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11 – HSC CM3: Safeguarding in Health and Social Care

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1.1 Explain what is meant by ‘safeguarding’.

Safeguarding refers to any action taken to ensure the safety and well-being of children and vulnerable adults. Meaningful child development includes providing children with access to secure and effective care, safeguarding them from abuse or maltreatment, and rescuing children from maltreatment that could compromise their health or development. When people’s lives, health, and human rights are safeguarded, they can continue to live on their own without fear of harm. Keeping patients of all ages, from infants to seniors, safe is a fundamental part of every healthcare provider’s duty.

People of all ages, but especially children and teenagers, as well as vulnerable adults like those who are elderly, blind, deaf, mute, have mental or sensory impairments, have difficulty learning, or are receiving care at home, require safeguarding. It is the responsibility of anybody working with vulnerable populations, whether in the public, private, or non-profit sectors, be it in a clinic, nursing centre, general profession, or delivering care and support.

The Care Act of 2014 recognises and endorses six guiding principles for safeguarding that were created by the UK government to better ensure the safety of vulnerable people.

  • The empowerment that enables individuals to exercise authority and make decisions regarding decisions made;
  • Protection by providing aid and representation to persons in dire straits. To protect against lack of care, maltreatment, and harm, it is crucial to intervene before danger hits;
  • Proportionality guarantees that a person’s life is affected as minimally as feasible by accurately evaluating the risk or threat;
  • Partnership, which implies engaging with local authorities and communities, can help find answers by aiding in the reporting and mitigation of abuse;
  • Accountability means that safeguarding is everyone’s duty, and individuals who are in close contact with a vulnerable individual should therefore be made liable for monitoring any risk;
  • Prevention equips individuals with the knowledge and awareness necessary to recognise and avoid hazards.

Other answers in the full document:

  • 1.2 Explain how safeguarding:
    – Keeps individuals safe
    – Value individual needs
    – Protects individuals
  • 1.3. Explain how Health and social care practitioners can take steps to safeguard themselves.
  • 2.1. Summarise current legislation in relation to safeguarding.
  • 2.2. Describe the relationship between legislation, policy and procedure.
  • 2.3. Identify policy and procedures in relation to safeguarding.
  • 3.1. Explain factors that may contribute to an individual being vulnerable to harm or abuse
  • 4.1. Describe signs, symptoms, indicators and behaviours that may cause concern relating to:
    – Physical abuse
    – Sexual abuse
    – Domestic abuse
    – Emotional abuse
    – Neglect
  • 5.1. Explain the boundaries of confidentiality in relation to the safeguarding, protection and welfare of individuals
  • 6.1. Evaluate the role and responsibilities of the health and social care practitioner in relation to safeguarding individuals.

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