Safeguarding adults at risk of abuse or neglect is a legal requirement for all providers under The Care Act 2014. Staff are required to be able to recognise the 10 categories of abuse and report their concerns appropriately. These are:
Financial or material abuse
Neglect and acts of omission
Sexual abuse, including force marriage and female genital mutilation.
Abuse is described as a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by another person or persons. Abuse can happen as the result of deliberate intent, negligence or ignorance.
The safeguarding process only applies to an adult who:
- has need for care and support, and
is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect, and
as a result of those care and support needs, is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect.
To make an Adult Safeguarding referral, please follow this link: http://www.kent.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/report-abuse
Check out the resources available for learning disabilities.
For concerns about Domestic Abuse, where possible, empower the patient to help themselves. Local support is available via the Domestic Abuse Services.
A person with a significant mental health problem may exhibit challenging behaviour, which put themselves or others at risk of harm.
The Mental Capacity Act (2005)
Vulnerable adults often lack full mental capacity due to a permanent or transient disorder of the mind or brain. All staff have a duty under the Act to establish a person’s mental capacity.
For emergency care to preserve life or prevent deterioration, staff are covered under sections 5 and 6 of the Act to take all immediate and necessary actions in the best interests of the patient.
Clinical Restraint and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (2007)
Clinical restraint is lawful, to prevent harm or facilitate treatment. The response must be a proportionate to the likelihood and seriousness of harm to that person, or others, including the deterioration of a medical condition.
When a person is in a highly agitated state, it may be necessary to use rapid sedation.
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards 2007 (DoLS) are an amendment to the Mental Capacity Act 2005. They provide a legal framework to protect those (over 18 years) who lack the capacity to consent to the arrangements for their treatment or care.
To protect vulnerable patients who are too unwell to make decisions by themselves, the Trust may need to make a formal application for DoLS.