‘I have a safeguarding concern - how should I report this?’

Clare Aldridge CSP professional adviser answers your questions here...

Clare Aldridge
Clare Aldridge is a CSP professional adviser

Raising safeguarding concerns is everyone’s responsibility.

Reporting safeguarding concerns can seem daunting but as a registrant, a student or support worker you have a duty to promptly and appropriately report concerns if you have an honestly held belief that a person (adult or child), is suffering, or is at risk of harm.

Members working in organisations must escalate their concerns via the organisational safeguarding policies and procedures. This may include informing the local authority safeguarding team or the police depending on the urgency of the circumstances.  Your line manager should guide you through this.

For members working outside of an organisation: every local authority has a local safeguarding lead and you should know who this is and how to raise concerns directly to them. Developing a safeguarding strategy will support you to act promptly and appropriately when you identify a concern. Ensure you have:

  • Adequate patient information so you can effectively escalate concerns and fulfil your duty to share safeguarding information appropriately with other agencies and professionals involved in safeguarding people, for example taking the patient’s address and details of the GP and other health professionals involved in patient care.
  • Clearly documented concerns and actions taken within patient records.
  • Consideration for more at-risk populations, such as children and vulnerable adults, within your strategy. 

Wherever possible you should involve patients, and as appropriate carers, in discussions about safeguarding concerns. However, there may be instances when you assess that doing so could increase the risk of harm.  In these instances, it is important to recognise that your duty of confidentiality is overridden by your duty to safeguard patients. You do not need to get permission from the patient to approach another healthcare professional directly involved in their care or to report concerns to their local authority safeguarding team. 

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