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Thursday, 18 May 2006

New Online Guide For Care Providers To Tackle Abuse

Written by The Editorial Team

{mosimage}The Government is to help care providers stamp out abuse by workers by issuing an online step by step guide.

Speaking at the launch of the guide, Care Services Minister, Ivan Lewis, underlined social care providers' statutory obligation to report incidents of abuse to the authorities.

He said: "Abuse of vulnerable adults in any form is intolerable. We are determined to stamp it out. This guidance will help care providers uncover abusers and help us ban them from the workplace. It is the latest in a series of measures we have introduced to help keep vulnerable adults safe."

The Minister also confirmed that he was launching a new section of the Department of Health website devoted to 'Dignity in Care'. The new webpages will provide visitors with an opportunity to send their views to Ivan Lewis on how older people are treated. This information will be gathered and used to inform future policy work undertaken by the Minister.

He continued: "Your comments are valuable and will help us discover where we need to focus our efforts next if we really want to make a difference and improve dignity in care for older people."

New online guidance, produced with the help of the Social Care Institute of Excellence, will help providers refer regulated care workers who have harmed a vulnerable adult or placed them at risk of harm to the Protection of Vulnerable Adults scheme and will point out when regulators and adult protection co-ordinators should be involved. The guidance covers each stage of the referral process - from defining abuse and recognising harm, to providing evidence to support a referral.
It builds on the experiences of those who have already made referrals to the list and works to clarify the procedure and includes links to further information, examples of good practice and key questions employers need to consider.

Speaking about the guide, SCIE's Principal Adviser David Ellis said: "Making a referral to the POVA list is a sensitive and challenging procedure. Inaccurate or misguided referrals can add to the confusion and lead to increased distress for all involved. This guide makes the process clear and pre-empts the difficulties some employers may have. Following the guidance will lead to more effective referrals which will, in turn, lead to better protection for vulnerable people."

SCIE developed the practice guide at the request of the Department of Health and in consultation with the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI), the Care Standards Inspectorate for Wales (CSIW), the General Social Care Council (GSCC) and the Department for Education and Skills (DfES).

To access the guide, visit SCIE's website at www.scie.org.uk