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12 – HSC CM3: Safeguarding in Health and Social Care

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1.1 Explain what is meant by ‘safeguarding’.

Health and social care safeguarding is the practice of preventing harm to service users. Security checks for employees, education on how to spot and report abuse, and the creation of guidelines and procedures to stop abuse from taking place are all examples of possible safeguarding measures.

Hospitals, nursing homes, and group homes are high-risk environments because they house and care for vulnerable populations. Abuse can be displayed in various ways, including physical and sexual aggression, psychological and/or physical threats, economic and social exclusion, and indifference or indifference to the victim’s needs. Everyone working in health and social services should be trained to recognise the indications of abuse and report it quickly because the effects of any kind of mistreatment on victims can be devastating.

As critical players in protecting vulnerable individuals, health and social care workers must have a solid knowledge of the concept of safeguarding. Service providers bear much of the burden of safeguarding, yet everyone has some duty in this area. Do not hold back from contacting the authorities or other organisations that can help if you feel someone you know is being abused. Together, we can guarantee that no one has to endure the trauma of abuse or neglect.

To protect vulnerable adults from harm, the government, medical community, and other organisations must coordinate their efforts, as outlined in the Care Act of 2014. When it comes to the safety of children, these two rules hold true:

  • Putting the interests and rights of the child first is the first step toward making good decisions. This indicates that the child’s safety and well-being should be prioritised while making decisions.
  • In addition, everyone is accountable; everyone should know how to recognise the warning signs of child abuse and neglect and have a part in keeping children safe. It’s crucial to raise your voice and seek support if you’re worried about a child.

When it comes to protecting vulnerable adults, six guiding principles should always be in place:

  • Adults should be given the freedom to live their lives without fear of violence or neglect. They need to be given the tools to make decisions independently and the knowledge to comprehend the potential consequences of those choices.
  • Preventing instances of abuse or neglect is safer than responding to them after they have already taken place. As a result, it’s crucial to anticipate potential harm and take preventative steps as soon as they are recognised.
  • Proportionality refers to the idea that the severity of the response to a safeguarding concern should match the degree of harm the person in question is in. That’s why it’s important to remember that not every situation calls for a thorough inquiry; some people may just need some moral support, for instance.
  • The most incredible way to ensure the safety of vulnerable adults is through a collaborative effort across multiple groups and authorities. Family, friends, and caregivers can all be included in this process.
  • All parties involved in protecting vulnerable persons should know their specific obligations and be held to them.
  • Vulnerable adults must be safeguarded from any form of abuse or neglect, and their rights must be respected. In this regard, one’s right to an environment free from the constant threat of physical abuse must be recognised.

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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