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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 6 January 2014
Date of Publication: 6 February 2014
Inspection Report published 06 February 2014 PDF

People should be protected from abuse and staff should respect their human rights (outcome 7)

Meeting this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Are protected from abuse, or the risk of abuse, and their human rights are respected and upheld.

How this check was done

We looked at the personal care or treatment records of people who use the service, carried out a visit on 6 January 2014, observed how people were being cared for and sent a questionnaire to people who use the service. We talked with people who use the service, talked with staff and reviewed information given to us by the provider.

Our judgement

People who use the service were protected from the risk of abuse, because the provider had taken reasonable steps to identify the possibility of abuse and prevent abuse from happening.

Reasons for our judgement

All the people we spoke with said they felt perfectly safe in the home and that if they had any worries they would report them to the management. All the staff members we spoke with said they had done safeguarding training and were able to identify different types of abuse, for example physical, emotional, financial, neglect and institutional. They were also able to identify the signs of potential abuse, for example unexplained bruising, changes in behaviour, avoidance of certain people. They all said they had read the provider’s safeguarding policy and found it a useful document. Two of the staff said that the policy would be particularly helpful for new staff members who were unfamiliar with safeguarding issues.

We noted from the provider’s training records that all the staff had done safeguarding training. We were given a copy of one of the safeguarding training lessons and noted that it covered definitions of abuse, different types of abuse, signs of abuse, scenarios regarding abusive behaviour, responding to abuse, and awareness of the local authority’s safeguarding procedures.

We were given a copy of the provider’s safeguarding policy and noted that this covered definitions of abuse, possible abusers, the signs of potential abuse, the role of staff and managers in dealing with abuse and suspected abuse, and the procedure for reporting abuse. The manager said that the service made reference to the local authority’s multi-agency safeguarding guidance which was on the local authority’s website.

All the staff members we spoke with said that if they witnessed another staff member acting inappropriately towards a person who uses the service they would ask the staff member to leave the vicinity and reassure the person. They would then report the incident to the manager. They said that if a person told them they had been abused by another person who uses the service they would report this to the manager who would then liaise with the person and their family. One staff member said that if the manager did not take the incident seriously they would report it to the local safeguarding team or to the CQC.

From our conversations with staff and our review of safeguarding documentation we were satisfied that the staff would be able to recognise abuse or potential abuse and be able to address and report such incidents in an appropriate manner. This meant that people who use the service could be confident that the provider was taking steps to ensure that they were protected from harm, and had proper mechanisms in place to deal with any incidents of abuse or suspected abuse.

All the staff members we spoke with said they would have no hesitation in reporting any incidents of abuse or suspected abuse to the provider and would feel confident that they would be taken seriously and that there would be no recriminations against them. Two of the staff members said they had read the provider’s whistleblowing policy but the third one said they did not know there was such a policy and appeared to have no understanding of the concept of whistleblowing, which is to ensure that employees who report incidents of wrongdoing are not discriminated against or victimised by their employer.

We were given a copy of the provider’s whistleblowing policy and procedures and noted that this defined who a whistleblower was and made reference to the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, which is the legislation that underpins whistleblowing. It then outlined the procedure for staff members reporting issues of concern, which in the first instance involved the staff member meeting with the home manager. The manager would arrange for the issue to be investigated and if unresolved would be passed onto the director (the owner of the service). The procedure also stated that the employee had the right to report the issue to an external agency such as the CQC. However, the policy and procedures made no reference to the employee’s right to be protected