At Mires Beck Nursery we are committed to the safeguarding of all service users. Although the majority of our service users are vulnerable adults, there are occasions when young people are also present (e.g. work-experience placements, school visits, etc.). For this reason, the term ‘service user’ should be taken to mean both vulnerable adults and young people.
A Vulnerable Adult is defined as:
Someone who is aged 18 or over and who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and who is, or may be, unable to protect himself/herself from significant harm or exploitation.
The purpose of this policy is to:
1. To raise awareness among staff and volunteers of the kinds of harm that could occur
2. To establish good practice to reduce the risk of any abuse occurring
3. To establish common practice for dealing with allegations/incidents of abuse
4. To prevent unsuitable people from working with service users.
The Trustees – have the responsibility for ensuring that suitable arrangements are in place for the protection of our service users, for monitoring the effectiveness of those arrangements and for updating this policy.
The Support Services Manager – has responsibility on a day-to-day basis for ensuring that agreed procedures are followed and for initiating any action found necessary in the case of any concerns being identified. The Support Services Manager is the prime Named Person. The Support Services Manager maintains the DBS check system.
The General Manager – assumes the responsibilities of the Named Person in the Support Services Manager’s absence.
The Operations Manager – becomes the Named Person in the absence of both the Support Services Manager and the General Manager.
Staff and volunteers need to be aware that abuse can involve any one or more of the following:
Physical abuse - includes hitting, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, restraint, inappropriate touch or punishment.
Domestic abuse – Domestic abuse is any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people in a relationship. It can include psychological abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, emotional abuse and so called ‘honour’-based violence.
Sexual abuse - includes rape and sexual assault or sexual acts of touching of intimate places to which the vulnerable adult has not consented, or could not consent to, is not competent to consent to, and/or was pressured into consenting to.
Psychological abuse - includes emotional abuse, obvious or implied threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, compulsion, inappropriate language, verbal or racial abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive and/or spiritual networks, withdrawal or omission to provide opportunities and choice, including choice of gender of carer.
Financial or Material abuse - includes theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits, damage or threats of damage to property.
Discriminatory abuse - includes racist or sexist opinions, or opinions based on an individual’s disability, or other forms of harassment, taunts or similar treatment.
Neglect or Acts of Omission – including ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health care, social care or education services, misuse of medication or failure to provide adequate nutrition.
Modern Slavery – includes slavery, human trafficking, sexual harassment, forced labour, domestic servitude.
Organisational Abuse – includes neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a day service, hospital, care home, or in relation to care provided in one's own home. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, or practices within an organisation.
Neglect and Acts of Omission - includes ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health care, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as adequate nutrition and heating.
Self-Neglect - includes neglecting to care for one's personal hygiene, health or surroundings, and includes behaviour such as hoarding.
Any of these forms of abuse can be either deliberate or be the result of ignorance or lack of training, knowledge or understanding.
The harm or possible harm of a service user may come to our attention in a number of different ways including, but not limited to, the following:
Information being given by the service user, his/her friends, a family member or close associate.
The service user’s behaviour may have become significantly different from usual; significantly different from the behaviour of his/her peers; be bizarre or unusual.
An injury may arouse suspicion because it does not make sense when compared to the explanation given and/or explanations differ depending upon who is giving them.
Suspicion being raised when a number of factors occur over time, for example when a service user fails to progress and thrive in contrast to his/her peers without explanation.
Mires Beck Nursery follows safer recruitment practices. All staff and volunteers are required to have a DBS check at enhanced level before commencement of work. Any new legislation concerning DBS checks, vetting or barring will be adopted as soon as it comes into force. We also require two suitable written references prior to staff and volunteers commencing work with service users.
Good and proper supervision of service users at all times will help minimise the possibility of abuse occurring during working hours. This is of particular importance at lunch and break times, or other less-structured times such as the beginning or end of the working day, during excursions, etc. All staff have a duty of care for all service users at all times during the working day.
The attention of all staff and volunteers is also drawn to the Physical Contact Guidelines.
