Assessment, Occupational Therapy in Practice, OTalk

‘Working Creatively with Risk’ – #OTalk 30th April 2013.


Working Creatively with Risk

Date:  30/04/2013   Host: @Helen_OTUK

Blog Post –  Transcript  –  Post Chat Summary

This weeks #OTalk will look at risk, how we assess, manage and work with risk.

Most if not all organisations will include this in induction training and will have adopted there own practices and paperwork etc. So we will cover these issues briefly. However, the focus of the chat will be how we as Occupational Therapists work with risk and more importantly ‘how creative are we when exploring individual needs and wishes?’

Below are a few resources to get the thinking going:

COT Guidance for members can be accessed here: Risk Management

The Health and Safety Executive have many resources to guide your thinking and practice around Risk management and advocate some very useful guidance about the Principles of sensible risk management.

Sensible risk management is about:

  • Ensuring that workers and the public are properly protected
  • Providing overall benefit to society by balancing benefits and risks, with a focus on reducing real risks – both those which arise more often and those with serious consequences
  • Enabling innovation and learning not stifling them
  • Ensuring that those who create risks manage them responsibly and understand that failure to manage real risks responsibly is likely to lead to robust action
  • Enabling individuals to understand that as well as the right to protection, they also have to exercise responsibility

Sensible risk management is not about:

  • Creating a totally risk free society
  • Generating useless paperwork mountains
  • Scaring people by exaggerating or publicising trivial risks
  • Stopping important recreational and learning activities for individuals where the risks are managed
  • Reducing protection of people from risks that cause real harm and suffering
Understanding how the HSE will evaluate decisions can also be helpful HSE’s decision-making process: Reducing risks, protecting people.

Risk Culture, appetite and tolerance.

What type of risk culture do you work in?

Is this congruent with your own risk culture or that of our profession?

The Institute of Risk Management considers ‘An effective Risk culture to be one that enables and rewards individuals and groups for taking the right risks in an informed manner’.

Risk Appetite and Tolerance are concepts that are aimed at organisations and have been developed to help executive boards and directors build an appropriate risk culture. The Institute of Risk Management’s view is that ”both risk appetite and risk tolerance are inextricably linked to performance over time. We believe that while risk appetite is about the pursuit of risk, risk tolerance is about what you can allow the organisation to deal with”.

What are your feelings about risk?

Do you work collaboratively with your clients to assess and manage risk?

Who makes the final decision?

What have feelings got to do with risk?

Do you and your organisation support risk to facilitate positive outcomes for an individual?

The following examples are taken from a social care view point with a focus on personal budgets, included here to spark some thoughts and discussion about risk and how we balance the positive and negative aspects of risk and risk taking.

Social care TV: Personal Budgets: Risk Enablement and Mental Health

At a glance 31: Enabling risk, ensuring safety: Self-directed support and personal budgets

Key messages

  • Providing real choice and control for people who use social care means enabling people to take the risks they choose, particularly in the use of self-directed support and personal budgets.
  • With the support of frontline staff, people using services should be enabled to define their own risks and to recognise, identify and report abuse, neglect and safeguarding issues. Informed choice is vital.
  • Practitioners may be concerned with balancing risk enablement with their professional duty of care to keep people safe.
  • Practitioners need to be supported by local authorities/Northern Ireland health and social care trusts to incorporate safeguarding and risk enablement into relationship-based, person-centred working. Good quality, consistent and trusted relationships and good communication are particularly important.
  • Risk enablement can transform care, not just prevent abuse. Risk enablement and safeguarding training for staff, people using services, carers and families is important in achieving this.
  • Risk enablement should become a core part of placing people at the centre of their own care and support. It cannot be a ‘bolt-on’ solution to traditional adult social care systems which are not person-centred.

I look forward to exploring these issues and learning from your experiences, tweet you on Tuesday 8pm (UK) as usual.

4 thoughts on “‘Working Creatively with Risk’ – #OTalk 30th April 2013.”

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