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SAFEGUARDING


Minimising the Risks


Care providers must ensure they employ the correct safeguarding procedures to properly protect service users, themselves and their staff, says Deborah Nicholson, Head of Regulatory at Markel Law.


With unwelcome and unexpected


incidents occurring frequently across the care sector, providers need to consider both


safeguarding risk management, to minimise the risk of events occurring, and also to respond to incidents robustly once they happen.


Risk management is key to minimising the chances of incidents occurring and a number of procedures should be established, irrespective of an organisation’s size.


Responsibility – Safeguarding starts at board level with operational responsibility sitting with a senior manager. Ensure senior managers are aware of the latest safeguarding guidance and add safeguarding as a key skill to job descriptions.


Training – Include safeguarding in inductions at all levels and provide regular policy training. Supervision should have a safeguarding focus and senior staff should be trained to handle safeguarding investigations.


Reporting – Clarify with your local authority safeguarding team what needs to be reported and include this within your procedures. Ensure there is a clear understanding of which incidents need to be reported to the CQC.


Record Keeping – Preserve relevant documentation and produce a detailed account of the facts surrounding an event.


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Ensure these are available to authorities. Keep your broker/ insurer informed, whilst respecting confidentiality.


Service Users/Carers – Ensure staff understand how service users/carers will be involved when allegations or concerns are raised. Link procedures with Duty of Candour, whistleblowing and complaints policies. And be clear on the local authority’s expectations for reporting abuse between service users where there are no mental capacity concerns.


Employment – Integrate safeguarding to disciplinary and termination considerations. Ensure the agencies you use employ thorough policies on issues such as convictions and frequency of DBS refresh.


Trends – Audit the incidents that do occur to look at patterns or trends and consider whether action is needed to address these. Be aware of wider issues in the sector and challenge your organisation on how your systems would have responded to this.


When an incident does occur, it’s important to follow your established procedures to maintain a consistent approach to dealing with issues. For example:


• Where a resident is involved, take immediate action to address any welfare issues they may have.


• Appoint an appropriate person to investigate the issue; if they are independent, so much the better.


www.tomorrowscare.co.uk


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