9. Care Act 2014
The Care Act 2014 came into effect on 1st April 2015 and has since been revised. The Act replaced many previous laws about the whole of health and social care and put adult safeguarding on a statutory footing.
- Care and Support Statutory guidance – Revised March 2016
- Local Government Association website (LGA) – details of all the changes in a useful table available now.
The Care Act 2014 sets out a clear legal framework for how local authorities and other parts of the system should protect adults at risk of abuse or neglect.
Local authorities have new safeguarding duties. They must:
- lead a multi-agency local adult safeguarding system that seeks to prevent abuse and neglect and stop it quickly when it happens
- make enquiries, or request others to make them, when they think an adult with care and support needs may be at risk of abuse or neglect and they need to find out what action may be needed
- establish Safeguarding Adults Boards, including the local authority, NHS and police, which will develop, share and implement a joint safeguarding strategy
- carry out Safeguarding Adults Reviews when someone with care and support needs dies as a result of neglect or abuse and there is a concern that the local authority or its partners could have done more to protect them
- arrange for an independent advocate to represent and support a person who is the subject of a safeguarding enquiry or review, if required.
Any relevant person or organisation must provide information to Safeguarding Adults Boards as requested.
The Six Safeguarding Principles
The following six key principles underpin all adult safeguarding work:
- Empowerment: people being supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and give informed consent
- Prevention: it is better to take action before harm occurs
- Proportionality: the least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented
- Protection: support and representation for those in greatest need
- Partnership: local solutions through services working with their communities – communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse
- Accountability: accountability and transparency in safeguarding practice