responsibilities if safeguarding concern (CARE Act 2014)

Last edited 04/2019

Your responsibilities when you have safeguarding concerns:

  • Assess the situation i.e. are emergency services required?

  • Ensure the safety and wellbeing of the individual

  • Establish what the individual's views and wishes are about the safeguarding issue and procedure

  • Maintain any evidence

  • Follow local procedures for reporting incidents/risks

  • Remain calm and try not to show any shock or disbelief

  • Listen carefully and demonstrate understanding by acknowledging regret and concern that this has happened

  • Inform the person that you are required to share the information, explaining what information will be shared and why

  • Make a written record of what the person has told you, using their words, what you have seen and your actions.

Duty of care:

You have a duty of care to your patients/service users and your colleagues. Safeguarding is everybody's business.

The Health Professions Council standards state: '... person who is capable of giving their consent has the right to refuse treatment. You must respect this right. You must also make sure they are fully aware of the risk of refusing treatment, particularly if you think there is a significant or immediate risk to life.'

Duty of care can be said to have reasonably been met where an objective group of professional considers:

      • All reasonable steps have been taken

      • Reliable assessment methods have been used

      • Information has been collated and thoroughly evaluated

      • Decisions are recorded, communicated and thoroughly evaluated

      • Policies and procedures have been followed

      • Practitioners and managers seek to ascertain the facts and are proactive

  • You should always treat every individual with dignity and respect to ensure that they feel safe in services and empowered to make choices and decisions

  • Ensure that significant others, i.e family member, friend or advocate, are involved to support the individual where appropriate

  • It is important to recognise that though an individual with capacity has the right to refuse care for themselves. Such a refusal may give raise a safeguarding concern in respect of others.

You have the responsibility to follow the 6 safeguarding principles enshrined within the Care Act 2014:

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."

Your role as 'Alerter' in the Safeguarding Process

  • person who raises a safeguarding concern within their own agency should follow their own policy and procedures
  • concern may result from something that you have seen, been told or heard
  • make a Safeguarding Adult referral where this is necessary

Your Role as the Person Raising Concern

  • on admission or initial contact:
    • Does this fall under adult safeguarding adults duties as defined by the Care Act 2014?
    • Are there any existing safeguarding alerts relating to the patient?
    • Is there any current agency involvement. Consider both statutory and private providers
    • What are the home circumstances?
    • Is the patient likely to require more input on discharge?
    • Who else lives in the household?
    • Skin integrity
    • Nutritional state including hydration
    • Personal presentation
    • Person's communication and behaviour
    • Treat the person with dignity and respect