The Department of Health released three documents on safeguarding adults in mid March:
- The Role of Health Service Managers and their Boards
- The Role of Health Service Practitioners
- The Role of NHS Commissioners
Then, on 16 May 2011, they set out a Statement of Government Policy on Adult Safeguarding.
This covers six key safeguarding principles. The majority of the document covers how to make safeguarding adults an integral part of delivering healthcare. Annex 1 will be of interest to readers. It lists example questions for health service managers and their boards including "How do we assure compliance with the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA)?"
This is divided into five main sections and looks at:
- What is safeguarding and why is it important?
- The safeguarding adults principles.
- Empowering approaches.
- What needs to be in place.
- Responding to concerns.
- Developing a culture for prevention.
Readers may be particularly interested in:
- the discussion at page 18 on the difference between duress/undue influence and lack of capacity;
- annex 1 and page 47 refers to a learning and development plan and sets out prompts to evaluate provision; and
- annex 3 and page 57 sets out the steps needed in an investigation
Obviously the emphasis in this document is on commissioning.
At page 14 the DH notes that "there is a mounting body of case law and prosecutions where due regard has not been given to the MCA...... the courts will hold individuals and services to account......"
Pages 18 - 20 also refer to the distinction between lacking capacity and duress.
Finally, at page 33 annex 3 sets out the roles within the workforce. Systems and structures to support safeguarding eg, training is listed in the operational lead box.