You will have clear reporting procedures and all staff will be aware of them. Depending on the size and type of organizations, there may be a safeguarding lead that deals with all safeguarding reports and liaises with the local authority safeguarding team. In a smaller organization, it may all be down to you to follow the procedure for reporting.
You likely to be dealing with three broad types of safeguarding reports:
1. A potential safeguarding incident within your organization that was reported to you or that you became aware of such as a medication error or a diet and nutrition error.
2. A safeguarding concern about relative or friend that took place in the community
3. A whistle-blowing report from a member of your staff, or a person using services, concerning a member of staff.
You will be reporting on each of these, initially through safeguarding procedures, but also directly to the police if you think there may have been a criminal offence.
If anyone using your service discloses abuse to you, or to s member of your staff, they are doing so because they want it to stop. You have the responsibility to make it stop.
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 protects whistleblowers and ensures that they cannot be victimized by an employer for reporting abuse, or any other illegal acts. The Acts protects people making disclosures about:
1. A criminal offence
2. The breach of a legal obligation
3. A miscarriage of justice
4. A danger to the health or safety of any individual
5. Damage to the environment
6. Deliberate covering up of information tending to show any of the above five matters
The basis for being protected by the Act is that the worker is giving information that they ‘reasonably believe tends to show that one or more of the above matters either happening now, took place in the past, or is likely to happen in the future.
The Social Care Manager,
The National Skills Academy
In my own work place, we have a clear procedure that we follow. If there are concerns, allegations or reported incidents we make sure that staff will be aware of them. The Matron is the designated key contact person within the Home. The Matron is also responsible for investigating any alleged or suspected incidences of abuse. We make sure that we gather together and have a meeting with all the senior members of the staff and managers. We make sure that all information is being discussed. And the important thing is that we have accurate records of all matters and information because it is always possible that it may end in court or in some other challenge and you will need easily accessible records. It is important also that notes made at the time of the incident to avoid any delay. As manager one of my role is to remind staff to make clear difference between fact, opinion and hearsay when recording. And lastly, we make sure that we notify the right authority such as the police, local safeguarding team or CQC and be able to offer them a full cooperation and full disclosure of any information that we have. Failure to share information with a safeguarding investigation would be a serious mistake. Examples of the safeguarding concerns that have been reported and investigated by the authorities are medication error, which reported to the CQC and a series of missing money from staff and residents being investigated by the police.