Safeguarding and Coronavirus
While the ongoing public health crisis continues to dominate most people’s work across the system it is important to remember that The Coronavirus Act 2020 does not affect the safeguarding protections in the Care Act (2014), particularly at Section 42 of the Care Act. Safeguarding is everyone’s business, so it is important that we remain alert to possible abuse or neglect concerns and work together to prevent and reduce the risk of harm to people with care and support needs, including those directly affected by Coronavirus and those whose vulnerability to abuse and neglect may have been increased by public health measures taken to control it.

As additional resources become available we will add them to this page 

General information:

A single phone number is now available for anyone in Somerset needing Coronavirus-related support from their councils:  0300 790 6275

GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service WhatsApp.  This free to use service offers official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19).  To use the GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.

Information about avoiding scams

Information about Domestic Abuse

Other National Guidance

Guidance and resources to support charities, voluntary organisations and volunteers

The Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

Bereavement Support

During the COVID-19 outbreak we are, together, facing a loss of life, often under very difficult circumstances. Two important new resources are now available to help people through these distressing times.

  1. A new Bereavement and Coronavirus Guide has been produced to help with practical information such as how to register a death, through to planning a funeral and information on bereavement and grief. There is also a section on further advice and support.  If a person who has bereaved would like a paper copy of the guide, please telephone 0300 790 6275 and ask for the bereavement booklet to be sent to them and give their name and address
  2. Together with the booklet, Somerset has developed additional bereavement support services that have a quick and easy referral process.  If anyone would like to talk to someone about their loss then please contact the Marie Curie Helpline  0800 3047 412 Monday – Saturday 09.00-17.00. They are there to help and would welcome your call.  The service also has qualified bereavement support workers available for more in-depth support if needed. Professional referrals can be taken with the person’s permission.

Two posters have also been produced that can be downloaded below:

Information that is available for adults who may find the information provided through other channels inaccessible:

keepsafe have developed a range of posters for people with learning disabilities.  These include:

    • Keep safe from 4th July
    • New rules about wearing face masks on public transport
    • Are you exempt from wearing a face covering? (including card to use when using public transport)
    • Support bubbles
    • New rules from 1st June 2020
    • Getting tested
    • Rules for May to June
    • Coronavirus…how to stay safe
    • Coronavirus…and health issues
    • Coronavirus…what if you get ill?
    • Coronavirus…staying at home
    • Coronavirus…you must stay at home
    • Coronavirus…please don’t spread it
    • Coronavirus…shielding
    • Coronavirus…being on your own

Other resources:  

The Adult Safeguarding Risk Decision Making Tool (formerly Adult Safeguarding Risk Assessment Tool) is designed to assist practitioners in considering:

  • the vulnerability of the adult at risk and the seriousness of the abuse that is occurring; and
  • the impact of the abuse and the risk of it recurring.

It is not designed to determine further actions, but rather to provide guidance and key considerations for practitioners who are assessing and managing risk. Practitioners should always seek advice from agency Safeguarding Leads when unsure what action should be taken in relation to concerns they may have. Safeguarding procedures should be used to not only react to significant harm occurring, but also to prevent it from occurring where there are clear indicators of vulnerability and risk.  Careful assessment of past information may indicate that although significant harm has not occurred on this occasion, it is highly likely to in the future.  Therefore, a multi-agency response following safeguarding procedures is the best course of action.

This service monitoring checklist sets out examples of potential indicators for concern within provider settings. The areas of care listed may highlight that care is neglectful and could be harmful to residents.

Guidance for professionals on responding to people with complex needs or circumstances who do not require an adult safeguarding enquiry under Section 42 the Care Act (2014), or where it has been determined that a non-statutory enquiry is not required.

The following appendices have been published separately to the main document:

A framework and process for responding to allegations and concerns against people working with adults with care and support needs

This guidance outlines what county lines (and associated criminal exploitation) is, signs to look for in potential victims, and what to do about it.

This document explains the need to share information to support the functions of the Safeguarding Adults Board in Somerset and includes a useful flow chart of when and how to share information

The checklist below lists the type of information to think about at the initial stage of responding to a safeguarding concern: