E: support@e-carehub.co.uk

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{{org_field_name}}


Safeguarding People Using a Care Service from Abuse or Harm Overarching Policy

Policy Aims

This policy shows how {{org_field_name}} protects people receiving care from abuse or harm in line with its legal requirements and best safeguarding practice guidance. It reflects in particular:

More specifically, it also reflects the (local safeguarding adults’ authority) policies and procedures.

Safeguarding framework

{{org_field_name}} shares and is committed to the vision of the local safeguarding authority, which is to empower and protect adults who are at risk of abuse and neglect, as defined in legislation and statutory guidance.

{{org_field_name}} understands that local safeguarding arrangements and developments follow a government strategy based on:

Safeguarding responsibilities

In line with best practice. the service has a safeguarding lead or “champion”, who provides a one-stop point of contact for addressing initially all safeguarding concerns in the service and in corresponding and communicating with external agencies, particularly the local authority adult safeguarding team.

The current safeguarding lead is:

Name:{{org_field_registered_manager_first_name}} {{org_field_registered_manager_last_name}}
Position:Registered Manager
Contact details:{{org_field_registered_manager_email}}
{{org_field_registered_manager_phone}}

Related Policies

This policy should be read with the several other policies that relate to safeguarding of people receiving care. They include the policies on complaints, physical restraint, the management of a person’s money and financial affairs, recruitment, induction, staff development and training, staff supervision and importantly whistleblowing. The policy on mental capacity will also be relevant in some circumstances.

Our service recognises that safeguarding involves a range of responses to different forms of abuse and potential sources of harm and the different contexts in which abuse occurs. Accordingly, this policy should be read and used in association with a suite of policies all designed to make sure that users are safe from abuse and the risks of their coming to harm are kept to the minimum and well managed.

Key related policies are:

Local Authority Safeguarding

{{org_field_name}} has policies and procedures for the sharing of safeguarding information amongst other forms of information that might be shared with other agencies and professionals. These are written to comply with confidentiality principles and data protection laws.

The service develops its policies and procedures in line with our local Safeguarding Adults Boards (SABs) recommendations and guidance, as found on its website together with relevant documentation for, eg raising alerts and staff training.

The local multi-agency Adults Safeguarding Board/Hub to which {{org_field_name}} relate as a partner organisation is:

{{org_field_local_authority_authority_name}}

Information link: {{org_field_local_authority_information_link}}

Policy Statement

This safeguarding policy sets out the:

{{org_field_name}} works on the principle that it is the right of vulnerable people receiving care to be kept safe from all forms of abuse/harm. Being and feeling safe will contribute a great deal to their wellbeing and quality of life. It therefore recognises that it must always protect people receiving care and identify and deal with specific instances of abuse/harm if they occur, following the required procedures and best practice guidance.

{{org_field_name}} is always aiming for the very best quality of care and will not be satisfied with anything that falls short of this. It takes every possible action to prevent abuse/harm and associated risks and to deal with the issues as promptly and effectively as possible when they arise.

{{org_field_name}} seeks to work in line with local safeguarding adults’ authority policies and procedures (or, in relation to services to children and families, to work in line with local safeguarding children authority policies and procedures) and guidance from the Care Quality Commission (CQC). It recognises the importance of government and national guidance and seeks to comply in all respects with current safeguarding legislation and regulations.

{{org_field_name}} recognises that people receiving care who lack mental capacity are particularly exposed to abuse/harm and exploitation. It is accordingly mindful of the need to follow the principles and practice guidance that has accompanied the Mental Capacity Act 2005. These apply particularly to investigations of possible abuse/harm in which it is important to seek means of ascertaining the experiences and views of any victim or indeed alleged perpetrator who might lack capacity, eg through the services of independent advocates.

{{org_field_name}} recognises that anyone who might need the help of an independent advocate when engaged in safeguarding enquiries and plans is entitled to one (as legislated for by the Care Act 2014). It will always support a person to have advocacy help where required in line with its (separate) advocacy policy.

{{org_field_name}} has all required systems in place to track and monitor incidents, accidents, disciplinary action, complaints and safeguarding concerns, and to identify patterns of potential abuse/harm to people receiving care.

It will continue to exercise its safeguarding responsibilities fully in any emergency that might arise as was the situation during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Defining Abuse

{{org_field_name}} works to definitions of abuse that have been developed nationally and included in the Care Act 2014 statutory guidance and which will most likely have been adopted locally. It recognises that abuse/harm of people receiving care can take many forms including:

  1. actual physical abuse/harm
  2. social abuse, including bullying, cyberbullying, harassment and personal exploitation
  3. social isolation/scapegoating/ostracism/stigmatisation
  4. financial or material exploitation/abuse/harm
  5. psychological or emotional abuse/harm
  6. sexual abuse/harm/exploitation
  7. neglect and acts of omission
  8. discriminatory abuse/harm
  9. self-harm, including self-neglect
  10. inhuman or degrading treatment
  11. inappropriate or excessive restraint and restrictions on movement and activities
  12. organisational abuse/harm.

There are also various forms of antisocial behaviour that intentionally or unintentionally can result in being abused or harmed. These include general rowdiness, creating lots of noise, keeping people awake, interfering and invasions of people’s privacy. {{org_field_name}} might need to act in response to antisocial behaviour with the responsible authorities.

The scope of local authority statutory safeguarding responsibilities includes domestic abuse and violence, modern slavery, female genital mutilation and forced marriage all as forms of abuse that will need to be addressed by {{org_field_name}} if it has evidence that any person using the service was experiencing these forms of abuse.

It is recognised that the service must always protect its users and identify and deal with specific instances of abuse/harm if they occur.

[Descriptions and examples of these different forms of abuse can be found in the Safeguarding: Recognising and Reporting Signs of Abuse topic.]

Identifying Perpetrators of Abuse/Harm

{{org_field_name}} accepts that abuse/harm can be committed by a range of possible people. It therefore accepts its responsibility to protect people using its services from possible abuse from all sources. Potential perpetrators include:

  1. the staff and management of {{org_field_name}}
  2. volunteers working in {{org_field_name}}
  3. visiting health and social care practitioners and other official visitors to the person’s home
  4. relatives and friends of people receiving our care
  5. people who have contact with those receiving care while they are temporarily outside
  6. neighbours, people on their social network or living in the community at large
  7. total strangers, including those who engage in random attacks on other people
  8. people who set out to exploit and abuse a vulnerable person.

Staff Responsibilities

{{org_field_name}} insists that all its staff have a responsibility to:

Managers’ Responsibilities

{{org_field_name}} requires its managers to take responsibility for:

Safe Recruitment Practices

{{org_field_name}} takes great care in the recruitment of staff, carries out all possible checks on recruits to ensure that they are of a high standard and co-operates in all initiatives regarding the sharing of information on care workers who are found to be unsuitable to work with people at risk.

{{org_field_name}} ensures that new employees employed in regulated activity have been checked against the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal records and barred lists in line with the current requirements. (See the Safe Staff Recruitment and Selection Policy.)

Please refer to “Safe Recruitment and Selection” policy for more information.

Preventing Abuse

{{org_field_name}} is committed to taking all possible steps to prevent abuse or harm of people receiving care including:

Identifying Actual or Possible Abuse

{{org_field_name}} will identify any instances of actual or possible abuse/harm of people receiving care by all possible means including:

Procedures for when Abuse Has Occurred or is Alleged to Have Occurred

If abuse/harm is clearly occurring or is alleged to have occurred, the agency takes swift action to limit the damage to people receiving care and to deal with the abuse, as follows.

Initial procedures

Referring incidents of abuse or of alleged abuse

Enquiring into alleged abuse

Enquiries are based on a person-centred approach in which the wellbeing of the victim or alleged victim is the central focus of all the activities involved. In many cases, enquiries will be carried out or led by a member of an external agency in line with the action plan determined by the initial strategy meeting convened by the local SAB or Safeguarding Children Authority. If a staff member is expected to carry out an enquiry of its own, it will proceed as follows.

  1. The person appointed to make the enquiries will usually consult the person who may have been abused/harmed to hear their account of what has occurred and their views about what actions should be taken, involving people using services’ relatives, friends or representatives if that is appropriate and in line with the wishes of the individual.
  2. The enquiries should take into account:
    a. the fears and sensitivity of the abused/harmed person
    b. any risks of intimidation or reprisals
    c. the need to protect and support witnesses
    d. any confidentiality or data protection issues
    e. the possible involvement of other agencies, including the police, local safeguarding team and the CQC; LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer) will be informed within 24 hours.
    f. the obligation to keep the abused/harmed person and, in specific instances, the alleged perpetrator informed on the progress of the investigation.
  3. It will be important to assure the person who may have been abused/harmed that they will be taken seriously, that their comments will as far possible be treated confidentially, that they will be protected from reprisals and intimidation, and that they will be kept informed of actions taken and of the outcome.
  4. It is important to consider if the person needs independent help or representation, including the services of an independent advocate, in presenting their evidence. {{org_field_name}} manager will, if necessary, arrange for the appropriate help or support to be made available.
  5. If the abused/harmed person expressly states a wish that no further action should be taken, the safeguarding enquiry will consider if:
    a. a danger to others exists from not investigating further
    b. in the light of that assessment it is possible to follow the person’s wishes
    c. in any case precautionary measures should be taken to protect others from the possibility of abuse from the same source
    d. the person will be informed of what is to happen.
  6. Once decided that enquiries should proceed, they will look into all aspects of the situation discreetly and respecting their sensitive and confident nature.
  7. The enquiry could include interviewing the staff involved in the incident or circumstances up to that point, hearing and assessing evidence from any others who might be in a position to supply information, exploring every other possible source of evidence, maintaining appropriate contact with any other agencies involved, and if necessary seeking expert advice on any technical aspects of the situation which are outside the knowledge or expertise available within {{org_field_name}}.
  8. Any staff from whom evidence is taken will be assured that they will be dealt with in a fair and equitable manner and informed of their employment, legal and procedural rights.
  9. The alleged victim of the abuse/harm, and where appropriate their relatives, friends or representatives, will at all times be kept as fully informed as possible of what is happening regarding the suspected abuse/harm.
  10. The enquiry will be carried out within an agreed timescale.
  11. The findings will usually be presented to the local safeguarding adults/children strategy group, which will then decide what further action to take, eg that a safeguarding plan should be developed and implemented.

