SCIE media statement

Protecting adults at risk - Commissioning for effective safeguarding in care homes – new guides

6 February 2012

There’s new support for NHS and local authority commissioners who can make a big difference to the lives of people who live in residential and nursing care homes. Those commissioners have a responsibility to safeguard people who use the services that they commission. The two new guides from the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) are an invaluable resource for care home providers.

The first guide shows how safeguarding in care homes should be central to the commissioning process. The guide reflects the Government’s six guiding principles on safeguarding. These principles seek to increase the protection for those most at risk in society:

The second guide aims to identify issues that commonly lead to safeguarding referrals from care homes. Prevention checklists are included; these help both commissioners and providers to work towards a reduction in abuse neglect and harm through the promotion of good safeguarding practice within good quality services.

SCIE's Director of Adult Services, David Walden, says:

Commissioners play a central role in protecting adults at risk. Of course the care home management are responsible for safeguarding on a day-to-day basis, but commissioners can make a difference by promoting safeguarding and good quality care home provision. Our two guides can help commissioners to safeguard adults at risk.

Example – proportionate responses

This section of Guide 45 says that it is important that the response to a safeguarding alert is in proportion to the alleged incident. For example, an allegation that one resident has stolen £5 from another would not warrant the same level of response as an allegation of physical assault. The person who is at risk of, or experiencing abuse, should be at the centre of the decision-making process in safeguarding procedures. They should understand the reasons for decisions they do not agree with. If a person lacks the capacity to make decisions about their safety, their family or close friends should be included in decisions about their best interests.

Notes to editors

Media contact

Steve Palmer | Press and Public Affairs Manager | Tel: 020 7766 7419 | Mob: 07739 458 192 | Email: