Safeguarding means protecting people’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. Any form of abuse is unacceptable, no matter what justification or reason may be given for it. It is very important that children and vulnerable adults, including older people, are aware of this and they know support is available.
Due to the nature of our business, it will not be uncommon for the staff of AHS Wellbeing Online CIC to encounter vulnerable adults, children and their families, in their everyday work when conducting home visits or running classes/supporting events across various venues and workplaces. Each encounter with vulnerable adults, children and their families must be met with the upmost professional approach, where staff of AHS Wellbeing Online CIC have a duty to safeguard and promote their welfare.
This policy is to ensure that all staff are aware of their “duty of care” regarding the safeguarding of vulnerable adults, children and their relatives, as well as define the minimum standards that AHS Wellbeing Online CIC expect of their staff. This policy outlines the steps AHS Wellbeing Online CIC will take to safeguard an adult and/or child with care and support needs if they are deemed to be at risk.
Throughout this policy, AHS Wellbeing Online CIC will set forth the roles and responsibilities of their staff and of the organisation. Staff will be required to know the supporting agencies and other professional services on hand that specialise in promoting adult and child safety and welfare. All staff and volunteers are expected to follow this policy.
AHS Wellbeing Online CIC will not tolerate the abuse of adults and/or children in any of its forms and is committed to safeguarding those with care and support needs from harm.
The key objectives of this policy are for all employees, volunteers and contractors of AHS Wellbeing Online CIC to:
- Ensure all employees have an overview and solid understanding of safeguarding.
- Be clear about their responsibilities towards safeguarding.
- Ensure the necessary actions (outlined in this policy) are taken where an adult and/or child with care and support needs is deemed to be at risk
If you have any questions in relation to safeguarding please contact us via the Contact page.
Last updated – 16th March 2021
Care Act 2014
NHS England – Safeguarding Adults
Human Rights Act 1998
Carer and Support Statutory Guidance
Safeguarding Older People from abuse and Neglect Age UK Fact January 2019
West Sussex Council: Vulnerable Adults and Older People
West Sussex Council: Children and Young People
West Sussex Council: MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) Team
West Sussex Council: Staff Recruitment
Our Policy Statement
All adults and children (including the elderly) should be able to live free from fear and harm. But some may find it hard to get the help and support they need to stop abuse.
An adult or child may be unable to protect themselves from harm or exploitation due to many reasons, including their mental or physical incapacity, sensory loss or physical or learning disabilities. This could be an adult or child who is usually able to protect themselves from harm but maybe unable to do so because of an accident, disability, frailty, addiction or illness. In some cases, they may even be afraid to talk out.
AHS Wellbeing Online CIC will not tolerate the abuse of adults and/or children. Staff and volunteers should ensure that their work reflects the principles above and ensure the adult with care and support needs is involved in their decisions and informed consent is obtained. AHS Wellbeing Online CIC should ensure that the safeguarding action agreed is the least intrusive response to the risk. Partners from the community should be involved in any safeguarding work in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse and these partners and services will also be listed in the references section of this policy.
The Six Key Principles
AHS Wellbeing Online CIC adheres to following the six key principles that underpin safeguarding work (Taken from the Care Act 2014). For more information, please refer to the Care Act 2014. All staff are expected to be aware of this.
Our Roles and Responsibilities
- Simon Adby – AHS Wellbeing Online CIC Managing Director
Deputy Safeguarding Lead
- Debbie Beesley – AHS Wellbeing Online CIC Health & Wellbeing Director
Our Employee Responsibilities
- Be aware that they have a duty of care when working with vulnerable adults, children and their families.
- Ensure that they read and adhere to this policy and follow the procedures and methods that this policy will outline when dealing with any adult or child that requires safeguarding.
- Ensure that all relevant training that is deemed necessary by AHS Wellbeing Online CIC has been completed.
- Are expected to report any concerns to the safeguarding and/or deputy safeguarding lead.
- If the allegation is against one of AHS Wellbeing Online CIC’s staff, volunteers, trustees or directors, seek advice from the safeguarding lead (if not involved) or the West Sussex MASH team (Found in the Important Links section).
- Staff and volunteers should ensure that the adult with care and support needs is involved at all stages of their safeguarding enquiry ensuring a person-centred approach is adopted (As per the 1st Principle – Empowerment of the Care Act 2014).
