The Care Act 2014 sets out statutory responsibility for the integration of care and support between health and local authorities.
What is safeguarding adults and why it matters
Safeguarding adults means protecting a person's right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. The Care Act requires that each Local Authority must:
- Make enquiries, or ensure others do so, if it believes an adult is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect
- An enquiry should establish whether any action needs to be taken to stop abuse or neglect, and if so, by whom
- Set up a Safeguarding Adults Board
- Arrange, where appropriate, for an independent advocate to represent and support an adult who is the subject of a safeguarding enquiry
- Or Safeguarding Adult Review where the adult has 'substantial difficulty' in being involved in the process and where there is no other appropriate adult to help them
- Cooperate with each of its relevant partners in order to protect adults experiencing or at risk of abuse or neglect
An adult at risk is any person who is aged 18 years or over and at risk of abuse or neglect because of their needs for care and or support. Where someone is over 18 but still receiving children's services and a safeguarding issue is raised, the matter should be dealt with as a matter of course by the adult safeguarding team.
The aims of safeguarding adults are:
- To prevent harm and reduce the risk of abuse or neglect to adults with care and support needs
- To safeguard individuals in a way that supports them in making choices and having control in how they choose to live their lives "Making Safeguarding Personal"
- To promote an outcomes approach in safeguarding that works for people resulting in the best experience possible
- To raise public awareness so that professionals, other staff and communities as a whole play their part in preventing, identifying and responding to abuse and neglect
In order to achieve these aims, it is necessary:
- To ensure that the roles and responsibilities of individuals and organisations are clearly laid out
- To create a strong multi-agency framework for safeguarding
- To enable access to mainstream community safety measures.
- To clarify the interface between safeguarding and quality of service provision
Six key principles underpin all adult safeguarding work:
- Principle 1 Empowerment - Personalisation and the presumption of person-led decisions and informed consent.
- " I am asked what I want as the outcomes from the safeguarding process and these directly inform what happens."
- Principle 2 Prevention - It is better to take action before harm occurs.
- "I receive clear and simple information about what abuse is, how to recognise the signs and what I can do to seek help."
- Principle 3 Proportionality - Proportionate and least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented.
- "I am sure that the professionals will work for my best interests, as I see them and they will only get involved as much as I require."
- Principle 4 Protection - Support and representation for those in greatest need.
- "I get help and support to report abuse. I get help to take part in the safeguarding process to the extent to which I want and to which I am able."
- Principle 5 Partnership - Local solutions through services working with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse.
- "I know that staff treat any personal and sensitive information in confidence, only sharing what is helpful and necessary. I am confident that professionals will work together to get the best result for me."
- Principle 6 Accountability - Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding.
- "I understand the role of everyone involved in my life."
Definition of an adult at risk:
Aged 18 years or over; Who may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitationt