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The Care Act 2014: implications for adult safeguarding in the NHS

Claire Crawley Senior Policy Manager Adult Safeguarding Department of Health spoke at today’s Safeguarding conference on Implementation in adult safeguarding in the NHS including:

• what the Care Act means to adult safeguarding in health services
• the revised regulations and guidance: what has changed
• making safeguarding personal
• safeguarding adults: what needs to be in place
• clinical issues and safeguarding: what should be reported as a safeguarding concern
• the role of health service practitioners and managers

In her presentation Claire emphasised the importance of patient focussed, responsive safeguarding care.  She said feedback from patients, carers - those that had been through a safeguarding enquiry was pretty damning, some weren't aware they were part of an enquiry and some felt the situation had been made worse by the intervention of professionals.  The Care Act has ensured that the safeguarding principles are stated in legislation and the focus is now less on systems and protocols and more about the person.  Claire said we ned to think more about prevention than we have done in the past.

Discussing the Making Safeguarding Personal implementation programme Claire said most councils signed up to it and have found it; "a real culture change, a real challenge."  Even those that thought they were doing well had to admit that they were getting taken over by the system at times.

Claire said safeguarding is actually part of the whole Act not just restricted to it's particular area.  Safeguarding is about understanding the types and signs of neglect, it's everybody's business.  Abuse of adults is often perceived as accidental or self neglect when it might actually be harm by others, we ned to be vigilant especially of those more vulnerable. We need to be enabling people to keep themselves safe.

Clare discussed how people will make unwise decisions who do have capacity, even if we don't agree we have to let them make their choice.  Claire said we have to decided if it's their free will or if they're being coerced. Professionals need to know what to do if they suspect abuse, don't assume someone else is going to take action, you can save lives by sharing information appropriately.

Claire went on to look at what Safeguarding is not, saying it is not a repsonsibility for ensuring care is safe and high quality.  Claire also said pressure sores should not be a safeguarding alert but safeguarding boards should be aware of worrying themes and trends.  Safeguarding is not a form of the criminal justice system but we can work in parallel to make sure the police are informed promptly.

Claire finished by saying there is a need to focus on action not queries over the definition of what is safeguarding.  We have to think what is the outcome you want for the individual.

Claire’s full presentation is available for download at the end of this page

Claire is a social worker / social work manager by background. She began working in social care in 1973. She has worked across all groups and settings. Her last operational job was as a senior manager in Birmingham SSD. She spent 2 years (1992-94) as Deputy Director of the Social Services Management Unit at the University of Birmingham. She then joined the Social Services Inspectorate in London as an inspector. The SSI was at that time a part of the Department of Health. After 5 years she moved to a policy team in the Department of Health as a professional advisor. Since 2003 she has been a mainstream civil servant. She has had a number of lead policy roles that have covered things such as carers’ policy, assessment, care management, commissioning, direct payments, pandemic influenza planning and law reform. She currently leads a small team working on adult safeguarding policy and the Mental Capacity Act and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

Future related events:

Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults in Health Services: Implementing the New Care Act 2014: Revised Regulations and Guidance
Wednesday 17 June 
ICO Conference Centre, London

CQC Inspections in Adult Social Care
Tuesday 7 July 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Implementing the national objective to end Prone/Face Down Restraint: Examining Restraint Positions in Practice
Tuesday 22 September 
ICO Conference Centre, London

Self Neglect & Adult Safeguarding
Monday 5 October 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Adult Safeguarding Enquiries & Safeguarding Adults Reviews
Monday 12 October 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Positive and Proactive Care Meeting the New National Guidance on Reducing Seclusion
Tuesday 20 October 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Download: Claire Crawley full presentation

17 June 2015


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