Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and aims to protect people’s health, wellbeing and human rights, and enable them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect.
Safeguarding of adults is aimed at people with care and support needs who may be in vulnerable circumstances and at risk of abuse or neglect by others.
IG Medical adopts a zero tolerance approach to abuse and neglect and in doing so ensures that safeguarding the rights of adults at risk of abuse is integral to all we do.
The practice staff aim to safeguard all adults who may be at risk of abuse, irrespective of disability, race, religion/belief, colour, language, birth, nationality, ethnic or national origin, gender or sexual orientation.
The practice teams have a responsibility for recognising the potential signs and indicators of abuse, sharing information appropriately, and acting on concerns in a timely manner.
The practices recognise that safeguarding adults is a shared responsibility with the need for effective joint working between professionals and agencies. In order to achieve effective joint working there must be constructive relationships at all levels, promoted and supported by:
- the commitment of all staff within the practices to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of adults;
- clear lines of accountability within the practices for work on safeguarding;
- Practice developments that take account of the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of adults and is informed, where appropriate, by the views of the adult at risk and their families;
- staff training and continuing professional development enabling staff to fulfil their roles and responsibilities in line with safeguarding procedures of the Bradford Safeguarding Adults Board and the Intercollegiate Document Adult Safeguarding: Roles and Competencies for Health Care Staff First edition: August 2018;
- safe working practices including recruitment and vetting procedures;
- effective interagency working, including effective information sharing.
IG Medical’s Safeguarding Adults policy outlines how the practices will fulfil their statutory responsibilities and ensures that there are in place robust structures, systems and quality standards for safeguarding adults, which are in line with Bradford Safeguarding Adult Board procedures.
The practices acknowledge the six principles of adult safeguarding and ensures these principles underpin practice staff’s safeguarding work.
Empowerment – people being supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and informed consent
Prevention – it is better to take action before harm occurs
Proportionality – the least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented.
Protection – support and representation for those in greatest need.
Partnership – local solutions through services working with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse
Accountability – accountability and transparency in delivering care and support.
The Disclosure and Barring service (DBS) enables organisations in the public, private and voluntary sectors to make safer recruitment decisions by identifying candidates who may be unsuitable for certain work, especially that involving vulnerable adults, and provides wider access to criminal record information through its disclosure service for England and Wales.
IG Medical’s recruitment process recognises that it has a responsibility to ensure that it undertakes appropriate criminal record checks on applicants for any position within the practice that qualifies for either an enhanced or standard level check. Any requirement for a check and eligibility for the level of check is dependent on the roles and responsibilities of the job.
A person’s ability to make a particular decision may at a particular time be affected by:
- duress and undue influence
- lack of mental capacity.
The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 provides a statutory framework that underpins issues relating to capacity and protects the rights of individuals where capacity may be in question. MCA implementation is integral to safeguarding vulnerable adults.
PREVENT is one strand of CONTEST, the Government’s Counter Terrorism Strategy. PREVENT focuses on preventing people becoming involved in terrorism, supporting extreme violence or becoming susceptible to radicalisation. Alongside other agencies, such as education services, local authorities and the police, healthcare services have been identified as a key strategic partner in supporting this strategy.
Healthcare professionals may meet and treat people who are vulnerable to radicalisation, such as people with mental health issues or learning disabilities, who may have a heightened susceptibility to being influenced by others.
The key challenge for the health sector is to be vigilant for signs that someone has been or is being drawn into terrorism. GPs and their staff are the first point of contact for most people and are in a prime position to safeguard those people they feel may be at risk of radicalisation.