred in the scenario that was provided for this report. Theroles of risk management in organizations are vital due to the role it plays inmanaging and mitigating risks. Organizational culture has influence in the way anorganization implement new strategies that will help them in managing risk. Followingthe incident that happened on the scenario, it shows that the organization andtheir staffs does not have a competent and effective system in place to managethe risk Mrs Jones was facing when shewas visited which resulted in the gas explosion that killed her. This report suggests some ways organizationscan manage and mitigate risk to avoid such incidents.
RecommendationIn the future the organizations should ensure thatadequate education and training are given to staffs in order to be able toasses risk using a common method of identifying, controlling, minimizing, recordingand reporting it to the relevant department. They should develop strongprocesses and culture in every department and ensure the roles andresponsibilities for managing risk are accepted and followed accordingly.