The safeguarding protocol is a key priority for the CQC. Their aim is to protect and promote the rights of those who are most in need. Whether they are children, young people or adults whose circumstances make them vulnerable. Social care providers play an important role in the protection of members of the public from harm and are responsible for ensuring that services and support are delivered safely and to the highest quality.
According to the Social Care Institute of Excellence, safeguarding encompasses six key concepts: empowerment, protection, prevention, proportionate responses, partnership and accountability. Although they have their own protocol, the CQC wish to see these things delivered to those using the services that social care provides.
Whether services are provided by the NHS, local authorities, private companies or voluntary organisations, the CQC make sure that people get better care. They aim to do this by:
– Driving improvement across health and adult social care.
– Putting people first and championing their rights.
– Acting swiftly to remedy bad practice.
– Gathering and using knowledge and expertise, and working with others.
The documentation and guidance the CQC has produced outline multiple standards that must be met for you to be CQC registered. Essential standards 7 to 11 are specifically targeted at safeguarding. These include:
– Protection from abuse, as the patient’s rights are respected and upheld.
– Cleanliness and infection control.
– The correct management of medicines.
– The premises are suitable and safe.
– The safety, suitability and availability of equipment.
If you are a social care provider, there are a number of appropriate systems you will need in place to demonstrate to the CQC that you understand the importance of safeguarding and to prove that you have achieved the standards outlined above.
Some of these systems should include:
– A vetting process for all staff and volunteers within the organisation.
– Enough well trained, competent and supported staff.
– The provision of effective and appropriate treatment for patients.
– Clear systems in place for patients and staff to feedback any concerns.
– Ensure people using the service are respected and involved in their own care and support.
– To collaborate effectively with boards, trusts and local agencies, sharing information correctly.
The first reviews have already taken place of services for people with learning difficulties. Inspectors found a number of things that let some of the organisations down and prevented them from meeting the essential standards. They want to see risk management strategies, including evidence-based reports that keep track of any incidences and the measures taken to prevent it occurring again. The CQC also found that some of these services lacked compliance with government standards due to a poor understanding of procedures and a lack of leadership. They also failed to meet the standards because the CQC felt the organisations lacked person centered care; they wanted to see services tailored to the individual needs of the patient.
The safeguarding of children young adults and vulnerable adults is a key priority for the CQC. To prove to them that you understand the importance of safeguarding you must familiarise yourself with documentation such as the CQC Safeguarding Protocol, the Children’s Act of 2004 and the Health and Social Care Act of 2008. But most importantly, they wish to see committed senior managers and staff who promote the importance of safeguarding, implementing procedures effectively.