Safeguarding vulnerable adults is everyone’s responsibility and it is the responsibility of every organisation to have a clear policy and set of processes in place that will support your staff and volunteers to fulfil their safeguarding responsibility.
If you have a concern about a child or young person please visit the ISCP web site where you will find all of the help and information you need.
Raising a concern
You should always:
- Inform your line manager (unless your manager appears to be involved in which case you should refer to your Whistle Blowing policy)
- You should formally raise a concern (called an alert) using the document linked below.
- The team at HSC are always available to give you or your manager support or advice before you raise an alert if you are unsure.
Getting consent to share
It is always best to get consent from the person you are working with but sometimes that is not possible, you should still share you concerns if:
- They are an adult with care and support needs
- And they are experiencing abuse or neglect
- And as a result of their care and support needs they are unable to protect themselves
What is adult safeguarding?
Some adults have care and support needs this means they may be unable to protect themselves from abuse. These may be older people, physically disabled people, those with mental health issues, people with learning difficulties or those with a short or long term illness. Adult Safeguarding means protecting an adults right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.
Each adult’s views, wishes and feelings should be considered when deciding on the most appropriate course of action to take however this should not prevent an organisation taking appropriate action when they have a concern.
What can you do?
If a member of staff in your organisation thinks that an adult with care and support needs is at risk of abuse or neglect your organisation has a duty of care and responsibility to act. Your safeguarding policy should clearly explain your internal reporting or escalation procedures, but your safeguarding lead should contact the HSC Adult Safeguarding Manager on 01481 725241, as soon as possible and complete a Raising a concern Form. There are guidance notes at the end of the form. Please also review guidance about how to raise a concern for further details about the process and for details of specific agreed HSC timescales.
It is not unusual to have concerns that you would like to discuss without creating a safeguarding alert or sharing any personal information about a service user. The Team at HSC are available to provide expert support and guidance: call the Adult Safeguarding Manager for a discussion. They can advise you and guide you through the next steps or the formal process including what will happen once you have raised an alert and how long the process may take.
If you suspect an adult is being abused and is in immediate danger you should contact the police without delay on 01481 725111.
You should not investigate your concerns, that is the role of HSC. Once you have raised a concern HSC staff will ensure that the vulnerable adult at risk receives the help and support they need.
If a multi-agency response is deemed necessary the case may be discussed at the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub for adults (MASH). The adult MASH meets once a week and should not beconfused with the Multi Agency Support Hub for Children. Safeguarding concerns will be actioned as soon as they are reported. Where possible the responsible social worker will update you on any actions taken as a result of your report, sometimes it is not possible to provide details of actions taken but you will always be kept informed.
Frequently asked questions
What happens when an adult you believe is at risk refuses to engage with services?
The Vulnerable Adult Risk Management guidance sets out a co-ordinated, multi-agency response designed to protect adults deemed most at risk and ensure that any significant issues raised are appropriately addressed.
The balance between protecting adults at risk from self-neglect against their right to self-determination is a serious challenge for all services. This process does not and should not affect an individual’s human rights but seeks to ensure that the relevant agencies exercise their duty of care in a robust manner and as far as is reasonable and proportionate.
The Vulnerable Adult Risk Management Document also explores the issue of mental capacity. The Mental Capacity Legislation is currently under review, more guidance will follow.
Do I need consent to share information?
The lack of consent to share can prevent organisations from taking action, however HSC policy states that if a person passes the three part test then a safeguarding referral “Alert” should be made.
The person must have care or support needs, they need not be delivered by HSC but frequently are.
And Part 2
they are experiencing or at risk of abuse and neglect
And Part 3
they are unable to protect themselves as a result of their care and support needs.
The HSC 2018 Consent Guidance Document will help you to understand how your organisation can act if a person does not want to share their information. In addition your organisation should reference in their policy their duty under General Data Protection Regulation 2018.