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Safety during a day trip
When the sun’s shining is a time when most service users in healthcare environments enjoy a day out into the local community or further afield. A well-planned day trip provides excitement, interest and a sociable time for those on the trip. A day trip to a museum, national heritage trust property or a show needs to be planned carefully as the healthcare establishment has a duty of care to ensure that all service users and staff on the outing remain safe.
Attention to detail is a priority, service users’ needs should be assessed before any planned outing to ensure they are fit to travel and are not put at risk of injury.
The trip will need to be planned in advance, and staff given delegated roles during the trip. The destination should be suitable and sufficient for accommodating the needs of those on the trip, with some destinations not being appropriate while other destinations are perfect for the group. Therefore, before planning any day trip, consult with the service users about their preferred destination.
When planning a trip, it is recommended that one person is designated lead, to be responsible for organising and management the trip. All other staff are given specific roles, and meetings should be held regularly to plan the details of the day trip. It is good practice to contact the destination to ensure all information is gathered and discuss facilities with the location to ensure they meet service users’ needs.
The key points to check on the destination are:
- Is there access to disabled parking?
- Is there easy access to the venue?
- Are there disabled access toilets?
- Can dietary considerations be met by the catering facilities?
- Is it easy to access the venue using a wheelchair, and are there any obstacles that need to be considered?
The key responsible person planning the outing should:
- Have a planned schedule of the day
- Ensure that there are adequate numbers of staff available to go on the outing
- Ensure staff have the right equipment for the activities undertaken on the outing
- Provide specific instruction and information to all staff regarding the outing
- Record a risk assessment and put in place reasonable controls to reduce any risk
- Ensure a debrief is held after the outing to understand what went well and were there any areas for improvement
- Investigate and review all reports of ill health or injuries caused during the outing
Staff on the outing should:
- Ensure the safety of the service users
- Report any incidents during the outing
- Not deviate from the planned schedule
- Ensure service users drink water regularly to prevent dehydration
QCS Heath & Safety policies
QCS have guidance and policies to support your service in meeting the requirements of health and safety.
Sally Beck RGN, BSc (Hons), MSc, CMIOSH – QCS Expert Health and Safety Contributor
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