Organisations should always promote and prioritise the adult’s safety and wellbeing in their safeguarding arrangements. People have complex lives and being safe is only one of the things they want for themselves. Professionals should work with the adult to establish what being safe means to them and how that can be best achieved. Professionals and other staff should not be advocating “safety” measures that do not take account of individual well-being, as defined in Section 1 of the Care Act.
These Procedures should guide and inform the practice of all individuals within all organisations working in partnership to safeguard adults at risk. They should be applied in all situations where an adult has met the definition of an adult at risk.
These Procedures apply to:
- Any setting: Abuse can happen anywhere, in public or private places. It can take place when an adult lives alone or with others;
- Any perpetrator(s): It must be recognised that anyone can, and may, abuse others and cause harm. For example:
- People in positions of trust;
- Unpaid carers, including relatives, family members, friends and neighbours;
- Professional staff;
- Paid care workers;
- Other service users or adults at risk;
- Local residents;
The Procedures are described, outlining stage by stage, and by roles and responsibilities and including any particular issues to be considered at each stage.
In the event of any difficulties in using these Procedures, you should contact your Organisation's Safeguarding Lead. Alternatively, you can contact the Safeguarding Adults Team.
Key Principles of Member Organisations of the Sunderland Safeguarding Adults Executive Board
Member organisations of the Sunderland Safeguarding Adults Executive Board:
- Recognise that it is every person's right to live their life free from violence and abuse in accordance with the principles of respect, dignity, autonomy, privacy and equity;
- Re-affirm their commitment to a policy of zero tolerance of abuse within each of their member organisations;
- Take seriously the duty placed on public agencies under Human Rights legislation to intervene proportionately to protect the rights of citizens;
- Act on the principle that any Adult at Risk of abuse or neglect should be able to access public organisations for advice, support and appropriate protection and care interventions, which enable them to live without fear and in safety;
- Recognise that, except where the rights of others would be compromised, citizens have a right to make their own choices in relation to safety from abuse and neglect. Interventions will be based on the presumption of mental capacity unless it is determined that an adult does not have the ability to understand and make decisions about his or her own personal well being and safety;
- Recognise the right to privacy. Information about an adult who may be at risk of abuse and neglect will only be shared within the framework of the Information Sharing and Confidentiality Agreement. See also Information Sharing and Confidentiality Agreement;
- Recognise their public duty to protect the human rights of all citizens including those who are the subject of concern but who are not covered by the Safeguarding Adults Procedures. This duty falls on each of the Board's member organisations who will offer signposting, advice and support, as appropriate to their organisations;
- Recognise the importance of appropriate feedback being given to those who report abuse or neglect;
- Aim to create an integrated range of services and opportunities delivering timely and appropriate responses to individuals' needs and supporting them in leading fulfilled and healthy lives;
- Endeavour to empower people to make informed choices about support that suits them and allows them to achieve the outcomes they want to maximise their independence and quality of life. This includes safeguarding those people whose independence and well-being are at risk of abuse and neglect.
Key Values and Principles of All Those Working with Adults at Risk
Care Act 2014: Key Principles of Safeguarding
- Empowerment – People being supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and informed consent;
“I am asked what I want as the outcomes from the safeguarding process and these directly inform what happens”
- Prevention – It is better to take action before harm occurs;
“I receive clear and simple information about what abuse is, how to recognise the signs and what I can do to seek help”
- Proportionality – The least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented;
“I am sure that professionals will work in my interest, as I see them and they will only get involved as much as needed”
- Protection – Support and representation for those in greatest need;
“I get help and support to report abuse and neglect. I get help so that I am able to take part in the safeguarding process to the extent to which I want”
- Partnership – Local solutions through services working with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse;
“I know that staff treat any personal and sensitive information in confidence, only sharing what is helpful and necessary. I am confident that professionals will work together and with me to get the best result for me”
- Accountability – Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding;
“I understand the role of everyone involved in my life and so do they”
Services will be provided irrespective of an individual's race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, age, type of disability, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, birth or other status.In achieving the principles and values set out above, all those who work with Adults at Risk will:
- Support them to express their views and wishes;
- Listen to their views and be open to change;
- Enable them to make decisions and choices wherever possible;
- Facilitate their independence wherever possible;
- Assist them to maintain confidence and a positive self-esteem;
- Ensure an appropriate balance between risk and choice;
- Enable them to feel able to complain without fear of retribution;
- Engage with family members and carers as partners;
- Work in partnership with other professional colleagues to ensure services are coordinated;
- Treat them with dignity and respect.
Principles of Recording Information Across all Health and Social Care Agencies
See Information Sharing and Confidentiality Agreement and Recording of Information.