Code of Practice

Scope

Whether you are in training, volunteering or fully certified, any person who is a member of the Living Well, Dying Well network  and End of Life Doula UK agrees to adhere to the following code of practice:

Accountability

You are accountable for your own practice in whatever environment you choose to work.  In all circumstances the wishes and welfare of the client/family/those close to the person must be of primary importance.

You will represent your learning and experience truthfully and will not mislead other Doulas, clients or other health professionals (i.e. websites, leaflets, emails interviews, etc.) as to your level of Doula learning or experience.

You are honest, demonstrating integrity and respect always, towards all those who you encounter during your work. This includes but is not limited to clients, friends/family/those close to the client, colleagues, informal and formal Carers, other health and social care professionals.

You are asked to have clear written agreements with your clients.

You should keep records of your activities – for example of dates and times attending, significant events and activities, safeguarding issues and in pre- and post-bereavement support roles.

You will not deliberately do anything which will bring the name of Living Well Dying Well and End of Life Doula UK into disrepute.

Scope of Practice

Your role is to explore various options, enabling the person you are supporting to make their own decisions about the appropriate course of action, and support them to act upon those decisions.

You work 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 family environment.

Please note 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 a 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 support the individual to identify and access other appropriate resources/professionals should their needs go beyond the scope of your role.

You should never engage in an illegal act.

You will not be supported should you choose to travel with a person to or be present at a planned assisted death.  In these circumstances you will be acting outside this Code of Practice and the name of Living Well Dying Well or End of Life Doula UK should not in anyway be associated with activities relating to assisted dying or euthanasia.

Mentoring

You have responsibility for identifying the person who will Mentor you.  A list of Living Well Dying Well/End of Life Doula UK approved Mentors is available on request.

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.

Confidentiality

You should not discuss personal and confidential information which has been disclosed to you by your clients during your Doula work without the express permission of those clients, except in situations as outlined in LWDW “Confidentiality” policy or as part of the Mentoring process. Information about an individual must always be held in a secure manner

Maintaining Practice

All of us have responsibility to develop and maintain positive work relationships within the Doula Community of Practice.

You will

  • embrace and demonstrate our ethos of person centredness
  • demonstrate the vison, aims of End of Life Doula UK and your own responsibilities as a member
  • participate in our Community of Practice being willing to share know how, skills and mentor others
  • be open to collaborating with organisations and individuals outside of the Doula network in your own communities
  • be responsible for reflecting on your actual competence compared with the defined competences for the role. This means you should engage in learning and development to obtain the required standard. As importantly you should recognise when you are operating beyond your sphere of competence and seek appropriate support from within our network
  • respect the values of the family or organisation and the environment in which you practice.
  • be sensitive, mindful and professional in your communications and appearance.
  • take responsibility to maintain/enhance your skills and learning by being informed of end of life Care matters and through attending courses, workshops and lectures, as Continuing Professional Development
  • 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.
  • ensure they renew and maintain DBS status.

We are all responsible for ensuring that this code of practice is subscribed to.  If you have any concerns relating to yourself or others, then please contact a member on the End of Life Doula UK Committee.  Similarly, if you have any suggestions on how this Code of Practice could be improved then please let us know.

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