Following the enquiry

  1. If it seems from the enquiries that on the balance of probabilities abuse/harm did indeed take place, the manager will, if the abuser is a staff member, initiate and carry through proceedings according to the agency’s disciplinary policy or, if the abuser is not a member of staff, take action to involve other responsible bodies.
  2. If abuse/harm is proved against a care staff member, the manager will initiate appropriate action, which most likely will be dismissal and referral to the DBS to prevent them from being employed further in regulated activity.
  3. Other employment sanctions could apply depending on whether there might have been mitigating or extenuating circumstances. In some cases, retraining could be appropriate.
  4. The person using services or representatives will be informed of the outcome of the investigation and any further action and will be consulted about whether any redress or apology would be appropriate and helpful to them in line with the service’s duty of candour.
  5. The manager will take appropriate steps to inform the DBS for possible inclusion of the person on its barring lists as someone who is unsuitable to work again in regulated activity with at risk adults and/or children.
  6. At all stages of the process, a careful record will be kept of all actions taken, paying particular attention to the sensitivity of the abused/harmed person.
  7. Where relevant to the resolution of the situation, a plan will be drawn up to address the issues with the alleged or known perpetrator(s), particularly if they will be continuing to form part of the victim’s life, directly or indirectly. (See also the policies on: Safeguarding from Bullying, Harassment, Exploitation and Other Forms of Social Abuse, and Safeguarding Service Users from the Harmful Actions and Behaviour of Peers and Social Contacts.)

Planning further action

At the end of an incident involving possible or actual abuse/harm, managers should review what has happened with a view to assessing whether {{org_field_name}} or its management has been in any way culpable, ineffective or negligent, learning lessons for the way {{org_field_name}} should operate in the future, and passing on any appropriate information to other agencies.

If necessary, {{org_field_name}} will review and revise its policies, procedures and training arrangements in response to any material that has emerged from the incident or the investigation.

{{org_field_name}} could carry this out with advice and guidance from the local Safeguarding Adults’ Authority or Safeguarding Children Authority.

Contacts and sources of assistance

1. The local Adults’ Safeguarding Authority
{{org_field_local_authority_authority_name}}
Information link: {{org_field_local_authority_information_link}}
Children’s Safeguarding (only where relevant)
{{org_field_children_safeguarding_local_authority_authority_name}}
Information link: {{org_field_children_safeguarding_local_authority_information_link}}
2. The Care Quality Commission
Telephone: 03000 616161
Email: enquiries@cqc.org.uk
Write to: CQC National Correspondence Citygate Gallowgate Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4PA
Online at: www.cqc.org.uk/GiveFeedback
3. The police
Remember if you think a crime has been committed please contact the police via 111 or 999
4. Whistelblowing
The government has set up a whistle blowing helpline for NHS and Social care. This is available to both managers for advice and staff for reporting purposes. This telephone number is 08000 724 725.

CCTV in Homes/People’s Homes

For more information please read CCTV in Homes/People’s Homes policy.

{{org_field_name}} follows the following principles.

{{org_field_name}} acknowledges that any CCTV and similar recording devices belong to the person receiving care/representatives and it has no control over their use. It can, however, negotiate how they are used in relation to the services, which the agency has agreed to provide. It enters into any negotiations with a view to creating relationships with the people receiving care and their representatives, which are based on mutual trust, openness and transparency.

{{org_field_name}} also recognises that video recording can be a useful tool to help protect a person from harm and the risk of harm, to promote learning and development and to improve the quality of care if used appropriately.

{{org_field_name}} works on the basis that care practices must only be recorded on CCTV and similar devices with the express permission of the agency and individual carers.

People receiving care/representatives who seek to make use of CCTV within the service delivery process must make this clear at the beginning of the service or when proposing it at any later stage so that its use and conditions of its use can be written into the service agreement.

Representatives of a person who seeks to install or use CCTV on behalf of the person must have obtained the latter’s permission or if the person lacks mental capacity to give their consent, the agency will insist that a “best interests” process is carried out.

Where any such agreement has been reached, the agency will then make the relevant staff aware of its use. It will then obtain their written agreement to their being recorded within the terms and conditions agreed by the agency.

