Adult Safeguarding Policy
The Care Act 2014 defines safeguarding as protecting an adult's right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.
It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the adult's wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, having regard to their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action. This must recognise that adults sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships and may be ambivalent, unclear or unrealistic about their personal circumstances. (Care Act Statutory Guidance 14.7)
Types of abuse
- Physical abuse
- Domestic violence
- Sexual abuse
- Psychological abuse
- Financial or material abuse
- Modern slavery
- Discriminatory abuse
- Organisational abuse
- Neglect and acts of omission
For a fuller list, visit the Statutory Guidance (14.17).
The Act says
Incidents of abuse may be one-off or multiple, and affect one person or more. Professionals and others should look beyond single incidents or individuals to identify patterns of harm, just as NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care, as the regulator of service quality, does when it looks at the quality of care in health and care services. Repeated instances of poor care may be an indication of more serious problems and of what we now describe as organisational abuse. In order to see these patterns it is important that information is recorded and appropriately shared. (Care Act Statutory Guidance 14.18)
- serial abuse, in which the perpetrator seeks out and 'grooms' individuals. Sexual abuse sometimes falls into this pattern as do some forms of financial abuse
- long-term abuse, in the context of an ongoing family relationship such as domestic violence between spouses or generations or persistent psychological abuse
- opportunistic abuse, such as theft occurring because money or jewellery has been left lying around (Care Act Statutory Guidance 14.19)
The aims of adult safeguarding are to:
- prevent harm and reduce the risk of abuse or neglect to adults with care and support needs
- stop abuse or neglect wherever possible
- safeguard adults in a way that supports them in making choices and having control about how they want to live
- promote an approach that concentrates on improving life for the adults concerned
- raise public awareness so that communities as a whole, alongside professionals, play their part in preventing, identifying and responding to abuse and neglect
- provide information and support in accessible ways to help people understand the different types of abuse, how to stay safe and what to do to raise a concern about the safety or well-being of an adult
- address what has caused the abuse or neglect
It is necessary to:
- ensure that everyone, both individuals and organisations, are clear about their roles and responsibilities
- create strong multi-agency partnerships that provide timely and effective prevention of and responses to abuse or neglect
- support the development of a positive learning environment across these partnerships and at all levels within them to help break down cultures that are risk-averse and seek to scapegoat or blame practitioners
- enable access to mainstream community resources such as accessible leisure facilities, safe town centres and community groups that can reduce the social and physical isolation which in itself may increase the risk of abuse or neglect
- clarify how responses to safeguarding concerns deriving from the poor quality and inadequacy of service provision, including patient safety in the health sector, should be responded to
The policy and procedures:
- set out the principles underpinning the multi-agency approach
- provide a robust and comprehensive overview of the adult safeguarding processes and arrangements
- provide tools for undertaking adult safeguarding enquiries
- provide clarity around the roles and responsibilities of practitioners in relation to both adult and children's safeguarding, and domestic abuse
- explain who the safeguarding procedures apply to
- provide practitioners with an understanding of the complex nature of adult safeguarding
- provide guidance to ensure that the safeguarding policy and procedures are applied in an inclusive way
- promote excellent safeguarding practice and protect individuals from harm.
The policy and procedures are founded upon multi-agency co-operation and the sharing of information, skills and regulatory powers to promote the safety and well being of the people of Salford.
Six principles should inform the ways in which staff and volunteers in every setting work with adults. Each principle is given, followed by what this might feel like for an adult at risk.
People being supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and informed consent.
"I am asked what I want as the outcomes from the safeguarding process and these directly inform what happens."
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.
The least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented.
"I am sure that the professionals will work in my interest, as I see them and they will only get involved as much as needed."
Support and representation for those in greatest need.
"I get help and support to report abuse and neglect. I get help so that I am able to take part in the safeguarding process to the extent to which I want."
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 and with me to get the best result for me."
Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding.
"I understand the role of everyone involved in my life and so do they."
In addition to these principles, it is also important that all safeguarding partners take a broad community approach to establishing safeguarding arrangements. It is vital that all organisations recognise that adult safeguarding arrangements are there to protect individuals. We all have different preferences, histories, circumstances and life-styles, so it is unhelpful to prescribe a process that must be followed whenever a concern is raised.
Where acts of abuse occur, the fundamental priority must always be the safety, wellbeing and independence of the individual being abused.
Safeguarding is everyone's responsibility. It is imperative that local systems are in place to support individuals who cannot support themselves. This will only be achieved through continued partnership working across Salford.
In practice this means that all partner organisations must:
- actively work together within this multi-agency framework
- actively promote the empowerment and wellbeing of adults at risk through the services they provide
- act in a way which supports the rights of the individual to lead an independent life based on self determination and personal choice
- recognise people who are unable to take their own decisions; unable to protect themselves or their assets; unable to keep safe
- prioritise the safety, wellbeing and independence of the individual being abused, where acts of abuse occur
- integrate strategies, policies and services relevant to abuse within the current legal framework
- ensure that when the right to an independent lifestyle, choice and control is at risk the individual concerned receives appropriate help and ensure that such risk is recognised and understood by all concerned and minimised whenever possible (there should be an open discussion between the individual and the agencies about the risks involved to him and her)
- ensure that the law and statutory requirements are known and used appropriately to protect the adult at risk
- ensure the needs of people with protected characteristics are considered in the safeguarding process
Salford's Adult Safeguarding Board is committed to the highest standards in regards to protecting individuals from discrimination. The Public Sector Equality Duty within the Equality Act 2010 requires that public bodies eliminate discrimination, promote equality of opportunity and foster good relations. It is vital therefore that all safeguarding allegations are treated consistently and fairly and that staff do not discriminate against an individual based upon their age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief or sexuality or lifestyle choices. Discrimination also prevents individuals accessing help and support to live safer lives and it is important that special efforts are made at all times to ensure that the adult safeguarding processes are accessible to everyone.
Salford is signed up to the ADASS North West Safeguarding Adults Policy.
Details of all the latest news from Salford Safeguarding Adults Board.