What is safeguarding in health and social care?

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Safeguarding in health and social care is a system of steps that are taken to protect vulnerable people who are at risk of abuse or neglect. It involves measures such as assessing the risks of abuse, making sure professionals understand their duty of care responsibilities, and providing training and support to help staff recognise and cope with any cases they come across.

Sometimes, safeguarding may involve taking action to protect the person, such as reporting it to the relevant authorities and setting up protective services or systems to monitor or supervise them.

In addition, the focus of safeguarding should also be on prevention in order to reduce the likelihood of harm and exploitation happening.

What is the key principle in safeguarding?

Safeguarding is protecting vulnerable individuals, particularly children and adults at risk, from abuse, harm and exploitation. It involves creating a safe environment where everyone is free to express themselves without fear and are aware of their rights and responsibilities. The key principle in safeguarding is one of prevention.

This means that organisations put in place systems, procedures and practices to minimise the risks of abuse and harm, identifying potential warning signs and situations which may lead to harm.

It also involves making sure that staff receive adequate training, resources and support to fulfil their roles and duties properly.

It requires providing appropriate responses when an incident or concern arises, as well as monitoring and review of activities to make sure measures are effective.

What is an example of safeguarding in health and social care?

An example of safeguarding might conduct background checks on all staff members who work with patients or clients, or developing policies and procedures to ensure that any incidents of abuse or neglect are reported and investigated promptly.

Other examples include regular training for staff to help them identify signs of abuse and exploitation, as well as measures such as closed-circuit television or soundproof rooms to reduce the risk of abuse or neglect.

What are the recognised 4 types of abuse in safeguarding?

The UK government recognises four specific categories of abuse that must be safeguarded against: physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse.

  • Physical abuse is the use of physical force that may result in bodily injury or harm. This includes hitting, shaking, burning, biting, and other forms of unwanted physical contact.
  • Emotional abuse is any form of verbal or non-verbal behaviour that damages a person’s sense of self-worth or emotional well-being. This includes manipulation, intimidation, humiliation, isolation, and verbal aggression.
  • Neglect is defined as failing to provide for one’s basic needs, including physical and psychological care. This could include failing to provide medical treatment, failing to provide proper nutrition and clothing, or failing to nurture emotional bonds with family members and friends.
  • Sexual abuse involves any form of unwanted sexual contact between an adult and a child. It could involve coercing a child into engaging in sexual activities or exposing them to inappropriate material. Sexual abuse can take many forms, from grooming to rape. All forms are unacceptable and have lasting consequences on the victim’s life.

What are the 6 principles of safeguarding?

The six principles of safeguarding are underpinned by the core value of ‘putting people first’ and ensure a person-centred approach to support individuals with respect and dignity. The six principles are:

  • Empowerment – supporting individuals to make informed decisions in their own lives.
  • Prevention – providing proactive measures to anticipate, identify and minimise risks to individuals.
  • Proportionality – applying the most appropriate level of intervention to the situation as circumstances dictate.
  • Protection – acting swiftly to protect vulnerable individuals when they are at risk.
  • Partnership – building robust relationships with organisations, services and agencies involved in safeguarding.
  • Accountability – taking responsibility for all actions taken on behalf of those individuals in our care.

What does HBA stand for in safeguarding?

Honour Based Abuse (HBA) is an umbrella term used to describe any form of abuse, violent or otherwise, that is done in the name of upholding honourable ideals within a family or community. It refers to a range of behaviours, from physical assault and threats of violence to psychological abuse, economic deprivation, forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM). HBA is often motivated by cultural or religious beliefs and actions taken by perpetrators to protect their families’ ‘honour’ or perceived standing in the community.

In safeguarding terms, this means being aware of its potential for misuse, being vigilant in protecting vulnerable individuals, and being proactive in addressing it. Steps need to be taken to raise awareness of HBA both within and outside communities at risk; this includes providing support for victims, offering protection for whistle-blowers, increasing access to reporting options and developing strategies to tackle all aspects of the problem.

Authorities should pay extra attention to cases which may involve more than one perpetrator from multiple sources of authority, such as extended family members, religious leaders or community elders.

What does LADO stand for?

A Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) is an individual appointed by a local authority, such as a county or district council, to provide advice and guidance regarding allegations of abuse in the workplace.

The purpose of a LADO is to ensure that any concerns about potentially harmful behaviour are dealt with effectively and in a consistent manner.

The role includes offering advice to employers and other responsible bodies on how best to manage the situation, ensuring that any necessary investigations are conducted promptly and reporting the outcome of these investigations when appropriate.

A LADO also has an advisory role in terms of safeguarding policies and procedures, making sure that situations where there may be possible harm to others in the workplace are identified quickly and actioned appropriately. They act as a bridge between employers, other relevant stakeholders and investigating authorities, helping to facilitate communication and understanding of the issues at hand.

How do you report safeguarding to CQC?

Reporting a safeguarding concern to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is an important step to take in ensuring that people who are being cared for or receiving medical services are safe from abuse or neglect.

To report a safeguarding concern to CQC, you need to complete their online form.

The first step is to provide basic information about yourself and the person/service you are reporting on. Then, explain in detail why you think the person is at risk of abuse or neglect and provide any documentation or evidence that may support your report.

In some cases, additional information may be requested and it’s important to respond promptly to any requests.

Finally, submit your completed report to CQC. Once received, the relevant authorities will investigate the report and then take whatever action is necessary to protect potential victims of abuse.

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