East Lodge, Elm Row, Galashiels, TD1 3HT

01896 751 609

Support our fundraising campaign to secure our future at East Lodge. The owner of East Lodge, the property that is the base of our service, needs to sell. We’re aiming to raise £110,000 by Autumn 2024 so we can buy the Lodge and secure the long-term future of our service.

Duty of candour

When we refer to ‘clients’ in this policy, we mean people suffering from perinatal mental health conditions who have been referred to us by a health professional, for example a Health Visitor or a GP.

Our therapeutic staff and volunteers have a duty of candour, which requires them to be open and honest with clients, colleagues and the trustees.

When clients are first referred to us, the Therapeutic Services Manager will contact them and arrange a time and date for assessment by one of our qualified therapists. The assessment provides the opportunity to gather background history and highlight current issues affecting the client. This appointment helps to ascertain the most appropriate form of therapy for that person. The therapy is tailored to individual needs as much as possible. When discussing the therapeutic options we will give clear, accurate information about any risks as well as the benefits of the options, and check that the client understands. A risk assessment for self-harm or suicide is integrated into this appointment to ensure client safety from the outset.

The therapeutic staff members do not work with clients who are acutely ill or experiencing psychosis, so if during the first appointment, the Therapeutic Services Manager formed the opinion that this was the case, the health professional who made the referral would be consulted.
Once the form of therapy agreed with the client has commenced, we will continually monitor the progress being made by the client. If the therapist considers the client to be making little improvement, the concern will be discussed with the client and with the referrer if necessary, with the client’s agreement. Whenever possible and appropriate, we will discuss alternative supports and signpost the client to other agencies which may provide these.

In the unlikely event of a client’s condition deteriorating as a result of the therapy provided by the service, we will discuss this fully with the client, and also with the health professional who made the referral, again with the client’s agreement.

For activities which involve taking the client and their baby outside the building, for example for a “Walking and Talking” session, we will conduct a full risk assessment and discuss it with the client to ensure the client fully understands the risks and benefits of the activity.
Where a duty of candour issue arises:

• PMH Borders staff will report this to the Therapeutic Services Manager who has responsibility for ensuring that our Duty of Candour is upheld.
• The Therapeutic Services Manager will take immediate action to reduce the risk of harm to the individual(s), records the incident and reports as necessary to the PMH Borders Board of Trustees.
• PMH Borders Board of Trustees will assign a trustee to assist the Therapeutic Services Manager in addressing any issues around Duty of Candour.
• The Therapeutic Services Manager will ensure that those involved in the incident receive appropriate support and clarity throughout the process.
• A learning review will be arranged with staff involved to reflect and learn from the incident and make any necessary changes for the future.
• Learning outcomes will be shared with all staff.
• Understanding our Duty of Candour will form part of induction programmes for new staff.
• PMH Borders will seek to provide additional support to those affected by mistakes made by staff.
• PMH Borders will seek to provide additional support and supervision to staff affected by mistakes made by other members of staff.
• We will always apologise to the client should we fail in our duty of care.