The Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Policy for Belfast FM Ltd
Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Policy
What To Do If Vulnerable Adults Talk To You About Abuse Or Neglect
Consult About Your Concern
Make A Referral
Allegations Against Adults Who Work With Vulnerable Adults
This document is the Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Policy for Belfast FM Ltd which will be followed by all members of the organisation and promoted by those in the position of leadership within the organisation.
We know that being a person aged 18 or over who has a condition of the following type:
- a substantial learning or physical disability
- a physical or mental illness or mental disorder, chronic or otherwise, including an addiction to alcohol or drugs
- or a significant reduction in physical or mental capacity
makes them vulnerable to abuse by adults. The purpose of this policy is to make sure that the actions of any adult in the context of the work carried out by the organisation are transparent and also safeguard and promote the welfare of all young people.
Principles upon which the Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Policy is based:
This policy and procedures are based on the following principles:
- The welfare of young people and vulnerable adults is of primary concern
- All young people and vulnerable adults, whatever their age, culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, socio-economic status, religious belief and/or sexual identify have the right to safeguarding from abuse
- It is everyone’s responsibility to report any concerns about abuse to the Designated Safeguarding Officer, and the responsibility of the Social Services Department and the PSNI to conduct, where
appropriate, a joint investigation
- All incidents of alleged poor practice, misconduct and abuse will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately
- All personal data will be processed in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998
Those people in positions of responsibility within the organisation will work in accordance with the interests of vulnerable adults and young people and follow the policy outlined below.
Belfast FM Ltd recognises that all people regardless of age, disability, gender, race, religious beliefs or sexual orientation have an equal right to protection from all types of harm or abuse and is committed to safeguarding the welfare of vulnerable adults that we work with.
SAFEGUARDING VULNERABLE ADULTS POLICY
Safeguarding is a term used to denote the duties and responsibilities that those providing a health, social or education service have to carry out/ perform to protect individuals from harm.
Best practice is that safeguarding duties extend to whole organisation policies, values and ethos, and include all staff. It is better to be broad in scope as a provider in order to ensure a safer environment.
Immediate Action to Ensure Safety
Immediate action may be necessary at any stage in involvement with vulnerable adults.
IN ALL CASES IT IS VITAL TO TAKE WHATEVER ACTION IS NEEDED TO SAFEGUARD THE ADULT OR ADULTS CONCERNED I.E.
- If emergency medical attention is required this can be secured by calling an ambulance (dial 999) or taking a vulnerable adult to the nearest Accident and Emergency Department.
- If an adult is in immediate danger the PSNI should be contacted (dial 999) as they alone have the power to remove an adult immediately if protection is necessary, via their powers to use Police Protection.
Recognition of Abuse or Neglect
Abuse and neglect are forms of maltreatment of an adult. Somebody may abuse or neglect an adult by inflicting harm or by failing to act to prevent harm. Vulnerable adults may be abused in a family or in an institutional or community setting, by those known to them or, more rarely, by a stranger. They may be abused by an adult or adults.
A vulnerable adult can be put at risk of harm through a variety of actions, inadequate policies, procedures and failures to act. Abuse can take the form of:
Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a vulnerable adult.
Including in this are emotional abuse, threats, deprivation of contact, humiliation, intimidation, coercion, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services.
Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a vulnerable adult or young person to take part in sexual activities, whether or not the vulnerable adult is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including penetrative (e.g. rape or buggery or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts. They may include non-contact activities, such as involving vulnerable adults in looking at, or in the production of, sexual online images, watching sexual activities, or encouraging vulnerable adults to behave in sexually inappropriate ways.
Financial and Material Abuse
Covering exploitation and pressure in connection to wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions.
Neglect or Acts of Omissions
Included in this are ignoring medical or physical care needs, withholding of medication or adequate nutrition and failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services.
Discriminatory Abuse in the form of racist, sexist and other forms of harassment.
Individuals within the organisation need to be alert to the potential abuse of vulnerable adults both within their families and also from other sources including abuse by members of that organisation.
There is an expected responsibility for all members of the organisation to respond to any suspected or actual abuse of a vulnerable adult in accordance with these procedures.