{{org_field_name}} will always seek to establish the purpose of the use of the CCTV (which might not always be directed at the agency’s staff, but a means, for example, of checking on the person themselves). It will then set out in writing the purpose and any specific objectives, which are relevant to the individual care and support plan.

{{org_field_name}} will not agree to the routine recording of any intimate personal care that invades the privacy of the individual and affronts their dignity.

{{org_field_name}} could agree to certain aspects of the care provided to be recorded (with consent) for a specific purpose, eg for problem-solving or learning, where there are benefits of recording the procedure for both people who use services and staff.

{{org_field_name}} will not seek to make use of the recording for its own internal monitoring purposes, except by agreement with the person receiving care and staff as in 6 above.

{{org_field_name}} will discuss with the individual/representatives as part of the agreement on the use of the CCTV how long the images of its staff will be retained, what access other people might have to those images and how they will be disposed of. These are all matters that could affect the rights of the agency’s employees.

{{org_field_name}} will also come to some agreement with the individual/representatives as part of the agreement the rights of access of its staff to any recorded images of them, as they would if the process was following data protection principles.

{{org_field_name}} will not tolerate the use of covert surveillance of its staff by a person receiving care and/or their representatives, which implies lack of trust and confidence in both individual staff and the agency. If it discovers that covert surveillance methods are being used unilaterally and without adequate reasons, it will discuss ending its services to that user.

Under some circumstances, however, it would accept the results of covert recordings if they provide clear evidence of malpractice or misconduct on the part of the staff member being recorded or to support a complaint.

In exceptional circumstances where, for example, there is prior evidence of an agency employee harming the person receiving care in any way or putting the person at risk of harm or engaging in any other kind of possible misconduct, it might agree with the person receiving care/representatives to staff behaviour being recorded covertly. The evidence obtained could then be used to trigger the agency’s safeguarding procedures.

{{org_field_name}} accepts that each situation should be treated differently and the agreements reached will be on an individual basis.

Mobile phones (work and personal)

For more information please read “Mobile Phone Policy”

Work phones

{{org_field_name}} will provide mobile phones to enable care staff to carry out their work effectively and efficiently. After being provided with a phone, the staff member will sign for it and be instructed in its use prior to its use.

All phones are pre-set with {{org_field_name}}’s number in case of emergencies.

Staff issued with mobile phones by {{org_field_name}} for work purposes must always ensure the security of the phone. It is imperative that staff always protect their mobile phone passwords. Passwords should never be shared with others.

Phones can be used for all work-related activity including care task recording, making work calls, for searching for work-related information on the internet, and for sending work-related texts or emails, etc. All internet use must be appropriate and in line with {{org_field_name}}’s Social Media Policy.

The need for any additional phone functionality should be discussed with the care manager on a case-by-case basis to identify the purpose and added work value.

As with the use of other telephones in {{org_field_name}}, personal (non-business) calls may be made in certain circumstances as long as they are appropriate and kept short. The sorts of calls that are permitted are calls to inform family and friends of a change of work plan, personal crisis, etc.

Note:

These conditions are subject to local decision-making.

Care staff will be made aware that phones issued for work purposes are routinely monitored. Checks include calls made, data use and internet sites visited. Itemised bills (usually produced monthly) will be regularly scrutinised by arrangement with the phone user.

Under no circumstances should mobile phones be used while driving a vehicle owned by {{org_field_name}} or while driving a private vehicle on care service business unless fitted with hands-free systems. All staff will be aware that hand-held mobile phone use while driving is illegal. (See Mobile Phones and Driving policy below.)

The loss or theft of a mobile phone must be reported immediately to {{org_field_name}} administration.

Staff must not misuse mobile phones provided by {{org_field_name}}. Mobile phones are covered by the same acceptable rules of use and IT policies as apply to the use of care service computers and other data devices (laptops/tablets, etc).

As with computer systems and networks, mobiles are vulnerable to misuse and to malicious cyber-security attacks. Viewing inappropriate websites is one form of misuse, as is sending or opening inappropriate emails or images.

In no circumstances should staff access websites that are inappropriate (eg those that could be considered pornographic, racist, sexist or otherwise offensive). Evidence of visits to such sites, the downloading of materials from such sites and the use of inappropriate search criteria will be treated as a disciplinary matter. (See also Social Media Policy.)

Members of staff should not send from their mobile phones or circulate emails, texts or photographs which are offensive or could be perceived as offensive. These might constitute cyberbullying, harassment or even a safeguarding issue.

Use of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter raises network security, disciplinary and performance concerns. Staff must not use social networking sites using a work phone unless they are doing so in an official capacity, eg updating {{org_field_name}}’s social media sites.

Staff should report to their administrator/manager any suspicious activity on mobile phone networks, such as suspicious emails, spam mail, etc.

Personal phones

Staff might also have their own mobile phones with them at work, which is allowed. (Alternatively, {{org_field_name}} might expect staff to use their personal phone as a work phone; though this is less preferable to issuing a work phone.)

