Commissioning care homes: common safeguarding challenges

SCIE Guide 46

Published: February 2012

Care homes: safeguarding challenges

This guide aims to identify the issues that  commonly lead to
safeguarding referrals from care homes. The underlying  causes are also
identified; neither are in order of prevalence. Prevention  checklists
are provided to help both commissioners and providers to work  towards a
reduction in occurrence of these issues. There are additional links  to

The evidence  underpinning this work was gathered from people using
services, carers,  commissioners, service providers, safeguarding leads
and the Independent  Safeguarding Authority (ISA). It shows clearly that
most safeguarding activity  relating to care homes occurs as a result
of poor practice and poor quality of  service rather than malicious
intent. The impact of poor practice and neglect  can be just as
significant as intentional abuse and yet it is arguably far  easier to

In all cases of  suspected neglect or harm, local multi-agency
policies and procedures should be  followed. The safety of the
individual concerned should be of paramount importance,  and all action
taken and decisions made should be clearly recorded. Local  protocols
should determine when a concern should be referred through  safeguarding
procedures and when it should be dealt with through supervision,  
training and other practice improvement mechanisms. We provide a number
of  examples of decision-making tools from across the country.

In this guide:

Published by Residential Forum

The Residential Forum is to promote the achievement of high standards of care and support for children and adults living in residential care and nursing homes, supported housing, residential schools and colleges, hospices and hostels. It contributes to improving the quality of service to the public. Members of the Forum are people of standing and experience drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as some who can speak for service users and carers.

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