QNIS is a charity promoting excellence in community nursing to improve the health and wellbeing of people and communities across Scotland.
We believe all children and adults at risk have a right to protection and freedom from abuse or exploitation, regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage or racial culture, religious belief, sexual orientation, economic status or otherwise.
While our staff are not employed to work in regulated services and do not provide direct care, we provide grant funding for people who work directly with children and/or adults at risk, and we co-ordinate a group of Volunteer Visitors who provide fellowship to retired Queen’s Nurses.
This policy has been drawn up on the basis of legislation, policy and guidance in Scotland including guidance published by the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).
WHO THIS POLICY APPLIES TO
This policy applies to anyone working on behalf of QNIS including staff, trustees, and volunteers. It also applies to all our grant holders; our terms and conditions of grant make it clear that, by signing a grant agreement, grant holders agree to the grant holder requirements of this policy.
MEANING OF TERMS USED IN THIS POLICY
Abuse: can include physical, sexual or emotional harm, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment, radicalisation or exploitation. Abuse can take place in person or online, by any person (which could include by other children or adults at risk or by people in positions of trust).
Children and adults at risk: children and young people (meaning people under the age of 18 years) and adults who may be vulnerable due to, for example, their age, mental health, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, economic status or who may be unable to protect themselves against abuse.
Safeguarding: proactive steps taken to prevent abuse against children and adults at risk, including the action the organisation takes to promote the welfare of people including children and adults at risk to protect them from harm.
Protecting: responding to concerns and/or disclosures that a child or adult at risk may be experiencing or be at risk of abuse.
Grant holders: any organisation or group that receives grant monies from QNIS.
HOW WE SEEK TO SAFEGUARD AND PROTECT CHILDREN AND ADULTS AT RISK
- Our Deputy Director (Nursing), Dr Sarah Doyle, is the nominated lead for safeguarding in QNIS. Sarah is responsible for reviewing and updating our safeguarding policies and procedures and is able to respond to concerns and disclosures. Sarah will inform Clare Cable (Chief Executive and Nurse Director), and the lead trustee for safeguarding, of any concerns shared or disclosures made.
- David Williams is our lead trustee for safeguarding. David Williams works together with Council, the Chief Executive and Nurse Director and the Deputy Director (Nursing) to ensure QNIS fulfils its duties in relation to safeguarding. Any concerns or disclosures relating to the Chief Executive and Nurse Director or trustees will be raised with QNIS Chair.
- We ensure people who work on behalf of QNIS have access to effective management, support and relevant training so that they know about and are confident in following our policies, procedures and code of conduct.
- We create and maintain an anti-bullying environment, and we ensure we have effective bullying, complaints and whistleblowing measures in place.
- We build a safeguarding culture where people working on behalf of QNIS treat each other with respect and are comfortable about sharing concerns.
- We require all grant holders to have their own policy and procedures for safeguarding and protecting children and adults at risk, proportionate and relevant to their organisation’s activities and agreed by their trustees or governing body, NHS board or local authority.
- Our policy and procedures are publicly available to reassure and enable people working on behalf of QNIS, children and adults at risk, and grant holders, to share concerns and provide constructive feedback.
- We act promptly and work closely with all relevant agencies, and our funding partners, when concerns are shared or disclosures are made to us.
- Where we consider a concern or disclosure to be a notifiable event, we report to OSCR the facts of the case and the actions being taken.
Nominated lead for safeguarding: Dr Sarah Doyle email@example.com
Trustee lead for safeguarding: David Williams
Chief Executive Nurse Director (CEND): Prof Clare Cable firstname.lastname@example.org
Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation SC005751
These procedures outline the steps to be taken when responding to a concern that someone is or might be at risk of harm, and should be read in conjunction with QNIS safeguarding policy. Section 1 details the steps for everyone; Section 2 details the organisational response.
- Sharing your concerns
You may be concerned that someone is at risk of harm because of something you have seen or heard, information you have been told by others, or because someone has confided in you about things that are happening or have happened to them.
You should not keep these concerns to yourself. You must contact the nominated safeguarding lead (Dr Sarah Doyle) as soon as possible. If you think the safeguarding lead is implicated or has a conflict of interest, then contact the Chief Executive and Nurse Director (Prof Clare Cable).
If you are concerned about harm being caused to someone, please follow the guidance below.
- Remember it is not your responsibility to prove or decide whether someone has been harmed. It is, however, your responsibility to share your concerns.
- If someone is in immediate danger or a serious crime is in progress call the police 999.
- If someone needs immediate medical attention call an ambulance 999.
- Do not contact the child or adult you are concerned about if the person thought to be causing the harm is likely to find out.
- Do not confront the person thought to be causing the harm.
- Contact the nominated safeguarding lead as soon as possible and explain that you have safeguarding concerns you need to share.
- Responding to a direct disclosure
If someone indicates they are being harmed, at risk of being harmed, or if information is received which gives rise to concern, the person receiving the information should:
- Take it seriously
- Stay calm
- Listen carefully, allowing the person to speak at their own pace
- Be sensitive
- Keep questions to a minimum, asking questions only if you need to clarify what the person is telling you
- Reassure the person that they have done the right thing in telling you
- Ask them what they would like to happen next
- Explain you will have to share the information with your nominated safeguarding lead. Ask for their consent to share the information they have given you, but remember if someone is at risk of harm you do not always need their consent to share your concerns
- Make an arrangement as to how you and/or the nominated safeguarding lead can contact them safely
- Act swiftly to share your concerns with the nominated safeguarding lead
- Record in writing what was said in the person’s own words, as soon as possible
It is important not to:
- Dismiss or ignore the concern
- Make negative comments about the alleged perpetrator
- Make assumptions, speculate, or jump to your own conclusions
- Promise to keep the information secret
- Confront the person thought to be causing harm
- Take sole responsibility
- Tell people who do not need to be involved
2.1 Nominated safeguarding lead response to concerns or disclosures
The nominated safeguarding lead, where appropriate and in conjunction with colleagues as required, will take the following actions:
- Ensure any actions necessary to safeguard anyone at immediate risk of harm have been taken
- Inform, reassure and advise the person making the report. Explain what will happen next. Reinforce the need for confidentiality.
- Consider what is known about the situation, what the possible risks are, and what is known about the views of the person thought to be at risk of harm.
- Decide whether you need to contact the person making the report and/or the person thought to be at risk, to get more information, determine their wishes or explain what actions you need to take. Only make contact if you have a known safe way of contacting them.
- Where necessary share essential information and work together with the relevant authorities to enable appropriate further protective action to be taken. Police, local authority safeguarding and protection teams, and NHS protection advisors can all be contacted for advice and to share essential information.
- Where the risk of harm is thought to be caused by a person working on behalf of QNIS, use the relevant organisational procedures e.g. breach of code of conduct, breach of contract, disciplinary or grievance procedures to prevent further harm and to protect the person/people thought to be at risk.
- Where required, work with CEND, Council and Chair of QNIS to decide any necessary reporting to OSCR and/or funding partners.
2.2 Additional organisational safeguards for specific risk areas
We provide grant funding for people who work directly with children and/or adults at risk, and we co-ordinate a group of Volunteer Visitors who provide fellowship to retired Queen’s Nurses. In addition to the procedures above, the following arrangements are in place:
- Advisory groups, chaired by a trustee, provide oversight and guidance for each of these elements of work and minutes are regularly shared and approved by Council.
- The advisory groups, with CEND, ensure that the risks associated with these elements of work are identified, managed and reviewed.
- The Retired Queen’s Nurse Welfare Advisory group meets twice a year, which includes all Volunteer Visitors. This group has oversight of implementing and reviewing safeguarding policies and systems for the Volunteer Visitors. The Business Support Manager has responsibility to support and coordinate the visitors. The Business Support Manager is responsible for updating and distributing a ‘Volunteer Visitor Handbook’, which is reviewed annually.
- There is no open recruitment for Volunteer Visitors. Instead, Volunteer Visitors are current or former nurses, who are nominated by a trusted current or former colleague, or a person known to QNIS.
- The handbook is issued to all new QNIS Volunteer Visitors who receive comprehensive induction. They are also directed to QNIS Policies (e.g. on Lone Working and Driving), which ensure that visits are undertaken safely.
- The handbook outlines the responsibilities of Volunteer Visitors in relation to data protection, privacy and record keeping, and the importance of reporting any incidents or near misses to the Business Support Manager as soon as possible.