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Incident management – Worker Instruction

Introduction

At Suitsme, we don’t do case notes after every session. Instead, we do case notes when something changes. This could mean updating a client’s goals or logging an incident or concern.

What is an incident?

Safety of clients and staff is our top priority. The way we do things and the systems we use are designed with safety in mind. Despite this, sometimes things happen, and client or staff safety is put at risk.

Some examples of incidents are:

  • A client falls over and scrapes their arm
  • A worker is in a car accident while travelling between clients
  • A client dies
  • A client is admitted to hospital
  • A client hurts someone
  • Abuse or neglect of a client (see also Abuse and neglect – Zero tolerance)
  • Any restrictive practice 
  • Someone threatens a worker or a client
  • Client has an open wound

Near misses are also incidents, for example:

  • A client falls over but is uninjured.
  • A worker feels unsafe.
  • A client tells a worker they feel suicidal.
  • A client tells a worker things that do not reflect the worker’s experience of reality.

What is a concern?

A concern is exactly what it sounds like. It means you have a concern about something relating to a client. It’s an indication that an incident may happen in the future. 

You don’t do case notes for most sessions, so logging a concern is your way to share duty of care with Suitsme management, by letting them  know what’s happening. When Suitsme Management receive a concern they can follow up with you and/or the client as required.

In the app we list the concern options as:

  • Client poses a risk to themselves or others
  • Client could not be found or contacted
  • Client’s mental health is concerning
  • Client’s physical health is concerning
  • Something just didn’t feel right

If you ever have any concerns you should report them. Suitsme would rather you play it safe and report too often than not report and we miss something important. 

Incidents outside of sessions

If a client contacts you outside of a session and discloses some that concerns you (e.g. intent to harm themselves or others) report this as an incident in the app immediately.

You can reduce the chances of this happening by following Professional boundaries guide for staff.

What do I do if an incident occurs?

  • If it is an emergency, call 000 as soon as it is safe to do so.
  • If the emergency is risk of suicide or a deterioration in mental health contact MHERL on 1300 555 788 for Metro or 1800 676 822 for the Peel region.
  • Protect yourself. You are responsible for your own safety. 
    • If you need to remove yourself from the situation to stay safe, then leave.
    • If you have been injured, seek medical attention immediately 
    • Inform Suitsme when it is safe to do so
  • Look after the client’s safety (once you are safe).
    • Provide immediate emotional support.
    • Support the client to access appropriate services, e.g. ambulance, police and/or MERHL or other clinical supports as listed in their safety plan.
    • Follow the advice of the emergency service and/or clinical team in discharging your duty of care.
    • Contact the client’s listed emergency contact to inform them of the situation.
  • Report the incident via the app

How do I report an incident?

Once you are safe, you must submit an incident report via the app. If you’re not sure how to do that, check out this quick video:

The following incident types must be reported to the NDIS Quality and Safety Commission. It is essential that you report them as soon as possible so that Suitsme management can can fulfil our obligations.

  • A client dies.
  • You or a client are seriously injured.
  • You become aware a client has been abused or neglected.
  • You become aware of unlawful sexual or physical contact with, or assault of, a person with disability.
  • You become aware of sexual misconduct committed against, or in the presence of, a person with disability, including grooming of the person with disability for sexual activity.
  • You become aware of the use of a restrictive practice in relation to a person with disability where the use is not authorised.

An incident does not have to be as serious as those listed above for you to report it. If you are ever concerned about a client then log an incident report.

What happens after an incident?

Once Suitsme receives the incident report, we will follow it up within one working day. If we need to contact you we will endeavour to do this during, or immediately adjacent to a scheduled shift. When following up an incident, Suitsme management will:

  • Record the incident.
  • Follow the Abuse and neglect document if the incident relates to the abuse or neglect of a client.
  • Assign the incident to a specific person to follow up.
  • Ensure the incident is followed up and closed out.
  • If an investigation is required, it will be done fairly. All reportable incidents have a level of incident investigation.
  • Communicate to anyone who was involved in the incident.
  • Identify learnings from the incident and make improvements to reduce the risk of it happening again.
  • Follow Reportable incident management guidelines (if required).
  • Collect de-identified data about the incident to monitor trends.

How will I be supported after an incident?

Being involved with an incident can be a traumatic experience and may have an impact on your mental health.

Looking after yourself has lots of ideas and resources to help you. You can also contact your manager at Suitsme to debrief.

You know what is right for you, so in most cases we will leave it up to you to manage your well-being. In some cases, we will follow up with you and ensure you receive appropriate support.

If you have been injured, Suitsme management will commence the injury management process described in the Health and Safety document.