Actions to take when Abuse is suspected:
All reports of potential abuse or neglect of a person made to or within any organisation are referred to the local ???safe guarding adults??™ procedures.
If a report is made that a service being provided is not safe (e.g. where a member of staff may be abusing service users, one service user is abusing another or the service is run in such a way as to cause neglect, immediate positive action is taken to assess any risk and appropriately enhance the safety of all service users.
??? Remaining calm and not showing shock or disbelief
??? Listening carefully to what is being said
??? Not asking detailed or probing questions
??? Demonstrating a sympathetic approach by acknowledging regret and concern that what has been reported has happened
??? Ensuring that any emergency action needed has been taken
??? Confirming that the information will be treated seriously
??? Giving them information about the steps that will be taken
??? Informing them that they will receive feedback as to the result of the concerns they have raised and from whom
??? Giving the person contact details so that they can report any further issues or ask any questions that may arise
Where a crime is alleged to have taken place the police are involved as soon as possible and decide whether they will be taking action.
Any member of staff who suspects abuse has a duty to ensure and take some personal responsibility for:
??? The Manager being informed or equivalent
??? Appropriate action being taken
Staff/Managers must establish preliminary facts:
??? Did it happen/is it happening
??? Is it abuse
??? What is the impact on the staff and their employment rights
??? Is it unacceptable practice
??? What are the personnel implications
If and allegation of harm or abuse is made, a full record shall be made regarding the nature of the allegation.
The suspicion/allegation/incident should be reported to the line manager as soon as possible and in any event with in two hours
A written factual record must be kept of all concerns or discussions about the protection and safe guarding of the vulnerable adult including decisions made and the reason for those decisions. This includes written factual records of discussions regarding the allegations and the action taken.
The vulnerable adult should be advised and/or reminded of the limits to confidentiality as soon as it becomes apparent that there is an allegation or suspicion of harm or abuse. If the vulnerable adult is the complainant and it quickly becomes apparent that the situation may need to go further, we are advised to listen, make notes and keep questions to the minimum necessary to understand what is being alleged.
Staff must avoid asking leading questions as these may cause problems for the subsequent investigations and any court proceedings. (Leading questions are those which suggest the answer to the respondent) The emphasis should be on supporting the vulnerable adult at all times
The vulnerable adult must be kept informed of actions taken at all stages of the procedure except where to do so would jeopardize future enquiry or would not be conducive to their welfare.
Every member of staff will at all times adhere to the Data Protection Act (1998) and the Human Rights Act (1998) in terms of the rights of the individuals and their families to confidentiality.
There is a clear process known to staff for action in response to concerns or allegations that a member of staff has perpetrated or contributed to abuse. This includes the process for suspension, transfer and interface with any police investigations
All allegations that a staff member has committed a crime (e.g. assault, harassment, theft) are reported to the police.
Managers, staff or volunteers who are dismissed because it is believed they harmed a vulnerable adult, or leave resign when they may have been dismissed on these grounds, are referred to the POVA list (protection of vulnerable adults)