Safety is a priority for everyone and leaders embed a culture of openness and collaboration. People are always safe and protected from bullying, harassment, avoidable harm, neglect, abuse and discrimination. Their liberty is protected where this is in their best interests and in line with legislation.
Where people raise concerns about safety and ideas to improve, the primary response is to learn and improve continuously. There is strong awareness of the areas with the greatest safety risks. Solutions to risks are developed collaboratively. Services are planned and organised with people and communities in a way that improves their safety across their care journeys. People are supported to make choices that balance risks of harm with positive choices about their lives. Leaders ensure there are enough skilled people to deliver safe care that promotes choice, control and individual wellbeing.
- We make it everyone's business to ensure a safe environment but encourage ‘live’ reporting of issues including team members, the people we support, family friends, other professionals etc.
- We can evidence that people live in safe environments and are protected from harm (e.g., maintenance plan etc.).
- We conduct regular fire safety practices by trained and competent staff at all residential and/or office environments.
- We check the safety of all fire equipment and effectively train staff to identify and respond to associated risks.
- All equipment is stored securely.
- Our facilities, equipment and technology are well-maintained, including regular cleaning, safety checks and replacements. We ensure maintenance certificates are effectively filed for future reference.
- Wherever and whenever needed, we will use external specialists to check the safely of our environment and equipment.
- We act swiftly to repair any equipment that requires maintenance or has broken down with temporary measures in place.
- We ensure our emergency plans provide sufficient information to protect people (e.g., fire safety, gas leaks, or equipment breaking down).
- We use an effective safety management system for risks and hazards, as well as quality assurance processes to identify and improve safety.
- Where relevant to our service, we conduct regular checks of kitchen equipment and utensils to ensure they’re safe to use (e.g., taking fridge temperature checks).
- Where relevant to our service, we undertake environmental risk assessments of people’s own homes and advise about safety considerations, referrals to the fire service, pest control etc.
- Where we have reviewed and actioned any issues related to our environment and/or equipment, these are documented in our improvement plan.
- Our contingency plans include focus and mitigations related to environmental issues including flooding, bad weather, heatwave, and impact of loss of premises.
- We feedback environmental incidents to team members, people we support and families.
- We discuss planned work for our own care setting with everyone concerned to ensure safe planning and implementation of any work.
- Our contingency plans align closely with wider infection prevention and control measures and wider outbreak management.
- We are proactive in signing up for heatwave and cold weather planning alerts.
- Where environment or equipment risks are outside of our direct control, we ensure that these are escalated to those responsible.
- We ensure our environment and premises are designed in a way that minimises risks to people, visitors, and staff (e.g., safe storage of wheelchairs, handrails, bed rails, etc.).
- Where relevant to our service, we ensure our environment protects people from psychological harm, responding to sensory needs and other issues that might impact a person’s ability to feel safe.
- We have safety systems in place which protect but do not restrict people.
- We’re proactive in sourcing and promoting assistive living technologies and/or adaptive equipment to help people maintain or develop their independence. Safety is a key part of our procurement process.
- We risk assess and ensure that our staff are fully supported to be as safe as possible when working alone (e.g., in parts of the residential home, whilst working in the community, or home working).
- Where any serious issues occur, we will report as appropriate to RIDDOR, CQC and commissioners as relevant. Investigations and follow-up actions will be responded to promptly and transparently.
- We discuss any incidents / near misses at regular meetings across the service.