NICE consultation document on Safeguarding Adults in Care Homes

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (“NICE”) has been consulting on its ‘Safeguarding Adults in Care Homes’ guideline.

The NICE guideline covers keeping adults in care homes safe from abuse and neglect. It includes potential indicators of abuse and neglect (by individuals and by organisations) and sets out the safeguarding process from identifying a concern through to conducting a safeguarding enquiry.

The guideline provides recommendations on policy, training and care home culture to help providers improve staff awareness of safeguarding and ensure that staff are willing and able to report concerns when needed. The guideline is intended to ensure that staff can raise safeguarding issues easily, promptly and confidently to help to make sure that people living in care homes are safe from abuse and neglect. A copy of the draft guideline can be accessed here.

The consultation period on the guideline ran from 3 September 2020 and closes on 1 October 2020. As part of its consultation process, NICE asked to hear stakeholder views on the following questions:

  1. Which areas will have the biggest impact on practice and can be challenging to implement?
  2. Would implementation of any of the draft recommendations have significant cost implications?
  3. What would help users overcome any challenges?
  4. The recommendations in this guideline were developed before the coronavirus pandemic. Please tell us if there are any particular issues relating to COVID-19 that we should take into account when finalising the guideline for publication.
  5. We would particularly welcome your comments on the visual summaries developed alongside this guideline on individual and organisations indicators of abuse and neglect.

When speaking about the guideline, Professor Martin Green OBE and Chief Executive of Care England said that, “Care England welcomes this guidance, but has taken the opportunity to suggest some areas that need further emphasis. The relationship between empowering the ethos of the Human Rights Act and the Mental Capacity Act needs to be explored and is especially pertinent given the challenges around guidance concerning visiting care homes during the pandemic… We also urge NICE to delve into the interrelationship between the adult safeguarding teams and the adult social care commissioning practice, to ensure providers have a consistent framework to work within.”

Consultation on the draft guidance finishes on 1 October 2020 and NICE is expected to publish the guidance on 10 February 2021.