With all personal phones, the following rules must be followed.

If the care management suspects of has evidence of staff misusing their mobile phones in work time it will investigate and take appropriate disciplinary action.

Online Safety of Children and Adults at Risk

Se also “Online Safety of Children and Adults at Risk” policy

This applies where a care service is providing support to children and young people. It could also apply to vulnerable adults who might lack mental capacity. Issues of e-safety are likely to arise when the agency’s staff are responsible for a person who is engaged in or seeks to obtain access to the Internet via computer or handheld device without the parents/guardians being present to give their consent.

In most care service situations access to and use of computers, handheld devices and of the Internet by children and vulnerable adults will be governed by the parents or representatives of the person using services, if required.

{{org_field_name}} will seek to identify as part of any service agreement/care plan if its staff are likely to be involved in the supervision or participation in such activities.

If supervision of or participation in such activities forms part of the care staff role, the agency will identify all parental permissions regarding usage including any time limits, etc and agree with the parents or representatives how its staff can apply these.

{{org_field_name}} will not however agree to its staff becoming responsible for supervising access to illegal or inappropriate content and would not allow its staff to collude with this in any way.

SMART Rules of Online Safety

As far as possible agency staff will work with parents of anyone using services who is a child or young person to comply with the basic SMART rules of online safety.

S = Safe. Keep safe by being careful not to give out personal information — such as your name, email, phone number, home address, or school name — to people who you don’t know online.

M = Meeting. Meeting someone you have only been in touch with online can be dangerous. Do so only with your parents’/carers’ permissions and when they can be present.

A = Accepting. Accepting emails, instant messenger messages or opening files from people you don’t know or trust can be dangerous; they might contain viruses or nasty messages.

R = Reliable. Someone online might be lying about who they are, and information you find on the Internet might not be reliable.

T = Tell. Tell your parent, your carer or a trusted adult if someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable or worried.

Where the care staff member considers that these rules are not being followed or are being misapplied they should discuss the issue with the person’s parents or guardians and report their concerns to their manager, who will attempt to address any issue that could compromise the service agreement or care plan.

In instances where it is thought that the person using services is at risk of harm as a result of online safety rules not being followed, the issue might need to be addressed through invoking safeguarding of people from abuse/harm procedures in line with the agency’s policy.

By harm the agency means exposure to content, which can be produced in different ways and might involve criminal acts, that can or does cause adverse physical reactions and/or emotional distress and disturbance to the young person or vulnerable adult. Harmful online content and activity includes cyberbullying, racism, misogynistic abuse, pornography and material promoting violence and self-harm.

Any staff member who encourages or colludes with a person to engage in illegal or inappropriate internet usage and/or puts the person using services at risk of harm as a result of their lack of supervision or collusion will face disciplinary action, which could lead to dismissal and referral to the current disclosure and barring service as someone who might not be suitable to be ememployed to work with vulnerable children or adults.

Admission process

See also “Moving Into and From Supported Living Policy”

Preparation and Planning for Moving In

Once a decision is taken that a person should acquire a tenancy and receive care and support from {{org_field_name}}, and contracts have been agreed and signed detailed planning and preparations for their moving in can go ahead.

For most people wanting to move into our service, for example from a care home, this process will form part of their continuing needs assessment and service planning.

As their chosen care provider we will then designate one of our staff to be their key worker or link worker to work with the person moving in and with other care staff and professionals involved or likely to be involved in their care and support to form a moving-in plan.

The moving in plan could include:

-preparing the person’s accommodation in line with their needs and requirements

-checking that the accommodation is suitable and where applicable (in relation to people with learning disabilities and autism) meets Right Support, Right Care, Right Culture guidance

-completing a full needs assessment, including risk assessments and safeguarding needs

-identifying the person’s work or occupational interests and needs, including education and training

-considering how the person’s health, emotional and social needs will be met

-checking the funding arrangements

-checking where applicable that the contractual arrangements comply with Right Support, Right Care, Right Culture guidance.

{{org_field_name}} will then:

-record on the person’s plan all the actions to be taken in the preparations and planning in order to move in successfully

-negotiate any direct role it might have in supporting the person to move into their accommodation

-discuss with the other agencies involved the person’s continuing support needs and how they will be addressed

-brief its staff on the new person’s care and support needs and plans and their respective roles and responsibilities, including the involvement of any key worker.

Professional Boundaries

See also “Professional Boundaries” Policy

{{org_field_name}} considers that staff need to observe professional boundaries in their relatives, friends, visitors and representatives, and that behaviour outside those boundaries should be regarded as potentially abusive and a reason for disciplinary action.

We recognise that it is often difficult to draw precise lines defining appropriate behaviour, so we encourage staff to be transparent in their dealings with people using the service and others and to discuss with managers any difficulties which arise. The starting point is that the needs of people using the service should be at the centre of our care practice; any relationship which might threaten that objective should be questioned.

