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12 Ensure a safe environment for your patients
- Ensure that a safe environment is provided to deliver care to your patients, and take appropriate action if this is not the case (see standard 11). In particular:
- Be aware of and comply with health and safety legislation.
- Ensure that the environment and equipment that you use is hygienic.
- Ensure that equipment that you use has been appropriately maintained.
- Follow the regulations on substances hazardous to health.
- Dispose of controlled, clinical and offensive materials in an appropriate manner.
- Minimise the risk of infection by following appropriate infection controls including hand hygiene.
- Have adequate professional indemnity insurance and only work in practices that have adequate public liability insurance. This includes the following:
- If insurance is provided by your employer, you must confirm that adequate insurance is in place.
- If you work in multiple practices, you must ensure that there is adequate insurance to cover each working environment.
- Your professional indemnity insurance must provide continuous cover for the period you are in practice.
- Your professional indemnity insurance must cover complaints that are received after you stop practising, as these might be received years later – this is sometimes referred to as ‘run-off’ cover.
- Ensure that when working in the home of a patient or other community setting, the environment is safe and appropriate for the delivery of care.
- In an emergency, take appropriate action to provide care, taking into account your competence and other available options. You must:
- Use your professional judgement to assess the urgency of the situation.
- Provide any care that is within your scope of practice which will provide benefit for the patient.
- Make your best efforts to refer or signpost the patient to another healthcare professional or source of care where appropriate.