As the legal frameworks, national policy and evidence change, the Clinic reviews its safeguarding provision to ensure it is relevant and in line with our national and local authority agencies.
The Clinic ensures that the duties and principles of safeguarding children and adults are applied diligently and consistently using a holistic approach. We respect the need for patient autonomy and support the empowerment of patients’ right to make individual decisions.
The Clinic works closely with agencies to deliver its safeguarding responsibilities collectively. This partnership working allows the Clinic to help and support those needing safeguarding support.
The Clinic safeguarding team work with colleagues in both health and local authorities collaboratively, to ensure those at risk and their families are supported consistently in and out of hospital.
There are multiple legislative acts that regulate how The London Clinic enacts its safeguarding responsibilities for children and adults. Those over 18 with the capacity to do so, have the right to make their own decisions, even if these are unwise. If an adult makes unwise decisions that continually put them at risk of exploitation or maltreatment, then further investigation may be needed.
Decision making power for children lies with those who have parental responsibility. If children or those responsible for them reject measures that could save them from significant harm, their wishes can be overridden. If a child is capable of making a reasonable assessment of the treatment proposed, the consent, if given, can described as true consent in accordance with the Gillick principles. Parents and carers can still be involved unless the Fraser guidelines apply.
The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) empowers children aged 16 and 17 to make their own decisions unless it is established they do not have the capacity to do this. The Mental Health Act (MHA) covers people of any age.
The London Clinic’s duties
The London Clinic Board are fully committed to providing the highest standards of safeguarding practice. The London Clinic believes that everyone has a right to:
- Live free from violence, fear and abuse
- Be protected from harm and exploitation
- Be independent - which may involve some risk
- Say 'No' to anything they don't fully understand.
The London Clinic considers that safeguarding is the responsibility of all staff, both clinical and non-clinical. The Clinic will discharge its safeguarding duties and provide assurance of this to the CQC. All staff have a duty of care to share concerns about a patient or staff welfare if they believe they are suffering, or likely to suffer harm.
The Clinic is represented on the Westminster Safeguarding Adults Executive Boards by the Director of Nursing/Matron with delegated responsibility to the Head of Nursing. Representation is also made at the Best Practice group of the board.
The Clinic works in partnership with local agencies to facilitate effective information sharing. Staff at the Clinic have access to the safeguarding lead for advice and support and information can be shared if it is done to protect children or adults at risk. The Clinic will participate fully in all Section 42 enquires and Serious Case Reviews.
All staff commencing employment at the Clinic are screened using the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The Clinic Board of Directors complete the Fit and Proper Persons Test before commencing employment. The Clinic acts in an open an honest way to patients, relatives and staff in terms of care provision to ensure good safeguarding practice. This includes following duty of Candour in relation to any unexpected or unintended incidents that may occur and which may cause harm.
The London Clinic's roles and responsibilities
The London Clinic is registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). All Clinic staff have a responsibility to safeguard children and adults at risk of abuse or neglect.
The Clinic safeguarding executive lead is the Director of Nursing/Matron, supported by the Head of Nursing and Safeguarding operational leads. Consent for care and treatment is obtained in line with legislation and guidance.
The Clinic has safeguarding accountability and assurance arrangements in place and internal scrutiny is managed by a safeguarding committee. Evidence of compliance is also provided to the Adult Safeguarding Boards.
All Clinic staff are trained in line with their role in:
- Safeguarding adults
- Safeguarding children
- Domestic abuse
- Mental Capacity Act
- Deprivation of Liberties.
The Clinic has arrangements in place for dealing with allegations against people who work with children or vulnerable adults. The Clinic also has a set of safeguarding policies and procedures which are regularly updated.
We have effective partnership arrangements in place to facilitate working with other agencies.
Clinic staff are aware of their personal responsibility to report any concerns and to ensure poor practice is identified and tackled.