We teach staff to recognise that they are in a position of trust and power in relation to the people using the service who are often vulnerable to abuse and exploitation and who do not always have the mental capacity to decide if a relationship is in their best interests. We do not expect staff to betray the vulnerable person’s trust in them or to misuse their power to coerce or control the person receiving their care or to abuse or harm them in any way.

Care staff must recognise that they are in positions of trust and must not abuse their position by:

-harming the people using the service

-committing a criminal offence against or related to the people for whom they are caring and which might incriminate them in some way in those offences

-behaving so that they pose a risk of causing harm to the people for whom they are caring.

The Parties Involved

Staff

This policy applies to all staff, including temporary staff and volunteers, not only those who have regular contact with the person in a care-giving capacity.

People using the service

They are the people to whom {{org_field_name}} has agreed to provide care and support, and to whom the service has a duty of care for their safety and wellbeing.

People associated with people using the service

This policy includes relationships with people directly associated with people using the service in a personal capacity — their relatives, friends, visitors and representatives.

Professional Boundaries

Professional relationships must be distinguished from personal relationships. Although we believe that staff can quite properly gain satisfaction from developing and sustaining relationships with people using the service, the key consideration should always be the needs of the person rather than the personal or mutual satisfactions which characterise personal relationships. Staff must therefore on occasions hold back from allowing a relationship to develop a dimension or to a degree which they personally would find satisfying, in the interests of ensuring that the needs of the individual remain paramount.

Any member of staff who feels that a relationship that might be judged inappropriate is developing should discuss the situation with their manager. The action to be taken might include:

-varying the staff member’s duties in order to limit contact with that person

-discussing the situation frankly with the person in order to re-establish appropriate boundaries

-having a chaperone present whenever there is likely to be physical contact (see Chaperone Policy)

-moving the staff member to another work setting.

Where the overstepping of professional boundaries has resulted in harm to the person, the staff member will be subject to a disciplinary investigation (following local safeguarding procedures). This could result in the person being dismissed and referred for inclusion on the relevant barring list that would prevent future employment in a care role.

Professional Codes of Practice

Care, nursing and other professional staff must comply with the standards of conduct and practice for their respective occupations or professions. The service will co-operate with any action taken by a professional regulatory body investigating the conduct of one of its members.

Conduct Outside the Work Situation

Although we do not in general seek to regulate the private behaviour of staff, we recognise that, on some occasions, a staff member’s behaviour away from work may call into question their suitability to work in social care services, particularly if they have committed a criminal offence. It is the responsibility of all staff therefore to behave, both at work and outside, in ways which uphold their own credibility and {{org_field_name}}’s reputation.

Recruitment and Selection

Please also see “Safe Recruitment and Selection” policy

{{org_field_name}} is fully aware that by law care providers must have effective recruitment procedures so that they employ only people of good character, who are physically and mentally fit to carry out the work and who have the necessary qualifications, skills and experience. In addition, the service must make sure that staff who are required to register with a professional body in order to practise have done so and maintain their registration.

{{org_field_name}} must take the required steps to refer a staff member who has been found to practise in their employed role to the relevant registration organisation (which in the cases of care staff means the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) with a view to placement on one or both of its barring lists).

References

Offers of employment are made following interview on condition that a minimum of two satisfactory written or recorded verbal references are obtained in respect of the applicant, one of which will be from the person’s most recent employer, where this is applicable.

A request for a reference will always ask that the applicant is of “good character” and meets the “fit person” test required by the care regulations. If the references prove to be unsatisfactory, the offer of employment may be withdrawn without {{org_field_name}} being in breach of contract.

Applicants should confirm in writing or verbally that their present employer may be approached for a reference.

If a reference is deemed unsatisfactory, the appointee should be told and given written confirmation that the offer of employment is withdrawn since the condition to which it was subject has not been fulfilled.

The service will always take the necessary corrective actions, if it is found, eg from an internal audit or an inspection, that references are incomplete, or that the records show that gaps in employment have not been accounted for.

Criminal records disclosures and barred list checks

Before confirming someone’s appointment, the service is required to carry out checks with the DBS, which are based on eligibility for the type of checks required for certain positions in care service work.

For staff who work in regulated activity as defined by the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, {{org_field_name}} must apply for an enhanced criminal records check and barring list check.

Staff in non-care roles, who have some but not regular contact with people receiving care, eg office staff, cleaners, laundry and maintenance staff, and volunteers, will have either a standard or enhanced criminal records check, depending on the amount of contact involved, and the assessed risks to people receiving care.

The service is committed to following the current guidance on criminal records and barring list checks issued by the DBS, and reviews its policies according to any new guidance that it issues.

A person who has applied for a care role whose name appears on a relevant barring list will clearly not be eligible for appointment and this will have been conveyed to all prospective applicants in the information provided to them beforehand.

