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3 – HSC CM3: Safeguarding in Health and Social Care

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1.1 Explain what is meant by ‘safeguarding’.

Safeguarding is defined as any action taken to promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and protect them from harm. Children’s safeguarding entails protecting them from abuse and maltreatment, protecting children’s health and development, and ensuring that children grow up in a safe and effective environment. Safeguarding in health and social care settings means protecting an individual’s health, well-being, and human rights, allowing them to live free from harm, abuse, and neglect. It is an essential component of providing high-quality healthcare services. All of us have a responsibility to protect children, young people, and adults.

It is critical to understand that safeguarding procedures differ for children and vulnerable adults. Different groups have different needs and, as a result, can make their own, sometimes conflicting, decisions. The broad concept of safeguarding and what it should accomplish, on the other hand, applies equally to both. Children, young people, and vulnerable adults are the groups most vulnerable to abuse, neglect, and harm, so safeguarding is especially important. This is primarily due to their diminished ability to protect themselves, which means it is the responsibility of others to ensure that this does not happen. As a result, anyone who works with or is responsible for these groups will need to understand what safeguarding is and how they can contribute to it.

Safeguarding is a legal requirement for all organisations in health and social care, whether public or private. There are several pieces of legislation that guide this, as well as various standards, processes, and precedents established by local governments. There are four significant laws in health and social care that workers must be aware of: the Children and Social Work Act 2017, The Care Act 2014, The Children Act 1989, and The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.

When it comes to protecting adults, the Care Act of 2014 contains six key principles:

  • Empowerment – Vulnerable people should feel empowered to make their own decisions, with the assistance of others, as needed. They should be able to influence how they are cared for.
  • Prevention – It is always more effective and better for vulnerable people if abuse, harm, or neglect is avoided before it occurs.
  • Proportionality – Safeguarding should strive not to be overbearing in the lives of vulnerable people and their families, friends, and caregivers. The safeguarding response must be proportional to the risk.
  • Protection – Simply put, those in need should be protected in whatever way they require it, whether it is from harm or abuse and whether it manifests physically, mentally, or in any other way.
  • Partnership – Communities as a whole, including businesses, local governments, and anyone involved in health and social care, must work together to prevent, detect, and report neglect and abuse.
  • Accountability – When it comes to safeguarding, there should always be a high level of accountability; all parties should be aware of their responsibilities, and process transparency should be taken into account.

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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