Supporting continuity of care and safe delegation

The standards acknowledge the challenge of providing continuity of care in healthcare systems under pressure, by focusing on factors within an individual doctor’s control.

Doctors must:

  • ‘promptly share all relevant information about patients…with others involved in their care, within and across teams’ (paragraph 65a)
  • ‘[share] information with patients about the progress of their care, who is responsible for which aspect of their care, and the name of the lead clinician or team with overall responsibility for their care’ (paragraph 65b).

There is also more detail on what to do when finishing a shift or transferring a patient’s care:

  • ‘you must be confident that information necessary for ongoing care has been shared’ (paragraph 65c)
  • ‘you must check, where practical, that a named clinician or team has taken over responsibility when your role in a patient’s care has ended’ (paragraph 65c and 65d).

Duties around delegation have been clarified. The person delegating a task must:

  • ‘give [any person you delegate to] clear instructions and encourage them to ask questions and seek support or supervision if they need it’ (paragraph 66).

The person being delegated to must:

  • ‘prioritise patient safety and seek help, even if…[they’ve] already agreed to carry out the task independently’ if they’re not confident they can carry out the task safely (paragraph 67).