A person who has applied for either a care or a non-care role, who has an unspent criminal conviction as shown by the DBS check (but in the case of care role applicants is not on a barred list) will not automatically be rejected for the post for which they have applied. A decision to appoint or not will take into account the details of their conviction(s) and the outcomes of a risk assessment, which will ensure that no one is put at risk from their appointment.

In cases where it is not possible to obtain a full criminal records check before a person is due to start work, and to maintain adequate staffing levels, the service may apply for an Adult First clearance. It will then monitor and supervise the person in line with official guidance until full clearance is obtained. Employees are made aware of the provisional nature of their appointment until all checks have been completed.

Where it is not possible to make use of or access the DBS updating service, the service retains criminal record checks in secure conditions, observing access to records and data protection protocols like any other personal information it holds on its staff members.

The service recommends to staff that they register with the DBS updating service. Where they have not, it will keep all paper copies of criminal record checks obtained on appointment until after its next inspection so that it can provide evidence that it is complying with its legal requirements for making these checks. This could mean that it will sometimes keep these checks for longer than the usual six-month period established in the Criminal Records Code of Practice as they must be available to inspectors whenever they visit.

The service will also record the checks made when using the DBS updating service. Otherwise it will request a staff DBS check every three years.

Record Keeping

{{org_field_name}} will record all details associated with allegations of abuse/harm clearly and accurately. The records are kept securely and the agency’s rules on confidentiality are carefully followed. Reports are made as required to the CQC and other safeguarding agencies involved.

Safeguarding reports are stored on electronic devices which are stored safely in our office and are password protected.

When carying out a Safeguarding investigation the lead person must make a note of:

The lead person is expected to take into account in his or her conducting of the investigation:

Referrals to DBS Barred Lists

The agency will comply with its legal requirement to refer a care worker, where it has evidence that the staff member in question has been guilty of misconduct by harming or putting at risk of harm a person using services or other person at risk, during the course of their work, to the DBS barred lists following the procedures issued by the DBS.

Training

Please also see:

Induction Programmes policy

Staff Development, Training and Qualifications Policy

Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy

Induction

Individuals’ induction programmes will follow a common process with specific contents in line with individuals’ job specifications and descriptions.

Each new person’s induction will include an introduction, which is proportionate to their role requirements, to:

-{{org_field_name}}’s aims and objectives as reflected in its statement of purpose/mission statement

-the regulations under which {{org_field_name}} operates with emphasis on the importance of all employees contributing to the safe, effective, responsive and compassionate person-centred care that the service is expected to provide in line with its registration requirements

-the policies and procedures that describe {{org_field_name}}’s responsibilities for all employees’ and people receiving care’s health and safety including, for example, hand washing for the purposes of infection control, and where applicable food hygiene and fire safety (health and safety regulations will apply differently in line with the nature of the service)

-the structure of the service and the lines of accountability within it, including an understanding of the person to whom any individual should report matters concerning their work, how they will be supervised and their training needs assessed and addressed

-{{org_field_name}}’s expectations regarding the employees’ behaviour in the conduct of their work, including how to treat people receiving care with respect and sensitivity to maintain their dignity

-policies on any applicable dress code, use of mobile phones, computer use, internet access and use of social media and to its staff facilities etc

-the service’s policies on equality and diversity, safeguarding, whistleblowing and its complaints procedure

-confirmation that the person has the knowledge and skills to carry out the work for which they have been appointed.

A combination of methods adapted to meet specific induction needs will be used to ensure every new employee will know and apply these requirements.

All staff receive training in recognising abuse or harm and carrying out their responsibilities under this policy as part of their induction programme and further training in line with their training needs as identified from their supervision and appraisals and policy developments and changes.

It recognises that abuse/harm of people using care services may take many forms including:

-physical abuse, hitting, slapping, pushing, etc

-social abuse, including bullying, cyberbullying, harassment and personal exploitation

-social isolation/scapegoating/ostracism/stigmatisation

-financial or material bullying and exploitation

-psychological or emotional abuse

-sexual abuse/exploitation

-neglect and acts of omission

-discriminatory abuse

-self-harm, including self-neglect

-inhuman or degrading treatment

-inappropriate or excessive restraint and restrictions on movement and activities and different forms of coercive and controlling behaviour

-organisational abuse, including when as a member of a community group or enterprise.

The training is updated on a regular scheduled basis at least annually.

Management responsibilities in relation to abuse

{{org_field_name}} requires its managers to take responsibility for:

Staff responsibilities

{{org_field_name}} insists that all its staff have a responsibility to:

Preventing abuse from occurring

{{org_field_name}} is committed to taking all possible steps to prevent abuse or harm of children and young people receiving care from occurring, including:

Recognising abuse

{{org_field_name}} expects all staff to be vigilant regarding the welfare of children with whom we have contact in the course of providing services.

Staff working with and in regular contact with children and their families will be trained to recognise the signs of abuse or risks and when abuse might occur and to respond in line with national and local child protection policies and procedures.

