Safeguarding and quality in commissioning care homes


Key points for commissioners

Commissioners work with safeguarding leads to ensure:

  • there is clarity about safeguarding responsibilities with all partners
  • roles and responsibilities for all agencies for responding to alerts are clearly set out in local multi-agency safeguarding procedures
  • all local partners participate in the local Adult Safeguarding Board
  • coordination of intelligence from all partners including the CQC, police and health professionals on commissioned services for quality and risk assessment.

Commissioners ask care homes to demonstrate:

  • that they are compliant with contracts and CQC quality standards
  • that they provide strong leadership and effective staff supervision
  • that staff are well trained and competent
  • that staff understand safeguarding procedures and know what action to take in the event of a safeguarding alert
  • that staff understand their responsibility to raise concerns about poor practice, abuse, neglect and harm.

It is often said that adult safeguarding is everybody’s business and that increased awareness will reduce the risk to those vulnerable to abuse. The Human Rights Act (1998) places a duty on public agencies to intervene proportionately to protect the rights of citizens (ADASS, 2005). Everyone from the commissioner to the front line worker has a responsibility for ensuring service quality and safety. However, it is important that lines of accountability are clear.

Serious Case Reviews

In the event of a death or serious harm, a serious case review should be held to ensure retrospective learning, accountability and transparency by examining what went wrong and addressing identified systems failures. Commissioners and providers must participate in case reviews concerning a death or significant harm in residential care.