With the risk of abuse and neglect currently rising, it is essential that frontline health and social care workers are focusing on their safeguarding responsibilities.
Legislation in the UK, including the Care Act 2014, ensures that employers and employees in the Health and Social Care sector need to understand their safeguarding responsibilities, to reduce the risk of abuse or neglect to vulnerable adults and children. At White’s Training Services, we provide Fully Funded Training to help existing and new frontline health and social care staff during lockdown to properly safeguard vulnerable people.
What does safeguarding mean?
In the Health and Social Care sector, safeguarding is a concept that refers to measures taken to protect children, young people and vulnerable adults from abuse, harm and neglect. If you’re working with people that need to be supported and cared for, you have a safeguarding duty towards them, which includes fulfilling medical, physical and emotional needs.
What topics do we cover in our safeguarding courses?
At White’s Training Services, we offer fully funded Staff Update Refresher Training to help upskill existing staff that are working in the Health and Social Care sector. Part of this training is the Safeguarding of Adults and Children course. It can be delivered virtually over the course of three hours and covers topics such as:
- Understanding the principles of safeguarding adults
- Explaining their own role and responsibilities in safeguarding individuals
- Main types of abuse
- The importance of individualised, person-centred care
- How to apply the basic principles of helping people to keep themselves safe
- Responding to suspected or disclosed abuse
- Protecting people from harm and abuse – locally and nationally
- Relevant legislation, local and national policies and procedures which relate to safeguarding adults
How can care providers promote people’s dignity and rights?
To promote people’s dignity and rights, it is essential that employers in all health and social care settings make sure that their staff understand their safeguarding responsibilities and have the skills and knowledge to respond appropriately to potential abuse or neglect. One important aspect to safeguarding and promoting people’s dignity is person-centred care, where the focus is on the individual needs of the service user, and includes them in decisions and respects their opinion. When making sure that the individual needs of a service user are fulfilled, it’s also essential that you ensure their safety and protect them from abuse, harm or neglect. There are different measures that can be taken to promote your service user’s dignity and rights through person-centred care:
- Respecting service users’ personal space and possessions
- Handling hygiene activities sensitively
- Learn how to recognise pain
- Let service users choose their own clothing and hair style
How can I safeguard people in isolation?
With national lockdowns and people being told to stay at home, the risk of domestic abuse, self-neglect, financial abuse and emotional exhaustion is increasing. At the moment, abuse or neglect can be more easily hidden from others, causing people to feel without any support. As frontline health and social care workers, you should be extra attentive to any signs of neglect or abuse. You should talk to service users and inform them about the extra risk of abuse during social isolation and make sure they know that they can talk to you if they are being abused or suspect that someone else is. It is also important that service users are aware that other people might use this difficult situation to target and scam vulnerable people. Advise service users not to open doors to strangers or unknown visitors and not to give out any personal information on phone calls.
What do I need to do if I spot safeguarding issues?
If you suspect that an adult or child is being abused or neglected, there are different steps to take. When a child is at risk of abuse or neglect, you should report your concerns to the NSPCC or, if they’re in immediate danger, call 999. However, when you are safeguarding adults, you need to talk to them first before making decisions – except if the person is in immediate danger and you need to call an emergency service or medical assistance. You should approach the service user in a safe environment and address your concerns carefully. Listen to their views and ask them how they would like to proceed. It is also important to consider the person’s ability to understand the concern or if they might be scared to take any action. If you think this might be the case, you can consult about further actions with the person you report to such as your manager or supervisor, or – if waiting would put the service user at further risk – take action immediately like calling the police or report your safeguarding concerns to your local authority.
If you or your team need support and training in recognising and dealing with safeguarding concerns, please contact us and we can discuss your training needs and available funding.