{{org_field_name}} will identify any instances of actual or possible abuse/harm involving people by all possible means including:

Procedures for when Abuse Has Occurred or is Alleged to Have Occurred

If a child or young person is evidently being abused/harmed or they or others allege that someone has been abused, {{org_field_name}} will act promptly to limit the harm and deal with the situation, as follows. {{org_field_name}} will follow all local guidance and procedures on the actions it will take.

Initial procedures

Emergencies

1. A staff member who witnesses a situation in which a child or young person is in actual or imminent danger must use their judgment as to the best way to stop what is happening without further damage to anyone involved including themselves, either by immediately intervening personally or by summoning help.

2. If the situation is an emergency, with a child in immediate danger, staff should take urgent action to intervene and call for assistance as soon as possible from the appropriate authority, eg police/paramedics. They should give any necessary first aid and contact appropriate emergency services if necessary. If the abuser remains present, staff should seek to calm the situation.

3. The duty manager, senior staff member or safeguarding lead to whom actual or suspected abuse/harm is reported must immediately take action to provide protection, support or additional care to the child or young person who has been harmed and refer the matter to the safeguarding authority/police in line with local procedures.

Concerns, suspicions, reports and allegations of abuse

4. Where staff or others, who could be a child or young person, raise a safeguarding concern or allege abuse, the matter should be reported immediately to the service manager or safeguarding lead (depending on the circumstances).

5. The designated person could discuss with the child’s parents or guardians and the child or young person, where practical, in order to gather further information and to consider the appropriate action to take.

6. If the concern, allegation or report is of a serious nature, the manager/lead will refer the matter immediately to the local safeguarding children’s team.

7. The safeguarding lead will consider whether, on the basis of the information they have gathered, make a referral to the children’s safeguarding team/(MASH). Alternatively the safeguarding lead might seek the advice of the safeguarding team on an anonymous basis to decide if a referral should be made.

8. Once the referral has been made {{org_field_name}} will allow the safeguarding team to conduct its enquiries and will base its own responses on the outcomes. This could involve reporting further and taking part in a safeguarding strategy meeting and helping to implement any child protection plan that is decided.

9. There could be serious instances where a safeguarding matter might need to be reported directly to the police, and {{org_field_name}} will then take guidance from the police on further action.

10. {{org_field_name}} will take steps to ensure that there is no further risk of the child/young person being abused/harmed by the alleged or suspected perpetrator if such actions fall within its area of responsibility.

11. {{org_field_name}} will ensure that it addresses the needs of the child/young person for any special or additional care, support or protection or for checks on health or wellbeing as required.

12. If the alleged abuser is a staff member and there is sufficient evidence that abuse/harm has or might have occurred, the manager will suspend the person from duty pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation. The manager will receive guidance on the steps to be taken from the professionals leading the enquiries.

13. If the evidence is insufficiently strong to warrant suspension, the staff member against whom the allegation has been made will be instructed not to have further unsupervised contact with anyone until the matter is resolved.

14. However, it should be noted that in the event of a referral being made to the police because a criminal offence might have been committed the police investigation will take precedence and no action should be taken that might jeopardise its enquiries, which might contaminate the evidence it is seeking and collecting.

15. All details associated with allegations of abuse will be recorded clearly and accurately. The record will be securely kept and the agency’s rules on confidentiality carefully followed. Reports will be made available as required to the Care Quality Commission (CQC)/investigating local authority safeguarding team/police.

All training, including induction training, is in line with the guidance and standards produced by the relevant social and healthcare workforce development organisations and the local safeguarding authority training policies and guidance.

Examples of a Safeguarding Training Strategy (to be amended as required by individual circumstances and local requirements).

  1. Staff new to care work must achieve Standard 10: Safeguarding Adults and Standard 11: Safeguarding Children to achieve the Care Certificate.
  2. Other new staff will have a baseline training level, which is at least the equivalent of the Care Certificate Standards 10 and 11 from previous or current induction training.
  3. {{org_field_name}} will check their knowledge and competencies to ensure it meets the required standard and provide additional training if needed.
  4. All staff receive training to ensure that they are familiar with local Safeguarding Adults’ Boards policies and procedures.
  5. All staff following induction are expected to proceed to at least a Foundation Level 2 award and a Multi-agency (Level 3) training in safeguarding.
  6. Managers and staff responsible for safeguarding are required to receive Specialist Safeguarding Training (Level 4) and, where appropriate, to their roles and responsibilities, achieve the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Leaders Development Programme (Level 5).
  7. The registered manager will include the Safeguarding unit (LMAC5C/S) in their Level 5 Diploma in Leading and Managing Adult Care Service.

Responsible Person: {{org_field_registered_manager_first_name}} {{org_field_registered_manager_last_name}}

Reviewed on: {{last_update_date}}

Next review date: this policy is reviewed annualy (every 12 months). When needed, this policy is also updated in response to changes in legislation, regulation, best practices, or organisational changes.

Copyright ©2024 {{org_field_name}}. All rights reserved

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