Headlines: November 6th, 2008

High quality care services can reduce levels of neglect or abuse, according to a new study from the Commission for Social Care Inspection. It found that councils which performed well on safeguarding generally had better arrangements for assisting people who had experienced abuse and better systems for helping to prevent it happening in the first place.

The report, “Safeguarding adults: A study of the effectiveness of arrangements to safeguard adults from abuse”, looks at the measures in place in England to help prevent abuse and to support victims. It found the quality of support varied greatly. Dame Denise Platt, who chairs CSCI, said everyone receiving care had the right to be safeguarded and should have a range of options to support them.

“Our report finds that not all social care organisations have made enough progress in developing effective safeguarding arrangements. But there are some excellent examples of good practice, and these need to be spread more widely,” she added.

In addition to the varied quality of support the study found more needed to be done to ensure that those people who directed their own support could benefit from individually tailored safeguards and that everyone using care services should have options to keep them safe tailored to their individual needs. It also revealed that work on prevention also varies within and across council areas and within care services. It recommends that local authorities should design safeguarding into services through service contracts.

The report said councils rated as good by CSCI were also those that had more care services in their area with effective safeguarding arrangements in place. It says that if a council is performing well at helping to keep people safe, a greater number of regulated services in their area are also performing well. The study also found care services that received a good or excellent quality rating from CSCI were more likely to have effective safeguarding arrangements in place.