In May 2013, the Department of Health published the government’s policy on adult safeguarding. This outlined the 6 key principles for use by local SAB (safeguarding Adult Boards). These 6 principles describe in broad terms, the outcomes for adult safeguarding, for both individuals and organisations.
These principals have also been incorporated into the Care Act 2014 statutory guidance and should inform safeguarding practices at the local levels. The 6 principles are
What does each of these mean for the adult at risk?
- Empowerment – To be asked what they want as the outcome of the safeguarding process
- Prevention – To be given clear and simple information about what Abuse is, how to recognise the signs and what they can do to seek help
- Proportionality – to be confident that professionals will work for the adult at risk’s best interest
- Protection – To be given help and support to report abuse. And to be able to get support to take part in the safeguarding process to the extent to which they want to and are able to
- Partnership – To know that their support team will treat any personal and sensitive information in confidence, only sharing what is necessary. To feel confident that professionals will work together to get the best result for the adult at risk
- Accountability – That they are informed and have an understanding of the role of everyone involved in their life
What does this mean for people we support many of who do not have capacity?
Firstly it is important to remember that our service users must be assumed to have the capacity to make their own decisions and be given all practicable help before they are considered not to be able to make their own decisions (Mental Capacity Act 2005).
If a person has been assessed to lack capacity to make a decision, a best-interest decision must be made.
We adopt the ‘no decision about me without me’ principles and this means that the service user, their families and carers and other professionals work together to find the right solutions to keep the person safe and to support them in making informed choices.