If you have a concern about a vulnerable adult or child, please do not hesitate to contact the safeguarding team.
|Adult safeguarding team|
Tel 01737 768 511 x 2839
|Surrey Social Care|
Tel: 01737 768 511 x 1802
SASH is committed to protecting those most vulnerable in our community. Safeguarding is the multi-disciplinary work we do to minimise and manage risk to individuals who may be vulnerable. It uses a framework which brings together all aspects of an investigation into an allegation of abuse.
We work across agencies to respond to suspected abuse of vulnerable adults. This means we have an agreement where organisations work together to safeguard the person who may be abused and take what actions we can. Adult, children and community services co-ordinate the policy, with the police and the NHS sharing responsibility for ensuring the correct process is used.
In July 2009 the Care Quality Commission (CQC) published a report on their review of arrangements in the NHS for safeguarding children. In line with this report, SASH has worked to ensure that processes, procedures and policies with regard to safeguarding children are robust. SASH has developed a comprehensive action plan to further develop safeguarding arrangements throughout the hospital.
- The organisation meets the statutory requirements in relation to Criminal Records Bureau checks
- Child Protection policies and procedures are robust, including the process for following up children who miss outpatient appointments
- The rolling training programme continues to provide Level 2 and 3 child protection training to all eligible staff
- SASH has a Board level executive director lead for safeguarding, as well as a named nurse, named midwife and named doctor all with clearly defined roles. A review was undertaken in April 2012 to ensure that safeguarding staffing levels continue to meet service requirements
- The Board reviews safeguarding across the organisation at least once a year and has robust audit programmes to assure itself that safeguarding systems and processes are working
Safeguarding children encompasses a range of hospital presentations and non-presentations. Through our robust processes and well trained staff we are able to identify and appropriately manage physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect and work closely with members of the multi-professional teams across Surrey and Sussex to ensure that vulnerable children and families are identified and supported.
For further information regarding safeguarding children, or if you have a concern, please contact a member of the safeguarding team via the hospital switchboard 01737 768 511.
A vulnerable adult is someone aged 18 or over:
- Who is, or may be, in need of community services due to age, illness or a mental or physical disability
- Who is, or may be, unable to take care of himself/herself, or unable to protect himself/herself against significant harm or exploitation
(Definition from the Department of Health 2002)
Who is a vulnerable adult?
Abuse can affect any vulnerable adult, but particularly someone who is, or may be, unable to protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation, for example:
- Older people
- People with mental health problems
- Disabled people
- People with learning difficulties
- People with acquired brain damage
- People who misuse substances
What is abuse?
What is abuse?
Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights. It may consist of a single act or repeated acts. It can be physical, verbal or psychological; it may be an act or omission to act, or it may occur when a vulnerable person is persuaded to enter into a financial or sexual transaction to which he or she has not consented, or cannot consent. Abuse can occur in any relationship.
Types of abuse
- Physical – hitting, pushing, shaking, spitting, pinching, scalding, pulling hair, misusing medication, using illegal restraint, or other physical harm such as exposure to extreme heat or cold
- Domestic abuse – controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour or violence between people who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members. It can include psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse, and so-called ‘honour’-based violence and forced marriage
- Sexual – any sexual activity where a person cannot or does not consent, or where a person has been coerced into, including rape, sexual assault or being forced to look at sexual images
- Psychological – such as shouting or swearing, name calling, bullying, threats, intimidation and coercion. It can also include cyber-bullying or taking away privacy, dignity or free speech
- Financial or material – fraud, theft, forcing someone to pay for other people’s things, not allowing access to or control of a person’s own money or property, or using it without permission. This also includes internet and telephone scamming, pressure over property or inheritance, and misusing powers or attorney
- Neglect – where someone allows a person to suffer by failing to care for them, or by ignoring their needs; for example with regard to food, medication, heating and personal care. Neglect can be intentional or non-intentional (when someone has not fully understood care and support needs)
- Self-neglect – not looking after yourself, for example, by not taking care of your personal hygiene, health or surroundings. It can include hoarding – the collecting of a large number of items with little value to others (e.g. newspapers) that make it difficult to live in your home and increase the risk of fire
- Modern slavery – slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude where someone is forced into a life of abuse, exploitation and inhumane treatment
- Discriminatory – suffering harassment, bullying, insulting language or ill-treatment because of age, disability, ethnic origin, religion, culture, sexuality or gender. It can include hate crime (any act of violence or hostility directed at you because of who a person is, or who someone thinks they might be) and ‘mate crime’ (where someone pretends to be a friend with the aim of exploiting later on)
- Organisational – repeated poor care of one or a number of adults through neglect or poor professional practice in a paid or regulated care setting (such as a hospital, or nursing home, or an organisation paid to support someone in their own home)
Who might the abuser be?
Abuse is usually caused by someone else, however adults can also sometimes neglect their own care and support needs (this is known as self-neglect). Abusers may be:
- family members
- professional staff
- paid or voluntary workers
- other adults at risk
- young people
What might you notice?
Here are just a few examples of possible signs of abuse, none being conclusive on their own.
- Injuries, such as a slap, being restrained in a chair, or given too much medication
- Being involved in a sexual act that was unwanted or not agreed to, like watching pornography
- Weight loss
- Lack of personal care
- Bills not being paid
- An overly critical or disrespectful carer who may, for example, bully or undermine
- Sudden loss of assets, friends or family, or threats to gain access to someone’s money, or to get them to change their will
- Not getting to medical appointments
- Deference or submission to a suspected abuser
- Change in behaviour or mood
- Isolation from usual network of friends, family or community
- Where a carer looks after someone in a way that is convenient to them rather than what the person needs, thereby affecting their health
If you feel someone is a risk of abuse it is important to tell someone. Here are some useful contacts:
Action on Elder Abuse
Action on Elder Abuse run a free telephone confidential helpline for anyone concerned in any way about the abuse of older people – 0808 808 8141
If you think a crime has been committed call 999, otherwise call your local police station (your telephone directory will have relevant numbers). The police can also offer advice regarding safety at home and in the community and may refer people who have experienced violence, abuse or crimes to the Victim Support helpline – 0845 303 0900.
An information film that provides advice on the steps to take to keep safe in the event of a firearms or weapons attack is available from National Counter Terrorism Policing.
The four minute film, Stay Safe: Firearms and Weapons Attack sets out three key steps for keeping safe. The film is accompanied by an online information leaflet. Find out more on the National Police Chiefs’ Council website.
Care Quality Commission
Information and advice for those concerned about a health or social care service – 03000 616 161
Support group for adult survivors of child abuse
NAPAC run support groups for adult survivors of child abuse. We’re running one in Dorking, scheduled to start on 9 Feb 2017 on Thursday for 12 weeks from 6-8:30 pm.
Support groups consist of a structured sequence of two and a half hour sessions, run once a week for 12 weeks, we use innovative and proven approaches to trauma recovery based on the latest research and on NAPAC’s many years of working with survivors. Each group is led by two experienced facilitators who are trained in NAPAC’s model. People can register their interest now via our website. Places are free and people can attend from anywhere, but those joining need to commit to attending for 12 weeks, as places are highly sought after.
NAPAC also run a free national support line for adult survivors of child abuse. The support line does not counselling, but will take calls for up to half an hour, listen and offer signposting.
Support line: 0808 801 0331, free from UK landlines or mobiles.
10 am – 9 pm Monday-Thursday and 10 am – 6 pm Friday.
Calls are not recorded and the number will not show up on the caller’s phone bill.