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Inadequate example: Safeguarding vulnerable people

  • Organisations we regulate

Key question: safe?

Population groups:

  • People with long-term conditions
  • People experiencing poor mental health (including people with dementia).

This case relates to KLOE S3: Are there reliable systems, processes and practices in place to keep people safe and safeguarded from abuse?

When we inspected

Practice 1

The practice did not have policies in place relating to the safeguarding of vulnerable adults, child protection and whistleblowing.

Training records showed that all staff had received relevant role specific training in safeguarding children and adults:

  • All GPs at the practice had received Level 3 child protection training
  • The practice nurses had received Level 2 child protection training
  • Reception and administration staff had all received Level 1 training.

However from our discussions with three administrative staff we found that staff could not explain the different forms of abuse, such as physical and emotional abuse. They did not know who the lead for child protection or safeguarding at the practice was and were not aware of how to raise concerns.

Clinical staff and the practice manager were aware of their responsibilities regarding information sharing, documentation of safeguarding concerns. However contact details of the local safeguarding teams, in and out-of-hours safeguarding contacts were not accessible to staff.

Practice 2

While there was a copy of the local child protection procedures these were not easily accessible to locum GPs. There was a safeguarding lead but suitable arrangements had not been made to provide cover for this role in their absence.

One locum GP had not completed child protection training to Level 3. Reception staff had not completed training in child protection and were not clear about their responsibility to report concerns.

Details of the local safeguarding team were not easily accessible if staff needed to contact them to discuss concerns.

Staff were not sure if there was a flag on the electronic computer system to identify if a child was on a child protection plan or at risk.

Why this is inadequate?

Systems for safeguarding vulnerable people were not fully embedded and there were gaps in the system for engaging with local safeguarding processes, for example, knowing how to contact when there are concerns about a vulnerable adult or child.  As a result, vulnerable patients are at risk of not being safeguarded against abuse.  

Information and guidance

Last updated:
10 August 2017


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