2.1 Sussex Safeguarding Adults Procedures
2.1.1 Preventing harm and abuse
This section outlines a range of strategies and considerations about the prevention of abuse and neglect of adults, from raising public awareness, to utilising approaches that empower the individual to be able to recognise, address and report abuse.
2.1.2 Prevention in safeguarding
The most effective way to safeguard adults from abuse is to enable them to safeguard themselves. For some people this may involve their own support networks, or support or care services, depending on their individual circumstances.
Effective prevention in safeguarding is not about over–protective or risk averse practice. The prevention of abuse should occur in the context of person-centred support and personalisation, with individuals empowered to make choices and be supported to manage risks. Prevention of abuse includes multi-agency working (including information sharing), community safety, community participation and public awareness, as well as awareness raising and skills development with adults at risk.
There are many ways in which people can reduce the risks they may face, including:
- Recognising potential risks to themselves, and considering how they wish to reduce the risks of being harmed or exploited.
- Identifying what strengths, skills, support and networks they could use to avoid potentially abusive situations.
- Being aware of what to do if an abusive situation arises i.e. how to get help, how to report concerns.
All processes and checks for those who work with adults must include measures to avoid abuse occurring, including:
- Staff recruitment and vetting.
- Policies and procedures staff work to, including confidential reporting (whistle-blowing) and complaints procedures.
- Staff induction and training, including safeguarding adults policy and procedures and awareness of abuse and how to raise safeguarding concerns.
- Staff supervision and support.
- Professional codes of conduct or practice and relevant service standards e.g. compliance with standards as detailed by the Care Quality Commission.
Employers should ensure they:
- Meet their responsibilities for obtaining Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) checks and referring to the DBS and relevant professional bodies.
- Meet their professional responsibilities under employment and other legislation.
- Have robust management systems in place for training and support.
Agencies and organisations must have a local policy and procedure in place detailing how these processes will be implemented to safeguard adults. If managers are not upholding their responsibilities this could leave adults at risk of abuse.
Commissioning for better outcomes
Safeguarding should be integral to the commissioning process for care services.
SCIE have produced guides to support NHS and local authority commissioners of care homes to ensure that safeguarding is central to the commissioning process and a primary concern for residential and nursing care home providers.
Family and Friends as Carers
Family and friends as carers are often the mainstay of ensuring that people are protected from abuse and as such they should be supported and aided in this task. Carers could be at risk of abuse themselves due to their caring role. Carers are entitled to an assessment of their needs in their own right.
It is important to ensure that family and friends as carers are aware of how to get advice and help when needed, to support them and avoid potential risk of abuse to them or the adult. All carers should have access to information regarding the Sussex Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures, so they can recognise and prevent abuse, raise concerns and seek advice or support where needed.
2.1.3 Promoting wellbeing
All organisations working with adults who are, or may be at risk of, abuse and neglect, must aim to ensure that adults in their care remain safeguarded from harm. This should underpin every activity through effective safeguarding adults work.
The Care Act states that local authorities must promote wellbeing when carrying out any of their care and support functions in respect of a person. This may sometimes be referred to as ‘the wellbeing principle’ because it is a guiding principle that puts wellbeing at the heart of care and support.
‘Wellbeing’ is a broad concept, and it is described as relating to the following areas:
- Personal dignity (including treatment of the individual with respect).
- Physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing.
- Protection from abuse and neglect.
- Control by the individual over their day-to-day life.
- Participation in work, education, training or recreation.
- Social and economic wellbeing.
- Domestic, family and personal.
- Suitability of accommodation.
- The individual’s contribution to society.
The wellbeing principle should apply to all agencies involved in safeguarding adults.
Diagram 1: Wellbeing Principles