• indicators of abuse
• measures that can be taken to avoid abuse taking place
• steps that need to be taken in the case of suspected or alleged abuse
Indicators are the main signs and symptoms, which suggest that some form of abuse may have occurred; nevertheless caution is suggested against establishing adult abuse merely due to the presence of one or more of these indicators without further detailed assessment/investigation. Typically an abusive situation will involve indicators from a number of groups in combination.
Measures that can be taken to avoid abuse taking place
As managers it is my obligation to understand the safeguarding policy and the commitment of my organisation to ensure all staff are supported to maintain training and awareness. I will conduct regular reviews of the standards required for each role. A full reassessment will be required if changes are made to the duties of the role which warrant a new and different level of employment check (e.g. if the post holder takes on new duties involving children or adults at risk of harm or abuse).
These are the step to take to avoid abuse taking place;
• setting out and making widely known the procedures for responding to suspicions or evidence of abuse/harm
• operating personnel policies which ensure that all potential staff in regulated activity are thoroughly checked, by the taking up of references and clearance through DBS criminal records and barred list checks, with equivalent checks for staff employed from overseas
• incorporating material relevant to abuse/harm into staff training at all levels
• maintaining vigilance concerning the possibility of abuse/harm of service users from whatever source
• encouraging among staff, service users and all other stakeholders a climate of openness and awareness that makes it possible to pass on concerns about behavior that might be abusive or that might lead to abuse/harm
• devising systems that minimize the risk of abuse of service users by other service users by understanding and dealing appropriately with any form of aggression
• maintaining robust procedures for regulating any contact the staff of the home need to have with service users’ property, money or financial affairs
• communicating concerns to the appropriate officers of the local Adults’ Safeguarding Board, and the Care Quality Commission in line with current policies and authoritative professional guidance
• helping service users as far as possible to avoid or control situations or relationships that would make them vulnerable to abuse/harm
Steps that need to be taken in the case of suspected or alleged abuse
Assure the person making the complaint that they will be taken seriously, and Listen to what is being said.
• Stay calm.
• Do not probe for detail.
• Empathise but do not jump to conclusions.
• Do not promise complete confidentiality. Explain that you have a duty to report the concern to your manager.
• Do not attempt to question the alleged abuser.
When reporting suspected harm or abuse staffs is required to follow Compulsory Reporting requirements as set out in the Act and the Residential Care Manual
• Report suspected cases of abuse immediately to their manager
• Offer the resident the opportunity to speak to the manager directly
• Record any direct observation, information or discussions with (or concerning) the residents that might indicate that abuse is occurring. See record keeping for further details.
• Follow the organisation policy and protocols when responding to a service user experiencing abuse
• Assure service user involved that there rights will be upheld
• Follow the actions recorded in the care plan
• Report back to manager of any changes or concerns about the directives or action steps recorded in the care plan which care staff are required to follow
When reporting suspected harm or abuse the manger is required to follow Compulsory Reporting requirements as set out in the Act and the Residential Care Manual
• Place the interests of the service users first
• Check your agency’s policy where available
• Assess the situation for initial response and appropriate intervention
• Ask yourself: is it urgent or non-urgent?
• Investigate and gather all relevant facts
• Consider all possible intervention strategies to stop abuse – from supportive to restrictive
• Consider positive and negative outcomes of all intervention strategies
• Respect confidentiality and understand its limitations o Inform the older person of your concerns
• Inform the service users of their right to an independent advocate of choice (example ARAS)
• Inform the service users of your duty of care and obligations towards them in your settling
• Establish the wishes and mental capacity of the service users to make decisions and/or to self advocate
• Encourage and assist the older person to make their own decisions if they have mental capacity. Refer to duty of care and consent to act sections.
• Focus intervention strategies on what the older person wants
• Record actions to be undertaken by care staff in the older person’s care plan.
• Complete any documentation required under the organisation’s policy
• Provide support to the care staff involved in implementing any action plans