Regulation 13: Safeguarding service users from abuse and improper treatment

Safeguarding is relevant to every business whether your in health or social care

The term safeguarding is used to define actions taken to protect vulnerable groups from harm. This harm might come from adults or other children and, as someone working closely with vulnerable groups, it’s important you understand what safeguarding is and why it’s important.

Part of the safeguarding process is identifying and protecting children suffering from, or likely to suffer from, significant harm.

All children are covered by child protection and safeguarding guidance and legislation.

A vulnerable adult is defined as a person who, for any reason, may be unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation.

Safeguarding vulnerable adults involves reducing or preventing the risk of significant harm from neglect or abuse, while also supporting people to maintain control of their own lives.

This does not only refer to adults who lack capacity. Adults with full capacity can still be considered vulnerable if they are unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves from significant harm.

Safeguarding training is vital when working with vulnerable groups, as it helps to ensure that your employees can carry out their duties knowledgeably and safely.

Point 1     CQC want to see that you have processes in place to ensure that if safeguarding come sup all your staff know what to  do.

Point 2     What CQC say is  that systems and processes must be established and operated effectively to prevent abuse of service users.

(3) Systems and processes must be established and operated effectively to investigate, immediately upon becoming aware of, any allegation or evidence of such abuse.

(4) Care or treatment for service users must not be provided in a way that— means that you are discriminating against them in reference to the Equality act 2010

It should not be  degrading for the service user nor should it  significantly disregard  the needs of the service user for care or treatment.

For the purposes of this regulation—

“abuse” means—

(a) any behaviour towards a service user that is an offence under the Sexual Offences Act 2003(a),

(b) ill-treatment (whether of a physical or psychological nature) of a service user,

(c) theft, misuse or misappropriation of money or property belonging to a service user, or

(d) neglect of a service user.

(7) For the purposes of this regulation, a person controls or restrains a service user if that person—

(a) uses, or threatens to use, force to secure the doing of an act which the service user resists, or

(b) restricts the service user’s liberty of movement, whether or not the service user resists, including by use of physical, mechanical or chemical means.

To meet the requirements of this regulation, providers must have a zero tolerance approach to abuse, unlawful discrimination and restraint. This


• Neglect.

• Subjecting people to degrading treatment.

• Unnecessary or disproportionate restraint.

• Deprivation of liberty.

Providers must have robust procedures and processes to prevent people using the service from being abused by staff or other people they may have

contact with when using the service, including visitors. Abuse and improper treatment includes care or treatment that is degrading for people and care

or treatment that significantly disregards their needs or that involves inappropriate recourse to restraint. For these purposes, ‘restraint’ includes the use

or threat of force, and physical, chemical or mechanical methods of restricting liberty to overcome a person’s resistance to the treatment in question.

Where any form of abuse is suspected, occurs, is discovered, or reported by a third party, the provider must take appropriate action without delay. The

action they must take includes investigation and/or referral to the appropriate body. This applies whether the third party reporting an occurrence is

internal or external to the provider.

CQC can prosecute for a breach of some parts of this regulation (13(1) to 13(4)) if a failure to meet those parts results in avoidable harm to a person using

the service or if a person using the service is exposed to significant risk of harm. We do not have to serve a Warning Notice before prosecution.

Point 3  Safeguarding training is a must for those working in the health or social care sector. There are different levels of training.

There are 3 levels of training and for CQC its worth knowing which one you need your staff to do Level one or Safeguarding awareness is the basic training

Level 2 or Advanced Safeguarding training is anyone doing a regulated activity will most likely require level 2

Level 3 is for those who are the designated Lead for the organisation they will probably be in a management role such as Registered manager .

As part of their induction, staff must receive safeguarding training that is relevant, and at a suitable level for their role. Training should be updated at appropriate intervals and should keep staff up to date and enable them to recognise different types of abuse and the ways they can report concerns.

• Staff must be aware of their individual responsibilities to prevent, identify and report abuse when providing care and treatment. This includes referral to other providers.

• Staff must understand their roles and associated responsibilities in relation to any of the provider’s policies, procedures or guidance to prevent abuse.

• Information about current procedures and guidance about raising concerns about abuse should be accessible to people who use the service, advocates, those lawfully acting on their behalf, those close to them and staff.

• Providers should use incidents and complaints to identify potential abuse and should take preventative actions, including escalation, where appropriate.

• Providers and their staff must understand and work within the requirements of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 whenever they work with people who may lack the mental capacity to make some decisions.

Providers and staff must know and understand the local safeguarding policy and procedures, and the actions they need to take in response to suspicions and allegations of abuse, no matter who raises the concern or who the alleged abuser may be. These include timescales for action and the local arrangements for investigation.

Staff must be aware of, and have access to, current procedures and guidance for raising and responding to concerns of abuse. Staff should have access to support from line management when considering how to respond to concerns of abuse.

• Managers and staff must understand their individual responsibilities to respond to concerns about abuse when providing care and treatment, including investigating concerns.

Providers should make sure that staff are kept up to date about changes to national and local safeguarding arrangements.

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