2.1 What is safeguarding?
Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.
The aims of safeguarding adults
The aims of safeguarding adults are to:
- Stop abuse or neglect wherever possible.
- Prevent harm and reduce the risk of abuse or neglect to adults with care and support needs.
- 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 identifying and preventing 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.
To achieve these aims 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 responses to and prevention of 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 adults to access 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.
Safeguarding is not a substitute for:
- Providers’ responsibilities to provide safe and high quality care and support.
- Commissioners regularly assuring themselves of the safety and effectiveness of commissioned services.
- The Care Quality Commission (CQC) ensuring that regulated providers comply with the fundamental standards of care or taking enforcement action.
- The core duties of the police to detect and prevent crime and protect life and property.