Ask the Care Specialists

Welcome to our 'Ask the Care Specialists', your one-stop portal for social care-related questions. Our team of specialists will try to answer as many of your Social Care questions as possible.

A member of staff is uncomfortable providing care to service users of a gender other than their own, what should I do?

A member of staff is uncomfortable providing care to service users of a gender other than their own, what should I do?

Thank you for your question. Firstly, I would advise that this is picked up with each member of staff on a case-by-case basis. Discuss why the staff member is highlighting this, as there could be genuine reasons, such as inappropriate comments, touching etc, as to why they feel uncomfortable providing care with people of another gender. Where the reason is justifiable, refer to your HR and care policies and processes to support the staff member and try and resolve the issues that are causing them to feel uncomfortable.

 In my view a separate staff policy on this, would do more harm than good. Providing care is very much service user led, and if a service user does not have an issue with someone of the opposite gender providing care, then a policy could provide the opportunity for less scrupulous staff to use this as an excuse not to carry out their role properly.  In all instances the manager should deal with this in a reasonable manner and listen to the member of staff’s concerns.

Emily Watts

Domiciliary Care Policy Lead

Emily has a background in quality and compliance with specific expertise in audit. Her previous roles have included working with domiciliary care branches that required improvement and supporting them to action plan and improve their quality and compliance. Working at one of the largest UK domiciliary care providers ensured Emily was exposed to significant numbers of CQC, CIW and Care Inspectorate Scotland inspections. She led internal audits bench marking against regulatory standards , supporting managers in the drive to deliver high quality care and support. Emily has a proven track record in supporting the transformation of branches that require improvement, moving them to compliant and on the journey to outstanding. Read more

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Please note that our specialists cannot offer answers to matters requiring legal advice. If your matter concerns a specific service provider, please contact the CQC. If your query relates to someone who is at risk of harm or in danger you must follow your local safeguarding procedures.

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