Safeguarding is the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children or adults and to protect them from harm. It is protecting a person’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.
What is safeguarding?
It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the person’s wellbeing is promoted.
Thames Hospice defines abuse as a single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to a vulnerable person. Abuse can take many forms and can be perpetrated anywhere by anyone. It can be accidental, as the result of lack of knowledge or understanding, or done with intent to harm. Whatever the circumstances or reason, it is against the law. The term safeguarding means a range of activities aimed at upholding every individual’s fundamental right to be safe from such harm.
Safeguarding is everybody’s business
We all share responsibility both corporately and individually to ensure that every person in society is treated with dignity and respect and protected from others who may abuse them. All employees and volunteers of Thames Hospice who come into contact with patients in the course of their work have a duty of care to safeguard and promote their welfare and to work to prevent, detect and report neglect and abuse.
Who is at risk?
Someone at risk is someone who:
Has needs for care and support
Is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect
As a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect
Safeguarding children means:
Protecting children from abuse and maltreatment
Preventing harm to children’s health or development
Ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care
Taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes
Abuse can occur anywhere at any time and can be carried out by anyone. It can be a single act, repeated acts over a period of time or due to a failure to act (neglect). It can happen to one person or several people at the same time.
If you are concerned
If you are concerned about someone who is a patient of Thames Hospice or a family member of a patient known to the Hospice, you can discuss your concerns with Lisa Church, our Director of Nursing and Family Services, and the Thames Hospice Registered Manager.
Thames Hospice believes every person has the right to live a life free from abuse and to be treated with dignity and respect.
We recognise that safeguarding vulnerable children or adults is everybody’s business, and our staff have a responsibility to alert our Safeguarding Team to any concerns about abuse or suspected abuse. All disclosures will be recorded and discussed immediately by our Safeguarding Team. We will listen carefully, support and take any information given to us seriously, working to stop the abuse and protect the individual from further harm.
We ensure our commitment to our safeguarding responsibility by undertaking a range of measures:
We ensure that statutory requirements around Disclosure and Barring Service checks are undertaken for all patient-facing staff and volunteers
Child and adult safeguarding policies and systems are up-to-date and robust to ensure that accurate records with regard to actions and decisions are made promptly
We have a safeguarding panel that meets regularly. Representatives from across Thames Hospice attend the safeguarding panel
Safeguarding training is in place with systems to monitor compliance. Supplementary training is provided and reflective processes are in place to learn from events
We have identified roles and responsibilities for named professionals, our Safeguarding Leads, and they have a key role in promoting good professional practice within the Hospice and provide advice and expertise for fellow professionals, staff and volunteers
Safeguarding Leads wear badges identifying themselves as Safeguarding Leads
Our Trustees receive regular reports on safeguarding arrangements and evidence of best practice within the Hospice and supporting a culture that enables safeguarding issues and promotion of people’s welfare to be addressed
We rely on the generosity of our amazing community, whose support enables us to provide the best possible end-of-life care for local people. It costs £12 million every year to keep our Hospice running - through charitable support we need to raise over 50% of the funds required annually to provide our services free of charge, 365 days a year, to the people who need us most.
We’ve never needed you, our wonderful supporters, more than we need you today. Please donate what you can to help keep hospice care available for those in desperate need.