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Describe how to support an individual to question or challenge decisions concerning them that are made by others

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

NOTE: This page has been quality assured for 2021 as per our Quality Assurance policy.

All individuals have the right to question or challenge decisions about them that are made by others.

It is a care workers responsibility to ensure that the rights and freedoms of the individuals that they care for are upheld as governed by the Human Rights Act 1998 and their duty of care.

Whenever a decision about an individual is made, a care worker should ensure that the individual understands the reasons and implications of the decision and asked if they agree with it. This should be done in a way that promotes and respects the individual’s right to disagree.

Some individuals may not want to challenge decisions made about them for several reasons:

  • They may not fully understand the impact of the decision
  • They may not be able to communicate that they disagree easily
  • They may fear reprisals
  • They may not want to upset others

Therefore, it is a care worker’s responsibility to reassure individuals and explain that it is okay to disagree with others and promote their right to have their voice heard. If an individual does not agree with the decision, the individual should be supported to question or challenge it.

They may wish to do this themselves, with the support of their care worker or with the support of an outside agency such as a social worker or advocate. You could assist them by contacting others for support or arrange meetings on their behalf. You can also accompany them to meetings to help them verbalise their thoughts and feelings. Where necessary, you may need to seek guidance from your manager or others.

If warranted, the individual should also be encouraged to use the complaints procedure to prompt the organisation to review their ways of working to ensure future decisions are not made without consultation with the individual.

An individual should never be stigmatised or made to feel awkward by challenging decisions made about them – it is their right and should be encouraged as part of a person-centred approach.