Judi Coombe

Ansell Strategic

What is dignity of risk and how can we support it through a robust informed consent process?

Thursday 13 October 2022

12:15pm – 12:45pm

Speaker Bio

Judi is a Registered Nurse with more than 25 years’ experience in aged care services across clinical, quality and executive roles in Australia and New Zealand.

She has extensive experience in the review and evaluation of clinical and business risks, quality management systems, service provision, and consumer experience. Judi is able to identify opportunities for improvement and facilitate innovative thinking, enabling organsiations to create a vision for the future and accomplish their strategic goals.

With her experience in operational strategy and change management, Judi has held key roles in advising providers on governance, quality and compliance.


Risk management is a core component of delivering safe quality aged care. Staff and management at the coalface encounter risk everyday, they are at the forefront of not only keeping residents safe but keeping the organisation safe as well. Doing this effectively relies on them having a sound understanding of not only how to address clinical risk, but how to do this is accordance with the organisation’s risk appetite, the principles of consumer self-determination and defensible documentation.  Organisations espouse their person-centred philosophies, yet staff often cannot articulate what this means in the context of their practice, decision-making and responsibility to ensure consumers are making informed decisions.

Governance is about managing risks and this starts with your frontline staff. Ensuring staff have a sound understanding of your organisational risk appetite and a robust practice to gain informed consent underpins the clinicians ability to meet their duty of care and the broader organisation’s risk parameters. From a compliance perspective, the temptation to eliminate risks for our consumers can be appealing. However, it is our consumer’s basic human right to take risks, it is not our place to “allow” it, hide behind the notion of duty of care or justify that person-centred care is fine in theory, but not necessarily in practice.


    So what can we do about this? We must seek to support our consumers rather than limit them and do this in a way that provides protection for the clinician, the consumer and the organisation.

    In this presentation we will draw upon examples of dignity of risk situations. This will include the foundations of obtaining consent, establishing cognitive and decision-making capacity, organisational risk appetite, robust reporting and defensible documentation.

    Governance is about managing risks and this starts with your frontline staff.