Keen to gain new experiences, physio Hayley Tussler has taken on a safeguarding role.
What does an adult safeguarding adviser do?
My colleague Jane Stapleton and I are responsible for ensuring that all safeguarding concerns are reported, both within the organisation and to adult social care. We also ensure any actions are co-ordinated and implemented and that information is shared appropriately. We are responsible for providing level 1 and 2 adult safeguarding and mental capacity and deprivation of liberty training, among others.
Since the introduction of the Care Act in April we are required to provide assurance to the local safeguarding adults board that our organisation is safeguarding adults at risk, therefore we are involved in a number of audits as well as serious incidents.
How have you have made a difference?
We have recently been involved in an incident where abuse was witnessed by someone who works for CSH Surrey in the community. We were able to advise the staff member on the appropriate action to take and to support them through the process of providing police statements as well as the Section 42 enquiry. By reporting the incident, the alleged abuser was removed from the situation until the investigation was completed and the patient was able to continue living in a safe environment. However, I feel the biggest difference I make is providing other CSH Surrey employees (who we call co-owners) with the right tools and support to identify and respond to suspected or actual abuse.
What is your day job and do your duties clash?
This is my day job, but is part time, 22.5 hours a week. CSH Surrey is an employee-owned social enterprise that has provided NHS community nursing and therapy services for adults, children and families in the schools, homes, clinics and hospitals of the Surrey Downs area since 2006. CSH Surrey supports me to work as a physiotherapist throughout the organisation where needed. This allows me to have a good understanding of the operational issues affecting my physiotherapy colleagues and share those within the quality and governance team. I also work as a physiotherapist at the weekend, allowing me to manage my professional and family obligations and strike a good work-life balance.
Are you paid more for this role?
No, but it has allowed me to bring a different perspective to adult safeguarding.
Are physios well equipped to take on this role – if so, why?
I feel strongly that as physios we all have the skills to not only take on this role but to do it well. A number of us work closely with adults at risk and are able to look at those individuals holistically. We are competent at assessing mental capacity and working in best interests and not afraid to question practice, ask difficult questions and reflect on our own practice as well as that of our teams.
Could physio staff be more confident about expanding their roles?
I have been exceptionally lucky to work for an employer who has supported me to take my interest and turn it into a role that has been historically filled by nurses. I have been able to bring a different perspective to the arena and that can only be good for adult safeguarding. It was a big step to take but I feel it has been an excellent learning experience for both me and those I work with. For this reason, I feel more physios should look at roles outside the norm to enable our profession to grow and give other professions a more comprehensive understanding of our perspective and our skill set outside of treating patients.
How do you relax?
My job can be stressful but no more than managing a busy ward and physio team! I have a young family so spending time with them is my biggest joy but to relax I enjoy reading, Pilates and yoga. I am also a huge rugby fan so I try to watch games as often as I can. fl
- Hayley Tussler is an adult safeguarding adviser with CSH Surrey
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