Safeguarding Adults Week- 2020
Published on Monday, November 16, 2020 by Amy Underwood
This week is Safeguarding Week. Every day this week will cover a different safeguarding theme.
To kick start the week, please watch a short introduction video from Anthony Douglas, Independent Chair of the Suffolk Safeguarding Partnership.
Jump to Monday - Safeguarding and Wellbeing
Jump to Tuesday - Adult Grooming and Exploitation
Jump to Wednesday - Understanding Capacity
Jump to Thursday - Creating Safer Spaces
Jump to Friday - Organisational Abuse
Jump to Saturday - Safeguarding Adults in Sport and Activity
Jump to Sunday - Safeguarding your Community
There is a strong link between safeguarding and mental and physical wellbeing. If someone’s wellbeing needs are not being met, they might consider actions that put them at risk of harm. It’s important that we learn to look after our own wellbeing and also check in on the wellbeing of those around us. Below are some resources that may be helpful in giving some tips on how you can do this:
Mind suggest the following as a starting point to improving your mental wellbeing:
Only try what feels comfortable
Give yourself time to figure out what works for you, going at your own pace
Take small steps. Pick one or two things that feel achievable at first, before moving on to try other idea
Wellbeing and COVID-19
It has been widely observed and reported that the COVID-19 Pandemic has had a significant impact on people’s wellbeing. Working from home can also have a significant impact on our wellbeing. Research from LinkedIn and the Mental Health Foundation found that more than half of the 2000 participants said they felt more anxious since working from home and a third are having trouble sleeping. ‘E-presenteeism’ is the idea that people feel the need to show they are constantly working and answering emails. The research suggest that due to this people are working an extra 28 hours per month. Click here for more advice on how to look after your wellbeing whilst working from home.
The sites below have some articles that may be of interest:
Day two of Adult Safeguarding week is focusing on adult grooming and exploitation. Grooming is a form of abuse that involves manipulating someone until they are isolated, dependent on their abuser, and more vulnerable to exploitation; sometimes you may hear grooming referred to as ‘mate crime’. Grooming can lead to modern slavery, physical, sexual and financial abuse. It is important we familiarise ourselves with the signs of grooming so we are able to recognise when someone may need help:
The person may become withdrawn and seem worried but unwilling to talk about it. Their emotions may become more unpredictable.
The person has new clothes or belongings that they are unable to explain where they came from.
Groomers aim to isolate their targets. You may notice that the person is reluctant to see family, friends or professionals that they used to spend more time with.
Money may be missing from their accounts, they may be unable to pay for food or their bills.
The person may be spending more time on their phone or online than usual and refuse to say what sites they’re visiting or who they are speaking to.
Where to get help
The Disruption Toolkit is aimed at professionals within statutory and voluntary agencies and aims to consider the options available to these professionals to disrupt perpetrators of exploitation. The toolkit is available here and is aimed at those working with adults and children.
Restitute are a Suffolk based charity that provide support to ‘3rd party victims’ of crime. These are those caring for survivors of sexual or violent crime.
SurvivorsUK offer support services, including counselling to men and boys who have experienced sexual violence.
There is a whole host of legislation that is relevant to safeguarding adults. Sometimes this can seem overwhelming. We have outlined some of the key legislation below with places you can go for more information. Remember, you don’t need to be an expert in all areas – just know that it’s there and where to go to find out more detail when you need it.
The Care Act 2014
The Care Act places a statutory duty on Local Authorities to undertake, or cause others to undertake safeguarding enquiries. When deciding if a safeguarding enquiry is required the MASH will consider the 3 criteria below, sometimes referred to as the ‘Three Stage Test’:
The adult has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs)
The adult is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect
as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect
If you’re unsure whether a referral should be made you can use the Safeguarding Adults Framework here to help you decide. You could also contact the MASH consultation line for advice: 0345 606 1499
Making Safeguarding Personal
Making Safeguarding Personal aims to ensure that the adults we are working with remain central to all our safeguarding work. The Making Safeguarding Personal Toolkit has a range of tools that will assist you in ensuring this is the case for all of your enquiries.
Mental Capacity Act 2005
The Mental Capacity Act is designed to protect and empower people who may lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. It’s important that we are mindful of a persons mental capacity in all of our work. Attached are some 7 minute briefings you may find useful when considering mental capacity in relation to Adult Safeguarding, more advice and guidance about Mental Capacity and DOLS can be found here.
S44 of the Mental Capacity Act creates a criminal offence of ill-treating or wilfully neglecting a person who lacks capacity or whom the offender reasonably believes to lack capacity. There have been charges brought against carers in Suffolk. This link provides some examples of case law in relation to the offence.
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS)
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards came into force in 2009. They are designed to provide protection for those that lack capacity in relation to their care and support and are being deprived of their liberty in order to keep them safe from harm. The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards are due to be replaced by the Liberty Protection Safeguards in April 2022. These will cover anywhere a person may be deprived of their liberty, including supported accommodation and their own home. Attached is a 7 minute briefing explaining the changes.
Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 Section 20 to 25
Prior to this act, it was not possible for someone to be charged with wilful neglect or ill treatment if the adult did not lack capacity or was not in a hospital or care setting. Section 20 of the Act states that it is an offence for an individual acting in the role of carer to wilfully neglect or mistreat that individual. Section 21 of the Act makes it an offence for a ‘care provider’ to “breach their duty” in a way that would constitute wilful neglect or ill-treatment. More information about the offence can be found here.
As we are all aware, safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. We all have a role in ensuring that those we live with are living safe lives. The Ann Craft Trust have developed a Safeguarding Adults Checklist to help in developing your understanding of safeguarding and signposting you to resources that will help you with this.
The internet has allowed so many of us to stay in contact during the COVID-19 pandemic. It allows opportunities to speak and meet new people and is available to us 24 hours a day within seconds. Whilst there are many positives, it is also important that we know how to keep ourselves and others safe online. During the COVID-19 pandemic there has been an increase in online scams and fraud. Get Safe Online and Take Five have many resources that can support in understanding ourselves and helping others to understand how to stay safe online. When using the internet remember to be mindful of scams
Stop – Take a moment to think before you share information or send money .
Challenge – Could it be fake? It’s OK to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try and rush or panic you.
Protect – Contact your bank immediately if you think you have fallen for a scam. Report it to Action Fraud.
Want to Learn more?
Friends against Scams have free eLearning to learn about the different types of scams and how to spot and support victims.
Suffolk Trading Standards have a whole host of information that can help in keeping people safe.
Organisational Abuse incudes neglect and poor care practice within a care setting. This could be a hospital, care setting or within care received in a persons home. Organisational Abuse does not have to involve physical violence it can be strict routines such as insisting that a person in a care setting must drink their tea at the same time every day. The abuse could be a one off incident or an ongoing culture of ill treatment.
The Managing Organisational Concerns policy provides us with guidance on how we should respond to organisational abuse concerns. The policy contains a checklist or indicators of organisational abuse to help you consider if this is something that might be a worry.
The Safeguarding Adults Board have published a Safeguarding Adults Review (SAR) this month relating to Maria. Maria was an 89 year old resident living in a care home who died with multiple grade 4 pressure sores that had been poorly cared for. The SAR provided 10 recommendations to prevent future occurrences. The executive summary can be viewed here.
Watch a short briefing from Paula Youell, Head of Adult and Community Services, on the Organisational Abuse Policy and the outcomes from Maria's case.
Improving Lives and addressing abuse: Commissioning for change
Jonathan Senker, Chief Executive, VoiceAbility, reflects on the abuse of woman at Yew Trees hospital as reported by CQC and considers what can be done to implement change, NICE guidelines and prevent recurrences in any setting.
Spiritual abuse happens when an individual or group engages in coercive and controlling behaviours of others in a faith context. It could mean using religious beliefs and practices to justify behaviour and actions that are harmful to others. This article explains more about spiritual abuse and what faith organisations can do to ensure that there is a safe and healthy culture in all places of worship.
Sports and activities are important to many of us to support our mental wellbeing and spend time with others. All adults should be able to experience sports and other activities with out fear of harm or abuse. It is therefore the responsibility of sports and activity organisations to respond if they feel an adult is suffering harm or abuse inside, or outside the activity setting.
Attached is a 7 minute briefing that explains the importance of safeguarding adults in sports and where you could go for more information.
The Ann Craft Trust have many resources to support providers of sport and activity in safeguarding adults.
There has been an increase in the support offered by volunteers in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst most of these volunteers are brilliant and do a fantastic job, it is important that those receiving the support of a volunteer know how to access this support safely:
Do contact official organisations. Take up the offer of support through official services rather than with a stranger. You can phone Age UK on 0800 678 1602. Alternatively, contact your local healthcare centre who will be able to signpost you to support in your local area.
Do ask to see your volunteers’ identity app. This will confirm if they are the correct person to support you (all volunteers supporting you as part of the NHS scheme will have this ID on their mobile device and should always carry it).
Do use 141 to withhold your number if you need to phone a volunteer or a stranger. Avoid giving your number out to anyone you do not know.
Do not invite volunteers into your home.
Do not give your bank details or bank cards to volunteers. The NHS have produced guidance on how you should pay for food and medicine if a volunteer is collecting these for you. Payment will preferably be done over the phone with the shop assistant, not through a volunteer.
There has been a rise in reported domestic abuse incidents since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important that those experiencing domestic abuse are supported to stay safe and have access to resources to assist with this. Services in Suffolk remain open as normal to support those experiencing domestic abuse. Attached are guides to these services and how to refer along with guidance around how to support people to stay safe. Remember if you think someone is in danger call 999. Despite current restrictions it is important to remember: you are able to leave your home to escape injury or harm.
End the Awkward
Two Thirds of Britons say they feel awkward around disabled people. 1 in 5 of Britons are disabled and it’s important that they are treated with respect and have access to their communities. SCOPE have launched the ‘End the Awkward’ campaign aimed at helping people feel more comfortable about disability. Find out more about the campaign here.
Language is Important
We know the language we use is important. Language Creates Reality is a creative collaboration that focuses on the importance of language when talking about Down Syndrome. The project has free, printable cards that can be used to explain the language we should be moving away from and the language we should use instead.
Further Information from NHS can also be found here: Safeguarding Adults Week