The Importance of Safeguarding Procedures in a Care Home

Until a loved one enters the care system, you may not have thought much about safeguarding procedures in a care home

Acknowledging that an older relative might need to go into a care home can be a difficult decision, as it is. Let alone factoring in the possibility of safeguarding concerns in their care home.   

Rest assured, at Willow Grange, the health and happiness of our residents is of paramount importance and this extends to our safeguarding policy.

Our dedicated team works hard to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all of our residents by adopting a number of safeguarding procedures. In a care home setting, it is vital to have a policy in place that ensures residents are protected from harm.

What is Safeguarding in a Care Home?

All main health services have a duty to safeguard patients, but additional measures are required for patients who are less able to protect themselves from abuse, neglect or harm.

When it comes to defining ‘what is safeguarding in a care home?’, the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) states that:

“Safeguarding is defined as the protection of a person’s health, wellbeing, and right to live in safety, free from harm, abuse, and neglect.”

Abuse or harm may be a single incident or a repeated act and can affect one person or several. Abuse may be a physical, verbal or psychological action, but it can also be an act of omission – or failing to act – in the case of neglect.

In addition, NICE guideline NG189 states that: 

“All adult safeguarding, including safeguarding in care homes, should be underpinned by the Care Act 2014, the Care Act 2014 statutory guidance, and the Making Safeguarding Personal framework”.  

The Care Act 2014 statutory guidance clarifies that:

“Effective safeguarding is about seeking to promote an adult’s rights to security, liberty and family life, as well as about protecting their physical safety and taking action to prevent the occurrence or reoccurrence of abuse or neglect. Any restriction on the individual’s rights or freedom of action that is involved in the exercise of the function is kept to the minimum necessary.”

Why is Safeguarding Important in Care Homes?

Safeguarding involves identifying, reporting, monitoring, and managing a variety of welfare issues. These welfare issues might be in the form of concerns about incidents, accidents, disciplinary action or complaints. 

The aim of identifying safeguarding concerns is to avoid opportunities for potential harm to occur. Keeping detailed care records is also vital. Documenting any concerns or incidents can be helpful, in the event of a future investigation.

The Importance of a Safeguarding Policy in a Care Home

Safeguarding is an important function in many organisations in the UK – not just care homes, but schools and nurseries, hospitals, GP surgeries and other medical settings. From health and social care to education, it is essential to keep vulnerable people – children and adults – safe. 

Care homes are regulated by the Care Quality Commission. Where there are concerns regarding a vulnerable adult, a report will be made. 

An example of safeguarding in a care home could include the reporting of:

  • Pressure or bed sores
  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Incidences of trips or falls
  • Unexplained falls
  • Unexplained bruising or other injuries
  • Maladministration of medication
  • Lack of social inclusion
  • Physical abuse between residents
  • Financial abuse, e.g. by relatives

Beyond Safeguarding Procedures in a Care Home

According to NICE guidelines, it is everyones’ human right to live a life that is free from abuse and neglect. 

Here at Willow Grange, we take our duty of care to our residents very seriously. Our residents are protected from the risk of harm by the implementation of our stringent safeguarding policy and procedures.

Given our commitment to providing high standards of care, all our staff adhere to the procedures within our safeguarding framework. This is particularly important since we offer specialist dementia care services – meaning that some of our residents may struggle to remember details of a fall, for example.

We take our duty of care even further, by working hard so that our residents can retain their independence, dignity, and choices wherever possible.

Willow Grange – Care is at the Heart

At Willow Grange, we acknowledge the importance of having a comprehensive safeguarding policy. In a care home environment, where residents are vulnerable, it is vital that they are safeguarded. 

Established in 1979, we are proud to provide high quality support and care to our elderly residents. We also offer palliative care and shorter-term respite or convalescent support services. Click to read more about the history of Willow Grange Care.

If you have any questions relating to our safeguarding policy, please contact us. Or, to discover more about our Surbiton care home and how we can help your loved one, please get in touch with us today. Alternatively, you may book a visit on 020 8399 8948.