Appendix 4 - Duty of care - guidance notes for staff


Our aim is to :

  • provide appropriate and timely support for vulnerable students, particularly those with mental health issues
  •  fulfil the university’s duty of care towards students and staff.

‘Duty of care’ can be broadly defined as showing reasonable care (within the limits of resources) towards our students, so that they don’t suffer harm that was reasonably foreseeable.

What you might notice

If you suspect that a student might harm him/herself or someone else, you could contact urgently The Wellbeing Service (86268), or BBS Student Advice Centre (82900 or in the first instance. 

Otherwise you may notice that a student:

  • seems extremely distressed
  • displays what strikes you as disruptive, unusual or concerning – perhaps repetitive – speech or behaviour
  • writes material of a personal nature that causes you some concern
  • tells you personal material that concerns you
  • shows evidence of self harm
  • may be in need of professional support.

What you can do

Inform BBS SAC of the incident / occasion, either by email or by handing a written note to an Adviser (in 2C8).  This could be:

  • a few factual details of the occurrence / matter of concern (bearing in mind that a student can request to see anything that has been written about him / her)
  • a note saying simply ‘Noting concern’.

Each note needs to give a student name and number and the date of the incident / occasion.

What BBS Student Advice Centre will do

We’ll keep and regularly review an electronic record of student names, numbers and dates of ‘notes of concern’.

Where a pattern seems to be evolving, if appropriate we’ll contact the staff concerned to discuss, and possibly make contact with the student to explore the situation / offer support.  This may be done in consultation with The Wellbeing Service.

We may make a written summary of staff concerns.

Paper records will be kept with all SAC records, which are confidential and separate from the main student files.



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