To achieve an outstanding for your safety key line of enquiry (KLOE), you need to comply with the latest regulations around safeguarding. That means making sure the right people take the right actions at the right times to protect service users — that includes both your own agency and your partners.
A mock CQC inspection from Care Skilled will help identify how well you’re meeting safeguarding regulations and highlight any opportunities for improvement before your real inspection.
What does safeguarding actually mean?
It’s your responsibility as a care provider to make sure service users are treated with dignity and respect, receive high-quality, compassionate care, and are kept safe from harm and abuse.
When you deliver care, you should be focused on meeting these 4 criteria at all times:
- Promoting wellbeing by preventing abuse or neglect
- Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of anyone who has suffered abuse or neglect in the past
- Taking action against anyone responsible for abuse or neglect, both directly and through failure to act
- Ensuring lessons are learned and changes made to prevent any instances of abuse or neglect from happening again.
This isn’t just a buzzword. Putting the service user at the heart of everything you do is imperative. That means no decision should be made without involving them. If your service user lacks the capacity to make decisions for themselves then they should have a nominated representative to act on their behalf, such as a family member.
Safeguarding is everybody’s business. That means all bodies involved in a person’s care need to work together to enable the best possible outcome for the service user. For example, this could include the Safeguarding Adults Board, social care and health providers, specialist safeguarding staff, service and professional regulators, the police and criminal justice system, professional clinicians, social workers, and social care and health commissioners.
It’s easy to get caught up in bureaucracy when there are multiple stakeholders involved, so it’s important to strike a balance between referring cases for investigation when a safeguarding issue arises, or exploring other remedial actions that could help to resolve the issue for the service user faster.
Forging local partnerships
To speed up decision-making, build strong relationships with local partners and authorities involved in health and social care. If you define procedures to help triage issues when they arise, they will ultimately be resolved faster and minimise distress to the service user. Their wellbeing should always be kept front of mind.
It’s also important to keep good records and collate and share relevant information. If a service is unsafe, it will be easier to identify it before it causes serious harm to more people if records are analysed and discussed, and procedures are reviewed regularly.
Your role as a care provider
Defining clear roles will help the network of stakeholders work together to achieve the best possible outcome for service users. But what’s your role as a care provider?
- Show leadership and monitor activity.
- Ensure you’re meeting service quality standards (a mock CQC inspection can help you achieve this).
- Make sure staff are well trained on procedures and that they’re well implemented.
- Investigate complaints, incidents, and near-misses thoroughly, learn from them, and make sure you implement changes to prevent them recurring.
- Take disciplinary action against anyone found in breach of regulations, involving the police if you think a crime has been committed.
What should your staff be doing?
Your team should identify and respond to any concerns quickly, speaking directly to the service user or their representative so they can report the issue and find out what action the service user wants to be taken.
As well as ensuring they’re following safeguarding guidelines and compliance regulations, they should be regularly reviewing care plans to ensure they continue to protect the service user should their needs and requirements change.
You should have a dedicated safeguarding specialist at your organisation who champions the safety and wellbeing of service users and can offer expert advice, respond to concerns and co-ordinate your response.
The role of the CQC
If the CQC has any concerns around safeguarding they’re obliged to intervene and take regulatory action on breaches, including publishing their findings and performance ratings. Inspections aren’t just to rate your care services but also to ensure service users are kept safe and provided with high-quality, effective and compassionate care.
Need some extra help?
It’s absolutely essential to get safeguarding right when you’re caring for vulnerable individuals, but it can be complex to manage a large network of stakeholders. Any breaches in safety can quickly be picked up by the press and impact your reputation, so it’s a good idea to thoroughly review your safeguarding policies and make sure staff training is up to date.
Find out your current rating for safety and where you could improve with a mock CQC inspection. Call 0333 444 5344 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today.