All staff and volunteers should be aware of the need to alert the Named Person if they believe a service user has been abused or is at risk of abuse.
Regular training on safeguarding, at least every 3 years, will be provided to all staff and volunteers.
Addressing an Allegation or Suspicion of Abuse that has happened elsewhere
Every member of staff and volunteer is responsible for recognising and reporting any allegation of abuse.
If a disclosure of alleged abuse is made to a member of staff or volunteer, they should not make promises of confidentiality. Any questions should be kept to a minimum necessary to understand what is alleged and leading questions should be avoided. A leading question is one where the person being questioned is led towards giving a particular answer such as, for example, an answer that they believe the questioner is expecting.
It is essential that staff or volunteers pass on information or concerns immediately to the Named Person. An allegation of abuse will be treated seriously, regardless of the source of the information. If it is not appropriate to report to the named person, or those deputising for him, then any of the Trustees can be contacted. The contact details for two of the Trustees are:
Alan Selby Tel no. 01430 423227 Pauline Kermode Tel no. 01430 421561
The Named Person will ensure that the incident is recorded using an Incident Record Sheet and in conjunction with the person to whom the disclosure was first made. The form will identify facts not opinions and give an objective, clear account of what happened. Wherever possible, comments made by the complainant will be recorded verbatim. On completion the form will be signed, dated and timed. The Named Person will then determine what subsequent action needs to be taken. The matter must not be discussed with any third parties since this would prejudice the outcome of any subsequent action.
If it is felt necessary the incident will be reported to the Social Services Department of the local authority and/or the appropriate Safeguarding Team. Reporting such matters to agencies outside Mires Beck Nursery will take into account the balance which needs to be maintained between the confidentiality of the vulnerable person’s affairs, the vulnerable person’s capacity to consent to the matter being taken further and the duty of care to report suspected abuse.
The person will be referred to their GP or Accident and Emergency Department of the nearest hospital for a medical examination, if appropriate.
Allegation of abuse by a member of staff, volunteer or Service User at Mires Beck Nursery
Where a member of staff, volunteer or service user is suspected of perpetrating abuse the following action should be taken in addition to the above:
The Named Person will interview the alleged perpetrator with a witness present.
The Named Person will make arrangements for interviewing the person suspected of being abused. This will be done in the presence of a Mires Beck staff member and a support person for the person concerned. The purpose of the meeting is not to investigate but to establish whether there are grounds for the allegation. The Named Person will then determine what action needs to be taken. Mires Beck Nursery will ensure that Social Services, the ERYC Safeguarding Team and if necessary the police, are given all assistance in pursuing any investigation. Suspension and/or discipline may be implemented.
If appropriate, the Named Person will make a referral to DBS in accordance with the Disclosure and Barring Service Referral Guide for Employers and Volunteer Managers (updated May 2018)
Support to staff and volunteers
Volunteers and staff reporting incidents of suspected or potential abuse may find the process upsetting or distressing. The Named Person will ensure that suitable and proper support is provided.
Things to Look Out For
Some people may incur bruising relatively frequently because of conditions affecting their mobility, balance and co-ordination etc. Such bruising is likely to be in areas such as their shins, knees, arms, hands, feet or elbows; or if the individual fell on their face then one could expect a damaged forehead nose or lip. However there are warning signs which can indicate that an injury has occurred non-accidentally.
Physical Characteristics of Non-Accidental Injury
Note that NO attempt should be made to examine people who may have suffered physical abuse. The following are stated in case they become visible during the normal course of work. Note also that Anniversary Garden staff are more likely to become aware of certain injuries due to the nature of care involved with their service-users.
• Large red patches on skin consistent with hand slapping.
• Marks made by an object
• Pinch, scratch or grab marks
• Grip marks which may indicate that a person has been inappropriately shaken, incorrectly restrained or forcibly moved
• Bloodshot/bruised eyes
• Bruising to breasts, buttocks, lower abdomen, thighs and genital; or rectal areas, could be an indicator of sexual abuse.
Reviewed: July 2019