Taking Precautions and Avoiding Bad Habits
The very best way of protecting our service users from abuse is to develop a culture here at 18 Hope Street where service users feel safe and supported and can report any abuse. A culture in which we allow the service users to take risks and enjoy their lives whilst identifying potential sources of harm and abuse. This is best achieved with a close staff team, working together with the service users’ best interests at heart, person-centred care plans and risk assessments tailored to the individual’s needs and regular involvement from outside agencies and independent advocates.
The work we do here at 18 Hope Street is considered a “Regulated Activity” according to the Governments Vetting and Barring scheme. What this means is that all staff that come to work at 18 Hope Street are subject to a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) and ISA (Independent Safeguarding Authority) checks. It also means that we must report any incidents of abuse perpetrated by our staff to the ISA and this will have an effect that person’s future employment in Health and Social Care. The managers here at 18 Hope Street will work with you closely and we will have plenty of opportunities in both formal and informal supervisions to discuss any concerns and share best practice. We feel that a close, committed team working with the service users’ best interests in mind is the most effective way of safeguarding our residents.
Not only do we have to mindful of others abusing the service users, but we must make sure that we ourselves do not, through bad habits or not thinking, become guilty of abuse. The best way of doing this is to work together as a team, communicate with one another, take part in regular training and updates and strive to create a happy, supportive environment for the service users. Here are just a few tips on how to avoid some of the more common bad habits.
Avoiding Institutional Abuse:- Give service users choice, regarding meals, activities, decorations etc. Do not discuss personal matters or confidential information regarding service users in front of other people (services users, visitors etc). Do not leave confidential information out where it can be seen by others.
Avoiding Discriminatory Abuse:- do not use language or behaviour that singles people out negatively for their religious beliefs, race, gender, age, sexuality, disability etc.
Avoiding Financial Abuse:- Do not accept gifts from service users that cost more than £10 and always declare it to the managers whether you accepted it or not. Do not buy or sell items to the service users, nor put them in contact with your friends or acquaintances in order to sell or buy items from service users. When on a trip out it is appropriate for the service users to pay for your travel and food and drink whilst out, however, do not encourage them to go to places specifically so you can have a meal, and as a rule of thumb try not to order more than the service user. As always, declare any meals or travel paid for by service users on your return to 18 Hope Street.
Avoiding Physical Abuse:- Do not force medication, food or personal care on to residents against their will. Follow and moving and handling training when help residents in and out of chairs, beds etc. Do not let the temperature in the home become too hot or cold, check water temperature is not scolding before helping residents bath or shower.
We unfortunately cannot guarantee our residents will not become the victims of abuse, but we can identify it promptly and deal with it professionally.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this policy or safeguarding in general then please contact James Priest, Operations Manager, 18 Hope Street.