Risk Assessments are a vital part of any Individual’s documentation. Their purpose is to identify what the Individual can do and assess if this could cause harm. It should also detail what action needs to be taken to reduce the risk of harm, and correlate to the care and support plan. Risk Assessments should be viewed as a way of enabling people to do what they want to do whilst trying to eliminate and reduce the chances of harm. We must accept that we may not be able to remove all risks but if we stop people from doing what they want to do, we are affecting quality of life and impinging on human rights. There needs to be a clear link between risk assessments and the area of the care plan they relate to.

It is important to understand two key terms with Risk Assessments:

  • Hazard – A hazard is anything that has the potential to cause harm to a person.
  • Risk – The likelihood or chance that someone could be harmed by those hazards and an indication of how serious the harm could be.

You should complete a Risk Assessment when you know that something could cause harm. For example, if you know a person is unable to grip anything with their hands and therefore cannot use a call bell and summon help, then extra measures will need to put in place to ensure the risk is lowered.

Risk Assessments will provide a risk rating, and this is used as an indicator for staff action, e.g. if a hazard is low and the likelihood is low, there could be minimal chance of the risk happening and therefore no immediate action needs to be taken, however if hazards are high and likelihood is high, then staff need to act immediately for that issue. Refer to the policy that the risk relates to. For example, with bed rails refer to the Use of Bed Rails Policy and Procedure. Involve and seek the agreement of the Individual and/or their family

Where a person lacks capacity to be involved, staff must refer to the Mental Capacity Act Policy and Procedures.

Types of risk assessments (please tick all that apply)          Yes / No

  • Mobility risk assessment
  • Health and Safety risk assessment
  • Fire evacuation risk assessment (including PEEPs – General risk assessments should be attached to the care/ support plan but PEEP should be kept in the grab bag)
  • Breathing risk assessment
  • Falls Risk Assessment (Multi-Factorial Risk Assessment -MFRA)
  • Skin integrity risk assessment e.g. Waterlow
  • Moving and Assisting risk assessment
  • Personal care risk assessment
  • Special condition risk assessment (Parkinson, dementia, diabetes etc.)
  • Medication risk assessment
  • Shopping risk assessment
  • Community access risk assessment
  • Domestic risk assessment
  • Nutrition and hydration risk assessment – Choking / Swallow
  • Night time risk assessment
  • Environment risk assessment – to include Bedroom risk assessment
  • COSHH risk assessment
  • Risk Feeding Assessment
  • Malnutrition MUST
  • Other