The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 aims to prevent unsuitable people from working (either paid or unpaid) with children or vulnerable adult. Employers who work with these people have to be registered according to the act and The Independent Safeguarding Authority decides if people should be barred from working with any vulnerable person. Everyone gets checked before they are able to work with all vulnerable people for instance, a DBS check will be carried out to see if the person has carried out any criminal offences.
The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 supports the rehabilitation into employment of reformed offenders who have stayed on the right side of the law. All employers require full disclosure of pervious offences.
The Police Act 1997
A CRB check is done under a Part V of the Police Act 1997, this protects vulnerable people from harm because employers will then know of any criminal convictions that have been done by particular people. http://www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/gmgr-annexe-c29
The Sexual Offenders Act 1976
The Sexual Offences Act 1976 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It made provision in relation to rape and related offences. This Act put the Sex Offenders Register in action for identification and tracking purposes. This Act protects vulnerable people from danger, by tracking sex offenders.
Care Standards Act 2000
This Act set the national minimum standards to protect the vulnerable, the standards include accommodation, services and good working practice. This Act established the Protection Of Vulnerable Adults (POVA) scheme, this scheme helps protect vulnerable adults from abuse. People who are working with vulnerable adults have to go through POVA training, I have done so myself through volunteering. The training makes you more aware of different types of abuse, people that are abused and the abuser, and how this is identified. Care Homes for Older People- National Minimum Standards and Care Homes Regulations 2003 This regulation identifies the levels of care that vulnerable adults need in care homes. There are points in this regulation that all older people in care homes should always receive the standards that are set for example, having a choice of what they would like to eat for dinner.
Mental Health Act 1983
This Act is to protect those vulnerable people who suffer with a mental illness and others that are caring for them. There are procedures to ensure that there rights are protected and not being abused. The Act also allows compulsory treatment for those with a mental illness.
Mental Capacity Act 2005
This Act allows to help vulnerable people who cant make decisions for themselves because they lack the mental capacity, this is done by them having an advocate. It is established by The Independent Mental Capacity Advocates Service.
Disability Discrimination Act 1995
People who have a disability are treated equally to those without, this should be done in any work place. This act not only covers physical disabilities but mental as well. The Act has an aim which is, ending discrimination that individuals face with a disability. People who have a disability now have the rights to many things including, employment, education access to goods, facilities and services and buying or renting land or property.
Race Relations Act 1976
The Race Relations Act is to protect people from discrimination, this includes a persons race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin. People should be treated equally and fairly no matter what race or colour they are.
Human Rights Act 1998
Vulnerable people have the right to be treated correctly and cared for effectively due to the Human Rights Act 1998. This act gives every person the power to challenge perceived discrimination by any public body.
Data Protection Act 1998
The Data protection Act is essential to follow in a health and social care setting, all personal details from an individual are to be kept safe and only seen by the people who care for them. Information will only be disclosed if there is a potential that a person is in danger.
It is very important that every health care setting for vulnerable adults has strategies and procedures that reduce the risk of abuse, if this was not done effectively then individuals may be in danger.
Recruitment of staff-
The health care system is always recruiting new staff due to more and more people using the system every day, more elderly are getting ill and leaving their homes to go into a residential care home. Every person who employs a new member of staff has to make sure that they are save to work with the elderly as they are very vulnerable. The adults who are barred from working with the vulnerable are identified on the Adults Barred List. The list subdivides these people into two different categories which are, people who are automatically barred because they are a ‘risk of threat’ and people who offer a ‘very probable risk of harm’.
The process of the Adults Barred list gathers information for many places including, the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) , Health and Social services and employers. A CRB check is done before someone is employed, personal information is written down about a person and then it is sent off to be checked by the police to see if they have any criminal convictions. Staff who work with the vulnerable have to register under the Vetting and Barring Scheme since July 2010.
Guidance is given to employers to reduce the risk of abuse in the environment they are working in. Two acts are included in this guidance and they are Dignity in Care Initiative 2006 and Human Rights in Healthcare. The Human Rights has a framework which assists local NHS Trusts to apply human rights approaches for the people using the services. FREDA values are focused on, Fairness, Respect, Equality, Dignity and Autonomy. Dignity and Care Initiative campaigns to end toleration of indignity in health care.
Every organisation must have policies and guidelines on expected behaviour from staff, this is done when an organisation develops there own policies from the guidelines that they have been provided with. Policies enable people who are using the services to know what is acceptable and unacceptable with their own care.
Codes of practice-
Codes of practice enables professionals to work effectively at high standards, respect and minimise risk to people that are in their care. Many care systems produce codes of conduct including The Nursing and Midwifery Council, nurses and midwives have to abide by these codes and put them into their practice to be able to care after individuals at the right standard.
Multi-agency working and Closer working between professionals within organisations – Multi-agency working is when all different teams come together to care and meet needs for a person as a whole, an example of professional bodies working together would be, doctors, care workers, nurses, social workers etc. The support planning and single assessment has encouraged greater inter-agency cooperation. Working like this encourages sharing of an individuals information and together they can all look after that person very effectively. This has not been put into place with some agencies and in this situation an individual would not be taking care of properly because of this, this could lead to harm with elderly people. The government has guidance on multi-agency working and this is a paper called ‘No Secrets’. Beryl Strecth (2010).
Health and Social Care . Essex: Pearson Education. Close working between professionals and organisations enables better communication about the people involved. This could be done in staff meetings, team meetings etc. In care homes they have daily logs about individuals who they care for, this ensures that when a new member of staff is working they know for instance what they have ate that day and what sort of care they have provided for them. This can also detect a residents behaviour for example, if they act differently when certain members of staff are on shift.
Working in partnership with adults using services-
When agencies work in partnership with the adults, families or informal carers it makes them more confident about the situation, when confident they will be more likely to talk about there worries and people can then help them build their self-esteem back up.
Decision-making processes and forums-
Decision making is essential when looking after a vulnerable adult, when it is kept transparent and clear then everyone knows what is happening. Monthly meeting of residents in a care home encourages ideas that can be shared between one another, this will make people more confident at speaking out.
Organisational policies and staff training-
The role of the Care Quality Commission-
Whistle blowing is when someone who is working in a care setting reports suspected wrongdoing in the work place. This is called ‘making a disclosure in the public interest’. Some things that may be reported include, someone’s health and safety is in danger, damage to the environment, a criminal offence, the company isn’t obeying the law (like not having the right insurance) and covering up wrongdoing.
There is a chance that any individual will have to ‘whistle blow’ while working in a care setting, if the person thinks that what they have witnessed is ‘wrong’. A form has to be filled out by the person who has allegedly seen wrong doing and then it is sent off to get assessed and monitored for rooms of improvement.
Complaint procedures will be in every care setting, this is important to protect vulnerable adults from harm or abuse and for them to have the best care possible. People are encouraged to use complaint procedures. Complaint services are there to improve the quality and life of the individuals in there care, but it is important that elderly people feel safe if there are going to complain about the care they are being given and not victimised.