Safeguarding people

Page last updated: 16 November 2022

Safeguarding means protecting people's health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect. It's fundamental to high-quality health and social care.

What safeguarding means for people who use care services

Safeguarding children and promoting their welfare includes:

  • Protecting them from maltreatment or things that are bad for their health or development.
  • Making sure they grow up in circumstances that allow safe and effective care.

Safeguarding adults includes:

  • Protecting their rights to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.
  • People and organisations working together to prevent the risk of abuse or neglect, and to stop them from happening.
  • Making sure people's wellbeing is promoted, taking their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs into account.

We help to safeguard people by:

  • Using information we receive (particularly when concerns are raised about abuse, harm or neglect) to look at the risks to people who use care services.
  • Referring concerns to local councils and/or the police for further investigation.
  • Carrying out inspections, where we talk to people who use services to help us identify safeguarding concerns.
  • Publishing our findings on safeguarding in our inspection reports.
  • Taking action if we find that care services do not have suitable arrangements to keep people safe.
  • Working with partners such as the police, local councils, health agencies, other regulators and government departments.
  • Taking part in multi-agency children's safeguarding inspections to get a picture of children's and young people's experiences and how well they are being safeguarded.

Prevent strategy

We are not a specified authority under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015. This means we have no statutory duty to respond or take action.

The specified authorities relevant to our work are:

  • NHS Trusts (including ambulance trusts)
  • NHS Foundation Trusts
  • NHS England (who hold a statutory responsibility)

Other health providers, including primary care and providers in the independent sector, are not specified and do not hold a statutory responsibility.

Prevent is 1 of the 4 elements of CONTEST, the Government's counter-terrorism strategy. The strategy aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. We do not wish to duplicate existing governance processes around Prevent.

Position statement: Prevent strategy