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Launch of first inter professional guidance to protect adults

BASW in partnership to help healthcare staff more effectively protect adults

The UK's first guidance to help healthcare staff more effectively protect adults who are at risk of abuse or neglect because of the level of care they need has been launched.

The Royal College of Nursing was asked by NHS England to lead the work, which has involved over 30 other Royal Colleges and professional organisations involved in healthcare, including BASW.  

The new document, Adult Safeguarding: Roles and Competencies for Health Care Staff, outlines the professional standards that all staff at healthcare organisations will need to meet if they are to be involved in adult safeguarding. Work on it began in January 2018.

The ground-breaking new guidance is aimed to safeguard anyone over the age of 18 at risk of abuse, harm or neglect because of their need for care and/or support, who are unable to safeguard themselves.

It is designed to counter both emerging and common forms of abuse, such as "cuckooing", where unscrupulous people move in and take over someone's home, possessions and finances; people trafficking and modern slavery; domestic abuse; and internet abuse, such as being as being the subject of non-consensual online pornography.

The new roles and competencies cover everyone from receptionists and porters to consultants and board members.

There are five levels, depending on the nature of a person's role, and a mandatory training session is recommended to begin within the first six weeks of staff starting a new role within a healthcare organisation.

Depending on the level of competency required, staff are required to refresh their skills within every three-year period.