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10.3a Explain what to do if abuse of an adult is suspected; including how to raise concerns within local whistleblowing policy procedures

It is your duty to respond to suspicions of abuse in a formal way that is in line with your workplace’s safeguarding policies and procedures. You should refer to your employer’s policies or procedures or speak to your manager to make sure you know what to do when dealing with the possibility of abuse.

When abuse or neglect has taken place, it must be dealt with quickly and efficiently. You must share information about the safety and welfare of the individual with your manager, and take actions to protect the safety and well-being of the individual. You may have to contact the police or medical services and a safeguarding investigation must be started immediately.

If management has failed to deal with the issue, then it is up to you to take the matter further. If you find that working with multiple agencies acts as a barrier, you may have to report the incident to the next level of management, the individual’s advocate, the Care Quality Commission or the police. In some cases you may also have to use whistleblowing.

Whistleblowing is the reporting of unsafe or illegal practices in the workplace. Often your workplace’s policies and agreed ways of working will tell you how to raise your concerns. You have a responsibility to report anything that you think is not right or illegal. Usually you should speak to your manager first, however you can instead speak to the police or someone from the Care Quality Commission if your manager’s work is what you’re concerned about.

The concerns you raise with the Care Quality Commission will be anonymous and dealt with in confidence. The Care Quality Commission have a guide to whistleblowing which you can find here. You should familiarise yourself with the whistleblowing policies of your workplace so you can prevent any future abuse and successfully safeguard the individuals in your care.