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Safeguarding

What is safeguarding?

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. 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 a 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 Jacquie Batchford, our Director of Patient and Family Services, and the Thames Hospice Registered Manager.

Call 01753 848956 email jacquie.batchford@thameshospice.org.uk

Thames Hospice’s commitment to safeguarding

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 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
  • 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 take our responsibility seriously and embrace the Essential Standards of Quality and Safety from the Care Quality Commission, and in doing so are committed to working in partnership with local agencies and authorities to ensure those who visit us or are admitted into our care are protected from harm.

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