Making Safeguarding Personal

2nd June 2015

Sutton 1 in 4 Network

Commentary Education / Training

  • Recovery colleges should run courses on ‘keeping self safe’ and ‘safeguarding adults’.
  • There is need for education about protecting self from abuse and on preventing abuse.
  • Patients should have number of independent person (like Childline but for adults).
  • Patients should have their rights explained on admission – both legal rights, and who they can call.
  • There should be posters stating that there is ‘zero tolerance’ of abuse. There should be no hiding place for abusers.
  • Sex, violence and bullying should not be taboo.
  • Listening Event in LBS: to include Trust wards/community teams, GP,Police, Recovery College, user groups


  • Those who have suffered ‘historic’ abuse should be listened to and staff should use active listening skills.
  • Focus should be on the person not the process.
  • Victims of abuse do not get the support they need when they need it.
  • Victims of abuse should be asked how they feel about what happened.
  • If victims are not listened to, they may not raise issue again.
  • Victims should not be dismissed as ‘delusional’.
  • Victims are concerned that if they make complaint, they will be victimised.
  • There should be immediate response to safeguarding concerns.
  • Service users should do their own risk assessments; they will see risks differently to professionals.
  • Service user should be in control of what happens – If riot there should be

independent body.

  • Service user should write their own safeguarding pan; in their own language; and showing their own responsibilities.
  • Service users and victims should get feedback on what is happening, and what is outcome.
  • Professional opinion is not enough; victim view is needed.
  • Person alleged to have caused harm may be another service user, and other service users may need to be protected. They may need to be supported, not punished.
  • The decision on what happens should be with the victim; the process should follow the victim.
  • Safeguarding plan should not just be a ‘one-off.
  • Do safeguarding procedures apply to a person who is allegedly abused bymisuse of Health & Social Care legislation (i.e. Mental Health Act)?
  • A safeguarding assessment (or safety plan) should be an integral part of the care programme approach or care plans under the care act
  • The individual should be encouraged to identify areas of concern and explain their strategies for dealing with these.
  • There is deep concern that safeguarding excludes people who are able to ‘protect’ themselves. Who decides this?
  • There are many individuals that can seem on the surface to be able to self- advocate, but when faced with trauma are unable to do so.
  • What role should the care quality commission play in the investigation, bearing in mind the comments already raised around the problems of internal investigations?Organisations / Services
  • Police may not respond, and may not follow up concerns.
  • Hate Crime; police are aware and can be supportive.
  • Advocacy is not enough; service users may not know what to do. They need support to speak up.
  • A manager may not have witnessed abuse, but they will they be asked to interview staff and just back up the staff view of issues.
  • When person’s mental health deteriorates – safeguarding process can be used for those who self -neglect.
  • Peer support and peer support networks are important.
  • For some it may be safer to treat at home; for others abuse may occur in the home; or abuse by a neighbour.
  • Organisations like One in Four can, and do, give service users a voice.
  • There is need for circle of support: consider drop-in/create safe environment.
  • Those affected by serious incidents can be supported by community as well.
  • When an agency or service takes action, which leads to dismissal of an abuser, or when legal action is instigated against such an abuser, should a service advise all service users who had contact with them?
  • There needs to be more emphasis that safeguarding is everyone’s business, and while the NHS and local authorities are clearly key partners, all agencies that provide services, including voluntary sector services need to have the same safeguards in place. Safeguarding should not just be for regulated services but in the community and for domestic settings.
  • Needs to be a clear understanding of what triggers the safeguarding process, what makes it distinct from making a complaint. Is there a defined threshold?
  • What training is going to be provided to raise awareness for combatting abuse and neglect? Any such training needs to have input from people with direct lived experience of distress and using services.
  • There should be an annual review of all safeguarding incidents in order to see if there are any trends and patterns emerging, and then to develop action plans to improve practice.