Abuse and risk OPG Policy

Assessing and responding to the level of risk.

You may want to skip this page as it is mainly a comment on roles withing the OPG. The Office of the Public Guardian take all suspicions or allegations of abuse seriously. Their staff know that the needs of the adult or child at risk are of the highest importance.  They will always try to act in the best interests of the adult or child at risk.  However, they must remember that the Mental Capacity Act 2005 supports involving people who lack mental capacity, in decisions which affect them. Where an individual has capacity and is not being pressured, threatened, frightened or bullied, that person has the right to make an unwise decision.

The OPG intend to respond quickly to all allegations that abuse has happened, or is likely to happen. OPG’s business plan shows how quickly we’ll respond.

Roles and responsibilities of OPG staff in dealing with abuse and risk.

The Public Guardian will do whatever is in his or her power to guarantee the safety and protection of adults and children at risk.  They will spread the messages in it and make sure that all staff adhere to it.

The senior leadership team is responsible for:

  • making sure that staff are fully aware of the safeguarding policy.
  • telling people that the policy is important and keeping it up to date.
  • allowing staff to attend training and letting them access guidance to help them identify abuse and the risk of abuse, and deal with it in the ways set out in abuse policy.
  • making sure staff know about, and follow, reporting systems.
  • planning performance objectives which support OPG’s safeguarding policy for staff working in safeguarding roles.

These roles also have specific responsibilities:

The head of practice and compliance is responsible for making sure OPG follows this policy and for putting the right work systems and processes in place.

The head of strategy and business development looks after relationships with external agencies and stakeholders about safeguarding issues, and with the communications team is responsible for communications with customers and stakeholders about safeguarding issues.

The head of corporate services will manage finance policies and practices including (but not limited to) providing a robust fees policy to support safeguarding matters, guidance on handling cash, and a suitable risk management policy for managers.

The head of corporate services is also responsible for managing information held by OPG, including providing guidance on how we manage safeguarding records.

All OPG staff will know where to find a copy of policy guidance. Staff will be responsible for reading and understanding this policy. If staff do not understand any part of the policy, they can ask their line manager for help.

If they work in safeguarding, staff will agree to performance objectives that contribute to OPG’s safeguarding role and will record positive contributions they make to safeguarding.

All staff, and especially those who have contact with clients, deputies and attorneys, will use this policy to help them identify and deal with abuse or risk of abuse.

Managers are responsible for making sure staff in their teams understand this policy and are skilled enough to follow it.

All staff will check the guidance on information assurance and security when managing personal information about clients, deputies and attorneys.

Court of Protection visitors (visitors) will be given a copy of the policy. (Click the link if you would like to download a copy.)

All Information Assets Owners are responsible for compliance with OPG policies

All visitors are responsible for reading and understanding this policy. If visitors don’t understand something in this policy when they read it, or when they’re dealing with a client’s case, they will ask the OPG visits manager or the compliance manager.

Visitors will use this policy, their professional training and any other information given to them, to help identify and deal appropriately with risk or abuse.

If visitors spot safeguarding concerns during a visit, they’ll take action to prevent or stop the abuse or neglect to the client, working with the OPG safeguarding and/or visits manager. Action may include making a SAAR, referring the matter to the police or raising concerns with the Care Quality Commission.

Previous Article – the statutory role of the Public Guardian.