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13 – 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 refers to the practice of preventing harm to vulnerable individuals. Physical, mental, sexual, monetary, and emotional abuse all fall under this category. Neglecting someone’s fundamental needs is another form of abuse.

An extra level of safeguarding may be necessary for some especially vulnerable populations. For instance, individuals may require assistance in expressing their wants and needs or understanding their environment. In addition, they may require assistance in order to maintain their physical well-being.

There is a responsibility for safeguarding on the part of health and social workers. This means that they need to take reasonable precautions to keep individuals safe from any potential negative consequences. If they believe someone is at risk, they have an obligation to take steps to safeguard that person, even if doing so goes against the wishes of the victim or their loved ones.

Safeguarding is an obligation shared by all. To ensure the safety of those most at risk, we must all do our part. Don’t keep quiet if something you’ve noticed or heard makes you fear for someone else’s safety; instead, report it and try to find a solution.

The government’s plan for protecting those who use health and social services is outlined in the Care Act of 2014. For example, it gives local authorities the responsibility of promoting citizens’ wellbeing and protecting them from danger, and the authority to step in when there are suspicions of abuse or neglect. Empowerment, prevention, proportionality, protection, partnership, and accountability are the six pillars of adult protection:

Empowerment: To ensure the safety of those in need of protection, it is essential to provide them with the autonomy to make their own decisions while also providing the resources they require to do so. This involves giving them all the data and tools they need to make educated choices about their care and support. It also involves giving them a say in important matters and giving their opinions due consideration.

Prevention: Preventing instances of abuse and neglect before they happen is preferable to responding to their aftermath. To do so requires educating the public about the warning signs of abuse and neglect and establishing measures to protect the most vulnerable members of society. It also involves helping those who pose a threat to others get the care they need before they do any harm.

Proportionality: Safeguarding measures should be proportional to the severity of the threat. This necessitates a tiered strategy, and wherein minor issues are addressed informally before more serious ones are addressed formally. It also involves providing aid rather than coercion if you want to help someone.

Protection: Safeguarding is all about keeping vulnerable individuals safe from harm, not about punishing those who have been abused or neglected. This necessitates taking precautions to ensure that they are not re-traumatized or subjected to any additional risks. Additionally, this entails ensuring that people feel safe testifying in investigations and court hearings.

Partnership: Safeguarding is most effective when multiple organisations and experts work together. Protecting vulnerable populations requires a concerted effort involving the sharing of information, resources, and coordinated action. To ensure the safety of loved ones, it is equally important to include family members and caregivers in relevant decision-making.

Accountability: The responsibility for safeguarding falls on every member of a community, but there must be a system of checks and balances in place to prevent abuse of those most at harm. To ensure that issues are raised and addressed quickly, established processes and procedures must be in place. In addition, we must ensure that those who fail to safeguard the most vulnerable among us face the consequences of their conduct, whether it be through internal reprimand or criminal prosecution.

The protection of children should be guided by two fundamental tenets:

  • A major concern should be given to the child’s own welfare as it relates to the situation at hand. As a result, it’s imperative that the child’s best interests be prioritised while safeguarding measures are being considered. Included in this are concerns for their emotional well-being, their growth, and their psychological well-being.
  • Safeguarding and advancing children’s well-being is everyone’s duty. That’s why it’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure the harm of children, not just parents and guardians but also teachers, police, other professionals, and members of society at large. Included is making sure children are safe from abuse and neglect by adults in authoritative roles.

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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