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Risk enablement plays a natural part in self-directed care and support. It empowers the individual to take control over their care, doing what they can to prevent themselves from being harmed or injured and agreeing to the care and support that they need. For example, if an individual wants to go to the bathroom on their own but has mobility problems and is also feeling weak due to being unwell, risk enablement would be to ensure that they have the mobility equipment that they need and that they have a way of calling for help if they get into difficulty. Being in control increases their self-confidence. As confidence grows they are more likely to be open about reporting anything they are unhappy about or any abuse.  As a result, the risk of abuse happening is reduced.

An organisation that is active and positive about safeguarding adults will:

  • Be open and clear about how they look out for each individual’s well-being
  • Be open and clear about how they put into practice the CQC Fundamental Standards and Code of Conduct for Healthcare Support Workers and Adult Social Care Workers in England
  • Be visible by showing how workers should look out for abuse by publicising signs and indicators on posters or leaflets
  • Be responsible for providing learning and development for workers on safeguarding adults and treat all allegations of abuse or harm seriously and promote the values of person-centred care.

The focus on prevention and openness helps to reduce the likelihood of abuse happening and develops a culture that encourages safeguarding concerns to come to light and be addressed so that ways of working can be continually improved.

The Care Act 2014 makes it a requirement for local authorities to create multi-agency Safeguarding Adults Boards from April 2015. These boards set out the ways in which safeguarding procedures are put into practice in your local area. They promote information sharing between workers and organisations to make sure that care meets all of the needs of the individual. If a worker has concerns they must share these with other workers to build up a full picture of the individual’s situation. You should find out from your manager what your local arrangements are and how they link to your workplace agreed with ways of working.

Managers make decisions by following what is agreed locally and for their workplace as the threshold, or the point at which something becomes a safeguarding issue. For example, a one-off situation where a team is short of a worker on shift, despite efforts to find a replacement, may not be seen as a safeguarding issue in that particular workplace. In another situation where individuals have complex and multiple needs, or in the community, this might be a high risk to health and well-being and a safeguarding concern.