For National Safeguarding Adults Week 2023, Mark Topps takes a look at its role in social care and how care professionals can stay vigilant for clients.
Although it's national safeguarding adults week, protecting people's health and overall wellbeing is a duty that should be honoured at all times. In this blog post, I want to explore how to identify vulnerable people, how to go about helping them, and the vital role that the social care sector plays in supporting them – all through the lens of safeguarding adults.
National Safeguarding Adults Week is an opportunity for organisations to come together to raise awareness of important safeguarding issues.
The aim is to highlight key safeguarding issues, start conversations and raise awareness of safeguarding best practice. This year’s theme is focusing on how you can prioritise the welfare and wellbeing of yourself and others.
National Safeguarding Adults Week in 2023 takes place between Monday 20th November to Friday 24th November.
Safeguarding means protecting people's health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect.
It's fundamental to delivering high-quality health and social care.
Safeguarding adults includes:
Usually, adults with mental health problems, physical or learning disabilities, or other health problems manage to live their lives comfortably and securely. In most cases, people live independently or with help from relatives, friends, neighbours, professionals or volunteers.
However, a small number of adults may experience harm, such as:
An adult may tell you that they are being harmed. More often, the sign that they are being harmed is something you see or hear.
The adult might:
Alternatively, someone might tell you something that makes you think that an adult is being harmed.
If you suspect that an adult is at risk of harm or abuse, it is essential to report your concerns to your line manager and the relevant authorities.
The safeguarding process relies on people coming forward and sharing their concerns or gut feeling, as this is the first step in ensuring the individual's safety.
There is no one way to set up safeguarding records, but there are key things that should be in place:
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations have more information on storing and sharing safeguarding information.
National Safeguarding Adults Week is an ideal time to raise awareness about safeguarding and the importance of vigilance in our communities. It is an opportunity to educate ourselves, our teams and others about the signs of abuse, neglect, and exploitation and to encourage open dialogue on these vital issues.
By learning about the signs of abuse, neglect, and harm, and by actively participating in the safeguarding process, we can make a significant difference in the lives of vulnerable adults.
Here are some things you could do to raise awareness and get involved:
You can also raise awareness of the 5 R's of safeguarding:
The Ann Craft Trust has some great resources to help you get prepared.
Remember, Safeguarding Week is about the opportunity for organisations to come together to raise awareness of important safeguarding issues.
You do not need to stick to the theme, and even if you do one thing off the list above or one of your own ideas, this could have a domino effect and reach more people than you realise. It is our duty to ensure everyone plays their part is safeguarding those in our services and within our communities.
Have a flick through some of our other articles.
Mark Topps discusses the importance of risk assessments in social care, and provides tips for how care teams can better reduce or mitigate risks.
Mark Topps shares 5 tips to help social care teams improve communication with their service users, and the different types of circumstances to consider.