The new document, Adult Safeguarding: Roles and Competencies for Health Care Staff, outlines the professional standards that all staff at healthcare organisations will need to meet if they are to be involved in adult safeguarding. Work on it began in January 2018.
The ground breaking new guidance is aimed to safeguard anyone over the age of 18 at risk of abuse, harm or neglect because of their need for care and/or support, who are unable to safeguard themselves.
It is designed to counter both emerging and common forms of abuse, such as "cuckooing", where unscrupulous people move in and take over someone's home, possessions and finances; people trafficking and modern slavery; domestic abuse; and internet abuse, such as being as being the subject of non-consensual online pornography.
- The new roles and competencies cover everyone from receptionists and porters to consultants and board members. There will be five levels, depending on the nature of a person's role, and a mandatory training session is recommended to begin within the first six weeks of staff starting a new role within a healthcare organisation. Depending on the level of competency required, staff will be required to refresh their skills within every three-year period.
It will cover staff working in everything from hospitals to care homes and those who help people to stay living in their own homes and is designed to stamp out all types of abuse.
Dawne Garrett, Professional Lead for Older People and Dementia at the RCN and lead author of the new guidance, said:
"Following a plethora of abuse scandals involving adults at risk, healthcare staff now have a set of competencies they need to meet to help them safeguard people from harm.
Until now, there hasn't been an equivalent. This is an ambitious document that will help keep safe many adults with differing types of care needs across the UK.