The mission : The prevention of death, injury and ill health to those at work and those affected by work activities.
• Shocking failures – it’s why we need to obey the law We know it’s an extremely important aspect of care. We know there’s been a lot of debate about how to improve it. We know there have been high-profile cases where it’s failed miserably. But do we really understand what safeguarding means on a day-to-day basis for everyone involved in providing or receiving care? And there’s been much discussion about whether ‘adults at significant risk’ is better. Sometimes there’s confusion between safeguarding and adult protection, which relates to investigation of abuse rather than it’s prevention.
• Health and social care workers – protecting the vulnerable The terminology can be an issue in itself. We now refer to ‘adults at risk’ after the Law Commission’s report on adult social care pointed out that the previously acceptable term ‘vulnerable adult’ could suggest that the cause of abuse was located with the victim, and didn’t place responsibility with the actions of others. The commission found that people saw the term as “stigmatising, dated, negative and disempowering”.
• Part of a system Legislation, regulation and guidance are becoming clearer and more consistent, with the implementation of the Law Commission recommendations on adult protection and making safeguarding adult boards – which already exist in most local authorities – mandatory.But there’s still a lot to learn, not least about what constitutes a safeguarding issue and what relates to everyday management, staff practice, quality and safety. Without that clarity, people may worry about over-reacting or taking the wrong action.