End of Life Doula UK
Code of Practice
Whether you are in training, volunteering or supporting individuals as an End of Life Doula, any person who is a member of End of Life Doula UK agrees to adhere to the following code of practice.
You are accountable for your own practice in whatever environment you choose to work. In all circumstances the wishes and welfare of the client and people important to them must be of primary importance.
You will represent your learning and experience truthfully and will not mislead other End of Life Doulas, clients or health and care professionals (e.g. on websites, leaflets, emails, social media, interviews), as to your level of End of Life Doula learning or experience.
You will be honest, demonstrating integrity, dignity and respect always, towards all those who you encounter during your work. This includes but is not limited to, clients, people important to the client, colleagues, informal and formal carers, health and social care professionals.
You will not deliberately do anything which will bring the name or reputation of End of Life Doula UK into disrepute.
You will never engage in an illegal act.
Scope of Practice
Your role is to explore options, enabling the person you are supporting to make their own decisions about the appropriate course of action for them, and support them to act upon those decisions.
You will aim to maintain the highest level of care and support possible, all the time striving to be person centred, sensitive, nurturing, empathic, non-judgemental, knowledge-based, flexible, reliable, well organised, practical and supportive of the client and their social environment.
You will support the individual to identify and access other appropriate resources/professionals should their needs go beyond the scope of your role.
Please note End of Life Doulas do not perform clinical or medical tasks, diagnose medical conditions or give medical advice, even if trained as a health professional prior to becoming/or whilst working as an End of Life Doula. Likewise, if the Doula is also qualified as a therapist in some other field and wishes to apply this skill in his/her practice, it must be made clear that they do this within the codes of professional practice of the therapy.
You will work within the ethos of the End of Life Doua UK Assisted Dying Statement by complying with UK Law and not travelling with a person to, or be present at, a planned assisted death. The name of End of Life Doula UK should not in any way be associated with activities relating to assisted dying or euthanasia.Page Break
You are asked to have clear written agreements with your clients.
You are advised to keep records of your activities e.g. dates, times, significant events and activities, safeguarding issues and in pre- and post-bereavement support roles.
You are asked to have a clear written agreement with your clients about the financial arrangements. This will include an hourly rate or other single payments, being clear what this includes: what you have agreed about expenses; how the money will be paid e.g. upon receipt of an invoice into your bank account, by cheque, to EoLDUK; who the payment will be made to; how regularly, when it will be reviewed; if receipts will be provided for each payment. It is highly recommended that payments are made electronically or by cheque and never in cash.
You will be required to provide evidence of your DBS and Indemnity Insurance to EOLD UK and/or your client upon request.
You will accept the support of a Mentor when working with a client. Mentors will be matched with members by one of the Directors, but members can make a request for a specific member to be their Mentor if they wish.
Where you feel any uncertainty about your role; requests made by clients, families, friends and others close to the individual, carers or other health and social care professionals; or issues related to your own or others’ practice, you should contact your mentor as soon as possible or else your Regional Lead or a Director of End of Life Doula UK.
You will not discuss personal and confidential information which has been disclosed to you by your clients during your End of Life Doula work, without the express permission of those clients, except in situations as outlined in the Risk and Safeguarding and GDPR policies for End of Life Doula UK, or as part of the mentoring process. Information about an individual must always be held securely.
Duty of Care
We have a Duty of Care to those we are supporting. This means that if at any point you believe that an individual is at an immediate risk of harming themselves or others, or has already taken steps to do so, you must contact emergency services immediately.
You will refer to the Risk and Safeguarding Policy and procedures.
You will develop and maintain positive work relationships within the End of Life Doula Community of Practice.
You will take responsibility for your own Continuing Professional Development to ensure you remain fit to practise as an End of Life Doula.
You will operate in line with all of End of Life Doula UK policies, practices and guidelines.
- embrace and demonstrate the End of Life Doula UK ethos of person centredness.
- reflect the vision and aims of End of Life Doula UK as a member of the organisation and network of End of Life Doulas.
- participate in the End of Life Doula Community of Practice, being willing to share knowledge and skills and mentor others.
- be open to collaborating with organisations and individuals outside of the End of Life Doula network in your own communities.
- be responsible for reflecting on your competence compared with the defined competencies for the role. This means you should engage in learning and development to obtain the required standard. As importantly you should recognise if you are operating outside your own competence and seek appropriate support from within our network.
