10 min read

Safeguarding adults - responding to suspected abuse

Peter Ellis - Independent Nursing, Health and Social Care Consultant, Writer and Educator First published: Last updated:

Why you must do something

Nurses are obliged not only as part of their contract of employment to report all and any suspected abuse of adults, but also by their professional Code (Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2018).  Being aware of, or even suspecting abuse, is difficult for any nurse who is faced with the duty to respond to it in a timely and meaningful way.

The history of care is tarnished with examples of when people individually, or collectively, failed to respond to signs of abuse and neglect, some of which resulted in the death of victims, e.g. Winterbourne View (Flynn and Citarella, 2013), Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust (Francis, 2013).

Failing to respond to abuse, or suspected abuse, not only places the victim at continued risk, but it is also itself neglect, a form of abuse, and may, in certain circumstances, make the nurse criminally liable.

A safeguarding concern should

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Peter Ellis

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