Health Professions Council. Standard of Conduct, Performance and Ethics. 2008. http// (accessed 26 October 2011)

A Duty of Care

04 November 2011
Volume 3 · Issue 11

What duty of care do you have for your patients? We talk a lot about duty. It is embedded in our daily conversations. We talk about ‘off-duty’, we enquire when staff are ‘on duty’ or on a ‘duty roster’. It has become part of our everyday vocabulary, but failing to provide a duty of care is the most common reason for doctors to be sued for negligence. The law of negligence seeks to ensure that as individuals, we are responsible for both our actions and our inactions.

Our first duty of health care is that the patient remains central to all care. This is both evident and implicit in the majority of the literature, policy documents and various governmental White Papers. However, there can be a tendency to forget, or to perhaps overlook, this fact when budgeting, managing or designing services for the very people that we are all here to care for—the patients. Occasionally, we are patients ourselves and it is often this very experience that shapes our own attitudes and beliefs.

Subscribe to get full access to the Journal of Paramedic Practice

Thank you for visiting the Journal of Paramedic Practice and reading our archive of expert clinical content. If you would like to read more from the only journal dedicated to those working in emergency care, you can start your subscription today for just £48.

What's included

  • CPD Focus

  • Develop your career

  • Stay informed