Our Responsibilities as an Organisation
- Provide training and awareness to all employees of AHS Wellbeing Online CIC with regards to safeguarding.
- AHS Wellbeing Online CIC will only employ the right people for the right job. This includes staff that have had sufficient background checks carried out against them and have all the necessary qualifications required to fulfil their role. Where compensating measures are put in place, AHS Wellbeing Online CIC will implement suitable plan to and aim to provide the required resources to remedy any gaps.
- The designated safeguarding lead should be responsible for providing acknowledgement of any concerns raised and brief feedback to the person raising the original concern.
- Feedback should be given in a way that will not make the situation worse or breach the Data Protection Act
- If the police are involved, they should be consulted prior to giving feedback to the referrer to ensure any criminal investigation is not affected.
Choosing the Right People
AHS Wellbeing Online CIC is committed to safe employment. Safe recruitment practices, such as Disclosure and Barring checks reduce the risk of exposing adults with care and support needs to people unsuitable to work with them. It is for this reason that AHS Wellbeing Online CIC conduct DBS on the people we employ as well as further checks for the necessary qualifications required to carry out the job they are being employed for. As a minimum (and not limited to), AHS Wellbeing Online CIC conduct the following checks against its employees:
- Disclosure and barring Service (DBS)
- Full employment history
- Identity checks
For further information and the guidance that AHS Wellbeing Online CIC takes when employing the right people, please refer to West Sussex Council – Staff Recruitment Guidance
How to Recognise Safeguarding Concerns
Staff of AHS Wellbeing Online CIC can find themselves working across a variety of places and frequently will be conducting home visits. Working with adults (no children are patients during home visits) in their home can offer a unique insight into their home environment and their “safe space”. It is important that staff of AHS Wellbeing Online CIC carrying out home visits are observant not only of the patient’s condition, but also of the patients social setting.
Types of Abuse
The Care and Support statutory guidance set out the 10 main types of abuse:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Financial abuse
- Domestic violence
- Modern Slavery
Possible Signs of Abuse
Abuse and neglect can be difficult to spot. AHS Wellbeing Online CIC employees should be alert to the following possible signs of abuse and neglect:
- Depression, self-harm or suicide attempts
- Difficulty making friends
- Fear or anxiety
- The person looks dirty or is not dressed properly,
- The person never seems to have money,
- The person has an injury that is difficult to explain (such as bruises, finger marks, ‘non-accidental’ injury, neck, shoulders, chest and arms),
- The person has signs of a pressure ulcer,
- The person is experiencing insomnia
- The person seems frightened or frightened of physical contact.
- Inappropriate sexual awareness or sexually explicit behaviour
- The person is withdrawn, changes in behaviour
When in doubt you should ask the person if you are unsure about their well-being and comfortable in doing so or raise the concern to the safeguarding leads of AHS Wellbeing Online CIC as there may be other explanations to the above presentation.
Abuse can happen anywhere, even in somebody’s own home. Most often abuse takes place by others who are in a position of trust and power. It can take place whether an adult life alone or with others. Anyone can carry out abuse or neglect, including:
- Other family members;
- People who deliberately exploit adults they perceive as vulnerable to abuse;
- Paid staff or professionals; and
- Volunteers and strangers
Confidentiality and Information Sharing
AHS Wellbeing Online CIC expects all employees, volunteers and contractors to maintain confidentiality always and in accordance with the AHS Wellbeing Online CIC Data Protection Policy.
It should however be noted that information should be shared with authorities if an adult is deemed to be at risk of immediate harm. Sharing the right information, at the right time, with the right people can make all the difference to preventing harm.
For further guidance on information sharing and safeguarding see:
How to Raise a Safeguarding Concern
Out of Hours Support
If you suspect abuse or abuse is disclosed to you outside normal office hours, you must:
Contact the West Sussex Adults’ Services out-of-hours service directly on 01243 642121
MASH – 01403 229900
033 022 26664 out of office hours (5.00pm to 8.00am weekdays) and for emergencies at weekends and bank holidays (24 hours).
Record all observations and everything that is said. Report the disclosure/suspicions and subsequent action to the AHS Wellbeing Online CIC Safeguarding lead the next working day.