WHAT TO DO IF VULNERABLE ADULTS TALK TO YOU ABOUT ABUSE OR NEGLECT
It is recognised that a vulnerable adult may seek you out to share information about abuse or neglect or talk spontaneously individually or in groups when you are present. In these situations YOU MUST:
- Listen carefully to the vulnerable adult. DO NOT directly question the vulnerable adult
- Give the vulnerable adult time and attention
- Allow the vulnerable adult to give a spontaneous account; do not stop a vulnerable adult who is freely recalling significant events
- Make an accurate record of the information you have been given taking care to record the timing, setting and people present, the vulnerable adult’s presentation as well as what was said. Do not throw this away as it may later be needed as evidence
- Use the vulnerable adult’s own words where possible
- Explain that you cannot promise not to speak to others about the information they have shared – do not offer false confidentiality
- Reassure the vulnerable adult that:
- they have done the right thing in telling you
- they have not done anything wrong
- Tell the vulnerable adult what you are going to do next and explain that you will need to get help to keep him/her safe
- DO NOT ask the vulnerable adult to repeat his or her account of events to anyone
If you have a vulnerable adult protection concern you should:
CONSULT ABOUT YOUR CONCERN
Because of your observations of, or information received, you may become concerned about a vulnerable adult who has not spoken to you.
It is good practice to ask a vulnerable adult why they are upset or how a cut or bruise was caused, or respond to a vulnerable adult wanting to talk to you. This practice can help clarify vague concerns and result in appropriate action.
If you are concerned about a vulnerable adult you must share your concerns. Initially you should talk to one of the people designated as responsible for vulnerable adult protection within Belfast FM Ltd.
In this organisation this person is:
NAME: Joseph McCormack (Chair)
TEL: 07970 430 155
You should consult with the Northern Ireland Adult Safeguarding Partnership in the following circumstances:
- when you remain unsure after internal consultation as to whether vulnerable adult protection concerns exist
- when there is disagreement as to whether vulnerable adult protection concerns exist
- when you are unable to consult promptly or at all with your designated internal contact for vulnerable adult protection
- when the concerns relate to any member of the organising committee
Consultation is not the same as making a referral but should enable a decision to be made as to whether a referral to Vulnerable Adults Social Care or the PSNI should progress.
HSC Trust Adult Safeguarding Number
Belfast 028 9504 1744
HSC Trust Child Protection Gateway Number
Belfast 028 9050 7000
MAKE A REFERRAL
A referral involves giving Vulnerable Adults Social Care or the PSNI information about concerns relating to an individual or family in order that enquiries can be undertaken by the appropriate agency followed by any necessary action.
- If your concern is about harm or risk of harm from an organisation’s member or their peers or someone known to the vulnerable adults, you should make a telephone referral to the Vulnerable Adults Social Care Duty & Investigation Team in the area where the vulnerable adult resides
- If your concern is about harm or risk of harm from someone not known to the vulnerable adult, you should make a telephone referral directly to the PSNI
- If your concern is about harm or risk of harm from an adult in a position of trust see ‘Allegations Against Adults Who Work With Vulnerable Adults’
- If your concern is that a vulnerable adult needs additional help or support, you should contact the appropriate Locality Team.
Information required when making a referral
Be prepared to give as much of the following information as possible (in emergency situations all of this information may not be available). Unavailability of some information should not stop you making a referral.
- Your name, telephone number, position and request the same of the person to whom you are speaking
- Full name and address, telephone number of adult, date of birth of vulnerable adult
- Gender, ethnicity, first language, any special needs
- The names of professionals known to be involved with the vulnerable adult/family e.g. GP, Health Visitor, Tutor
- The nature of the concern and foundation for the concern
- An opinion on whether the vulnerable adult may need urgent action to make them safe
- Your view of what appears to be the needs of the vulnerable adult
Action to be taken following the referral
- Ensure that you keep an accurate record of your concern(s) made at the time
- Put your concerns in writing to the Investigation Team following the referral
- Accurately record the action agreed or that no further action is to be taken and the reasons for this decision
ALLEGATIONS AGAINST ADULTS WHO WORK WITH VULNERABLE ADULTS
If you have information which suggests an adult who works with vulnerable adults (in a paid or unpaid capacity) has:
- behaved in a way that has harmed or may have harmed a vulnerable adult
- possibly committed a criminal offence against, or related to, a vulnerable adult
- behaved towards a vulnerable adult in a way that indicated s/he is unsuitable to work with vulnerable adults
you should make contact immediately to any Board Member of Belfast 89FM
The Belfast 89FM Board Member will then consult with/make a referral to the Vulnerable Adults Unit – Northern Ireland Adult Safeguarding Partnership
Belfast FM Ltd will ensure that any records made in relation to a referral should be kept confidentially and in a secure place.
Information in relation to vulnerable adult protection concerns should be shared on a ‘need to know’ basis. However, the sharing of information is vital to vulnerable adult protection and, therefore, the issue of confidentiality is secondary to a vulnerable adult’s need for protection.
If in doubt, the Northern Ireland Adult Safeguarding Partnership will be consulted.