I was caught in a tricky situation yesterday, somewhat off guard. It stemmed from a piece of joint working with another team and a situation that has been deteriorating for a particular service user over a period of a few months.
A proposed course of action was mooted and I was asked to help implement it, however, I had already been ploughing along a different path.
It put my nose out of joint at first. When there is an assumption of working together, being suddenly told to do something was somewhat galling but what riled me more was that I felt that action proposed was not proportionate to the risk present.
The discussion went along the lines of
Other person: I don’t want my neck on the line if anything happens to X
Me (a little grumpily to be honest): OK, well, let’s say it’s my head on the line then.
Other person: Make sure you document that because I am.
So there you go. I have to say I am now much more nervous about this particular individual than I was this time yesterday – and honestly, I don’t think my neck IS on the line, for the record – having, of course, discussed the situation in depth with more senior managers who are in agreement with me.
I just was interested in the way that the situation was presented – to me, in indicated an attitude to risk and more importantly risk aversion – and planning a longer term permanent placement (in the ‘right’ home) as opposed to making an emergency placement (in any available home with a bed).
There are risks of course, and risks that have increased with the cold weather – but I take risks and we all take risks. It does take a completely different angle when the person in question lacks capacity and decisions need to be made on their behalf.
I just had the feeling in this situation that there had been a reaction to risks that had been possibly disproportionate.
And while I am absolutely confident that the risk present now is, in the short term at least, manageable, it’s added a whole load of new worry into my head … what if this happens, or that happens, or something else ..
But it was interesting seeing the balances of risk management and risk aversion playing out in a ‘real’ sense – too often and for all the right reasons, there are usually similar assessments within our team so to have been placed by someone with such a different view of the situation was interesting.
As for me, I’m just hoping that things to turn out as I hope they will – but if they don’t, at the very least I can record and explain the reasons that I took the action that I did and made the decisions that I did.