“Always make sure that your actions or omissions do not harm an individual’s health or wellbeing. You must never abuse, neglect, harm or exploit those who use health and care services, their carers or your colleagues.”
The Code of Conduct for Healthcare Support Workers
Safeguarding is a delicate balancing act between protecting a service user’s right to be safe from abuse, harm and neglect, and their right to make informed choices. It governs the way a carer thinks and behaves when it comes to supporting an adult with care needs. Its importance cannot be overstated. 394,655 concerns of abuse were raised in 2017-18, up nearly 9% on the previous year.
In this blog, which is part of our Care Certificate Series, we’ll take a closer look at the role of carers in safeguarding adults and how to sufficiently satisfy this Care Certificate standard during their homecare training.
The most common role carers play in safeguarding is as the person who reports potential or existing harmful situations. However, it is worth remembering that a carer can also be either the victim or perpetrator of abuse (whether knowingly or unknowingly).
In order to meet the Safeguarding Adults standard, your carers must:
Carers will then be assessed to ensure that they can:
There are 6 principles that carers must understand and use in their everyday work to ensure that they are safeguarding adults to the best of their ability:
Carers need to support and empower adults to make their own, informed decisions wherever possible.
It is always better to act preventively than curatively. Utilising risk assessments, taking on board the information available and environmental scanning can stop harm before it occurs.
This means that homecare workers will only get involved in a service user’s life as much as is needed; no more, no less. There is never any need to be invasive.
Carers and homecare agencies must ensure that there is always quality support and representation for those in need.
Carers and agencies as a whole must establish, nurture and utilise partnerships within the community, whether they are complementary care services, public services, or informal support networks.
Everyone involved must understand their own role and that of everyone else’s. Transparency and clarity of information are critical here; nothing must be confusing or hidden.
Ensure carers truly understand safeguarding terms
Rather than just learning the definitions of harm, abuse and neglect by rote, it is important that they understand what they mean in practice, in order to identify, report, or ideally prevent potentially harmful situations.
Using On.Board, homecare agencies can make learning more interactive. Instead of simply ticking boxes to indicate understanding, you can appeal to more visual or aural learners by using embedded videos, images or audio files. Colourful infographics in addition to text may help certain carers digest the 6 principles of safeguarding more easily, for instance.
Alternatively, you can create quizzes to test understanding of points that need greater emphasis, or are common stumbling blocks.
A safe, quick and secure way to communicate
On.Board’s audio recording features allow quick, accurate and timely reports from homecare workers to their mentors and managers. Should an incident of abuse occur, such records could be used in the event of an investigation.
On.Board facilitates a culture of communication via the aforementioned audio recording feature, as well as typed feedback and comments. All of this data is securely stored on the Cloud.
Ensure accessibility for all staff
In addition to appealing to different learning styles, On.Board’s audio recording feature means carers who may struggle to express themselves clearly via text can still engage with their training and communicate effectively.
Equip your carers with the best possible tools to ensure that your service users are protected from harm, neglect and abuse by working with On.Board. Request your free On.Board demo here.
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