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This toolkit is about the doctor's role in safeguarding adults who may be at risk of abuse or neglect. Designed principally for doctors working in England, it is also useful for any professional working in health, across the devolved nations.
The priority in safeguarding is actively to promote the independence and wellbeing of individuals.
People with care and support needs are not always at risk of abuse or neglect.
Safeguarding adults is a part of good medical care, linked to both patient safety and overall wellbeing.
There are six safeguarding principles enshrined in the Care Act, and reflected throughout this toolkit.
Abuse and neglect can take many forms and the distinction between them is not always clear.
Capacity is a vital concept in relation to the care and treatment of adults who may be at risk.
Decision-making in relation to adults who lack capacity is governed in England and Wales by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA).
There will be occasions where adults lacking capacity, need to be cared for in a manner that amounts to a 'deprivation of liberty'.
Health professionals owe the same duty of confidentiality to all their patients regardless of age, vulnerability or the presence of disability.
Good communication is a basic medical skill, and many of these points are common to all discussions between doctors and patients.
The Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 places a duty on health authorities to have 'due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism'.
Doctors who are likely to work with adults at risk of abuse should familiarise themselves with both local procedures.
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