Ask the Care Specialists

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Can a husband and wife who are carers looks after the same person?

Can a husband and wife who are carers looks after the same person?

As someone who has experienced this issue as a manager there are a few points to consider with this question.


Every employer and organisation will have a different policy on this so my caveat with this is that these are my personal views, and you need to read your organisation's policies on this as they should provide clear guidance on this and how relationships at work should be managed.

  • Relationships at Work
  • Professional Boundaries
  • Safeguarding


As a manager, sometimes employing family members or those in relationships present the challenges that if you upset one you upset them all. One leaves they all leave and then you have to deal with the consequences of this.


For those who form relationships whilst at work your policies should be clear as to how this is dealt with e.g. redeployment, working opposite shifts, teams and areas. The situations can create conflict in the workplace if you have to discipline someone or if the relationship fails. These can be managed but what does your policy state and be consistent in the management of these situations.


From your question my response would vary depending on the type of service you are working in, domiciliary or residential, as the ways to manage this would be very different.


The Skills for Care Code of Conduct also sets out a code of conduct that all staff should align themselves to and in some of these you have to ask yourself if there was a concern about the practice of someone you work with what would you do. Even if that was a partner or relative as this can create a dilemma that could prevent concerns being raised:


As a Healthcare Support Worker or Adult Social Care Worker in England you must:

  1. Be accountable by making sure you can answer for your actions or omissions.
  2. Promote and uphold the privacy, dignity, rights, health and wellbeing of people who use health and care services and their carers at all times.
  3. Work in collaboration with your colleagues to ensure the delivery of high quality, safe and compassionate healthcare, care and support.
  4. Communicate in an open and effective way to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of people who use health and care services and their carers.
  5. Respect a person’s right to confidentiality.
  6. Strive to improve the quality of healthcare, care and support through continuing professional development.
  7. Uphold and promote equality, diversity and inclusion.


My personal view is where possible try to avoid this situation. Where this is unavoidable make sure you have systems and processes in place for clear management supervision and oversight to prevent any issues arising as a result. You may need risk assessments in place too.


On a final note, check your organisation's policies and procedures.


Some other useful areas to consider, take a look at CQC Guidance:

  • Regulation 19: Fit and proper persons employed
  • Regulation 18: Staffing

Barry Price

Specialist in Adults with Learning Disabilities and Complex Needs

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