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Safeguarding guidance

Health care staff from doctors to hospital porters will have three years to meet new professional standards as outlined in Adult Safeguarding: Roles and Competencies for Health Care Staff. The RCN (Royal College of Nursing), asked by NHS England, led on the development of the guidance on behalf of over 30 Royal Colleges.

It aims to counter emerging and common forms of abuse, such as “cuckooing”, where unscrupulous people move in and take over someone’s home, possessions and finances, for example for inheritance fraud; and people trafficking and modern slavery. The document includes domestic abuse and internet abuse.

Dawne Garrett, RCN Professional Lead for Older People and Dementia Care and the guidance’s lead author, said: “Following a plethora of abuse scandals involving adults at risk, health care 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.”

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For the 44-page document visit It’s aimed at receptionists and admin staff, caterers, domestic and ambulance staff, and paramedics, besides nurses and midwives, dentists and staff behind the counter at pharmacies. The training, with are fresher every three years, should allow healthcare staff to understand what constitutes harm, abuse and neglect and to identify any signs of harm, abuse or neglect.

As for countering terrorism, the document says that those trained, such as GP practice managers and nurses, and ambulance staff, should ‘be aware of the risk factors for radicalisation and will know who to contact regarding preventive action and supporting those persons who may be at risk of, or are being drawn into, terrorist related activity’. As the document states, the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 introduced a duty on the NHS in England, Wales and Scotland (among others): ‘in the exercise of their functions they must have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. Healthcare staff will meet, and treat people who may be drawn into terrorism. The health sector needs to ensure that health workers are able to identify early signs of an individual being drawn into radicalisation in line with Prevent framework.’

How many hours the training should take over three years depends on occupation.


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