With the UK currently in a carer shortage that is set to worsen, the need for carers is at an all-time high. In fact, using ONS statistics, the think tank Global Future predicts England will have a shortfall of 380,000 workers by 2026!
With that said, the nation is in need of enthusiastic carers who are dedicated to the industry.
To work as a carer, there are a number of skills and qualities that a person must possess in order to be efficient and effective in the role. Some of these qualities include:
- Strong communication
However, these qualities alone will not suffice. Carers must have a strong understanding of safeguarding principles, issues, policies, and procedures.
We’ve put together this short article to explain these areas of safeguarding vulnerable adults to those thinking of pursuing a career in the care sector, and for care organisations looking to employ.
What are the main issues regarding safeguarding in health & social care?
The definition of a vulnerable adult is anyone aged 18 or over who is at risk of harm, abuse, or neglect because they’re unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves is considered to be an adult at risk.
A person might be at risk for all sorts of reasons, including:
- Mental health problems
- Learning or physical disabilities
- Age-related physical or mental disabilities
- Health problems and illness
- Sight or hearing impairment
A person with any kind of care or support needs is considered vulnerable. They may not be able to protect themselves from abuse; some may not even recognise that they are being abused. They are vulnerable because they rely on other people to manage their day-to-day living, which puts these people in a position of power over them.
This power can be used to good effect – to help and support them – but in the wrong hands, it could be used to take advantage of them.
And, if they’re mistreated, their condition may make it difficult for them to explain clearly or remember what happened, or their condition may be used to explain their ‘confusion’. That’s why it’s essential that someone’s there to look out for them and report any cases of vulnerable adult abuse.
What are the six principles of safeguarding adults?
The Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Act sets out the following principles that should underpin the safeguarding of adults…
Empowerment - This means that, if the person is capable, asking them to make decisions or help make decisions about the care and support they’re given.
Protection - This means keeping the person safe from harm. It also means supporting and representing them when needed.
Prevention - This is about being aware of any risks and doing something about them before the person is harmed.
Proportionality - This means that when you respond to concerns, you should use the least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented, so you don’t intrude on the person’s privacy and freedom any more than you need to.
Partnership - Councils, and services now have to work together with their communities to prevent, detect and report abuse.
Accountability - This means that whichever situation you’re in, it’s always clear who’s responsible for safeguarding and what the vulnerable adults' policies and procedures are.
Following the 6 principles of safeguarding adults helps to ensure that vulnerable adults are given the care and support they need.
What are safeguarding policies and procedures?
A care home’s policies and procedures - their agreed ways of working - will tell an employee how to meet the standards of quality and safety and comply with legislation and best practices.
These policies and procedures should also tell employees what they should do and who they should report to if they identify signs of abuse, or if they suspect someone has been abused.
Having a good safeguarding vulnerable adults policy, as well as other procedures shows that an organisation is active, positive, and open about safeguarding adults and preventing harm. This helps to develop a culture that encourages concerns to be addressed quickly, which reduces the likelihood of abuse.
One of the ways your organisation has shown its commitment to safeguarding is by providing safeguarding training…
Online Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Training
If you work in the care sector and work with vulnerable adults, you have a responsibility to ensure that they do not come to harm, neglect, or abuse.
Here at iHASCO, we offer an online Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Training course that defines which adults need protecting and who is most at risk. It also defines the different forms of abuse and how to deal with abuse.
The IIRSM approved course can be completed in just 50 minutes and provides a printable certificate upon completion of the end-of-training test.