- respect the values of clients and the people important to them and the organisations and environment in which you practise.
- be sensitive, mindful and professional in your communications and appearance.
- take responsibility to maintain and enhance your skills and learning by being informed of end of life care matters and through attending courses, workshops and lectures.
- be committed to the process of mentoring and reflective practice.
- take responsibility for obtaining Professional Indemnity Insurance, when not covered by Living Well Dying Well’s Volunteer Insurance (this applies during training when volunteering only and does not cover you when practising during or after training)
- ensure you have a current DBS check in place.
Non Compliance with the Code of Practice
The Code of Practice is what guides our work as End of Life Doulas operating under the umbrella of End of Life Doula UK. Therefore, all breaches of the Code of Practice will be considered seriously.
All reports of breaches will be approached with the aim of being supportive to the member, assuming in the first place that mitigating circumstances or a lack of support or knowledge may have led to the breach.
If a person considers a breach of the Code of Conduct has occurred then they can inform the Directors of End of Life Doula UK in writing or in person. This can be done by another member, a client or person important to them or a health or care professional.
If it is suspected that a member has breached this Code of Practice then the Directors will nominate one of themselves or a member of the Committee to investigate the breach and report back to the Directors.
The Director or Committee member leading the investigation will inform the member an accusation has been made and that they will aim to complete any investigation within 28 working days. If they are unable to, they will inform the member as to why not and how long it will take.
Their investigation will consider:
- the details outlined in an allegation. If the allegation is unclear or does not provide sufficient information this will be followed up and the person asked to provide more information
- the part of the Code of Practice that has allegedly been breached
- a conversation with the member who may have breached the Code of Practice
- conversations with anyone else who may be affected by, or involved in any way, in the breach
- any relevant paperwork, email trails etc
Once the Director or Committee member leading the investigation has completed their review of all the information above, they will decide if a breach has been made and document the outcome.
The report they will produce will contain:
- A description of the allegation
- The part of the Code of Practice that has been alleged to have been breached
- Evidence/information gained during the investigation
- The decision as to whether a breach has occurred
- Recommendations about the actions
Actions can include:
- Discussion with the member (if the accusation was not upheld) as to what led to the accusation and how a similar situation could be avoided – if relevant
- Discussion with the member as to how the member can remedy the breach if they want to continue to be a member of End of Life Doula UK – with a timetable for doing so. This may involve nominating a mentor to support the member for a fixed period, a requirement to attend training at the members own cost, a required apology to the affected party. If the member does not want to follow this course of action, then their End of Life Doula UK membership will be terminated with immediate effect. A decision to end the membership in these circumstances may include a recommendation that the person can reapply to be a member after a fixed period, subject to conditions
- A decision that the member can no longer be a member of End of Life Doula UK and so membership is terminated with immediate effect. Reapplying for membership will not be permitted in these circumstances
The following parts of the Code of Practice are considered serious enough that if a member is found to have breached one of them their membership will be terminated. Other breaches may also lead to the termination of a membership:
- not ensuring the wishes and welfare of the client and people important to them are made of primary importance.
- deliberately doing anything which will bring the name or reputation of End of Life Doula UK into disrepute.
- discussing personal and confidential information which has been disclosed to you by your clients during your End of Life Doula work, without the express permission of those clients
- Engaging in any illegal act
Process following the investigation
If it is considered that a breach of the Code of Conduct has been made then the report will be considered by the directors at their next meeting.
The member will be informed of the outcome.
The member may appeal the decision to the Directors who will consider the reasons the member feels there are grounds for appeal.
If the Directors at this stage consider the reasons are reasonable, they can overturn the decision. If they consider there are no grounds for appeal then the decision recommended in the report will be upheld. No further appeal can be made as the Director’s decision at this stage is final.
A record of the final decision will be added to the report and kept on record.
If conditions are applied to allow a member to continue being a member the Director leading the investigation will monitor whether these conditions have been met and the outcome recorded as above.
Keeping this Code of Practice current
All members of End of Life Doula UK are responsible for ensuring that this Code of Practice is subscribed to. If you have any concerns relating to yourself or others, then please contact one of the Directors of End of Life Doula UK. Similarly, if you have any suggestions on how this Code of Practice could be improved then please let us know