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Adult safeguarding

All adults have the right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. Adults have a legal right to make their own decisions, even if they are unwise, as long as they have capacity to make that decision and are free from coercion or undue influence.

Abuse and neglect can take many forms. It may be an isolated incident, a series of incidents or a long term pattern of behaviour and could affect one person or more, it may be deliberate or the result of negligence or ignorance.

Definition

Under The Care Act 2014 which came into force in April 2015, an adult at risk is a person aged 18 or over who has needs for care and support and is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect and as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect.

Key principles

There are six principles embedded in The Care Act which underpin all adult safeguarding work and should inform the ways in which professionals and other staff work with adults:

  • Empowerment – people being supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and informed consent.
  • Prevention – to take action before harm occurs.
  • Proportionality – the least intrusive response proportionate to the risk presented.
  • Protection – support and representation for those in greatest need.
  • Partnership Working – local solutions through services working with their communities, who have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse.
  • Accountability – accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding.

Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP)

Making safeguarding personal is about promoting the wellbeing of individuals, and of making sure that professionals always recognise that each person’s needs are different, and respond accordingly. It is about having conversations with people about how we might respond in safeguarding situations in a way that enhances involvement, choice and control as well as improving quality of life, wellbeing and safety. It is about seeing people as experts in their own lives and working alongside them. It is a shift from a process supported by conversations to a series of conversations supported by a process.

We can confirm: 

  • Safeguarding vulnerable adults is everyone’s business and WVT is committed to safeguarding adults across the organisation. The welfare of people who come into contact with our services either directly or indirectly is paramount and all our staff have a responsibility to ensure best practice is followed and integral to everyday practice.

  • The Trust is compliant with the statutory requirement to undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on all staff (including volunteers) prior to employment. Dependent on role staff will have a standard or enhanced level of assessment.

  • The Trust is signed up to the West Midlands Multi-agency Policy and Procedures for the protection of adults with care and support needs, to ensure a consistent and comprehensive response is provided.

  • The Trust have a mandatory safeguarding training programme in place to ensure staff are aware of their roles and responsibilities and act appropriately and proportionately to any safeguarding concerns raised. The adult safeguarding team see it as a priority to support staff in clinical practice with the aim to achieve an appropriate outcome for the individual at risk.

  • The Trust works closely with partner agencies and are a key member of the Herefordshire Safeguarding Adults Board (HSAB) and associated sub groups. The Trust is committed to working collaboratively with other agencies, sharing information in a safe and appropriate manner. The Trust produces an adult safeguarding annual report which is also shared with partner agencies. 

Responsibilities

The Trust has individuals with clear responsibilities for safeguarding adults who work closely with social care and other partner agencies. The Trust also has named directors responsible for adult safeguarding who have clear oversight of all safeguarding activity. 

  • Executive Director and Safeguarding lead - Director of Nursing Lucy Flanagan
  • Non-Executive Director, Safeguarding Lead – Frank Myers
  • Lead Nurse – Cath Holberry
  • Advanced Practitioner MHA, MCA, DOLS – Emma Lunn 

The Trust board takes safeguarding very seriously and receives an annual report on all adult safeguarding activity. The Trust also has an adult safeguarding operational group which reports to the Trust overarching adult and child safeguarding committee chaired by the Director of Nursing. Adult safeguarding reports are also submitted on a quarterly basis to the Trust Clinical Quality Committee. In addition The Trust works closely with the Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group. 

Who to contact

If you are worried about an adult aged 18 or over you can speak to the Local Authority Adult Safeguarding Team:

In hours: Monday to Friday – 01432 260715

Out of Hours, bank holidays and weekends - 03301239309

© Wye valley NHS Trust 2019