The purpose of this Policy is:
- To provide service users, staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to safeguarding in the organisation.
- Make sure service users, staff and volunteers can take appropriate action to protect and prevent further harm and abuse.
- To protect staff, volunteers and service users from harm or maltreatment or exploitation.
This Policy applies to anyone working on behalf of The Pituitary Foundation, including senior managers and the board of trustees, paid staff, volunteers, sessional workers, agency staff and students.
Related policies and procedures
This Policy should be read alongside our organisational policies and procedures, including:
- Data protection & confidentiality.
- Code of conduct for staff and volunteers.
- Managing complaints.
- Health and Safety.
- Induction, training, supervision and support.
- IT Policy.
- Helplines Safeguarding Procedures.
- Equal Opportunities Policy.
We are committed to keeping people safe
- We recognise that some of our service users may be particularly vulnerable. In our work with children / young people / adults who may be at risk due to age, illness or disability, we will endeavour at all times to provide services and activities which are safe for children, young people or adults at risk to participate in.
- Everyone, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, or sexual orientation has a right to equal protection from all types of harm or abuse.
- We aim to protect our service users, staff and volunteers from harm or maltreatment or exploitation.
Our aim is to keep our service users, volunteers and staff safe by:
- listening to and respecting them.
- appointing a Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO).
- adopting safeguarding best practice through our policies, procedures and code of conduct for staff and volunteers.
- seeking to recruit all paid staff and volunteers using appropriate procedures, safeguards and checks.
- We will determine which roles are in regulated activity and so subject to abarring list check, which roles are eligible for enhanced DBS checks only, and take up references for all posts and volunteer roles.
- reviewing our recruitment procedures in response to changes in legislation and systems external to our organisation e.g. the Disclosure and Barring Service.
- providing effective management for staff and volunteers through supervision, support and training.
- recording and storing information professionally and securely.
- using our safeguarding procedures to share concerns and relevant information with agencies who need to know, and involving children, young people, and at risk adults appropriately.
- ensuring that we have effective complaints measures in place.
The majority of interaction of the charity is with adult patients. We do provide however provide some services for the parents and families of children, and young people, with pituitary conditions. For example, some children may attend events or meetings (accompanied by an adult if under 18 years of age). Some of our appropriate-age events will be attended by 16 -18-year olds and their parent/guardian will agree with us to their attendance without an accompanying adult if applicable beforehand. Every child or young person who participates in any event or meeting hosted by The Pituitary Foundation or by volunteers in its name, should be able to take part in an enjoyable and safe environment and be protected from abuse. This is the responsibility of every adult involved in the work of The Pituitary Foundation.
The Pituitary Foundation recognises its responsibility to safeguard the welfare of all children and young people by protecting them from physical, sexual or emotional harm and from neglect or bullying. It is determined to meet its obligation to ensure that where opportunities for children and young people exist in the name of The Pituitary Foundation it is done so to the highest standard.
The Pituitary Foundation will consider, having taken advice, whether anyone who has a previous criminal conviction or caution for offences related to the abuse of children or young people, violence or any sexual offences should be excluded from working with The Pituitary Foundation where they may come into contact with children and young people. This position is re-enforced by UK legislation and guidance.
Designated Safeguarding Officer
Our Designated Safeguarding Officer is Pat McBride, Head of Support Services and supported by Ren Renwick, CEO, as deputy. Our named trustee dedicated to safeguarding issues is Debbie Cooper.
They will be available to all staff, volunteers and service users to speak to when they have any concerns, issues or complaints regarding the safety, well-being or conduct of service users, volunteers and staff.
The Designated Safeguarding Officer and deputy will have access to appropriate training to support them in these roles.
They will liaise with appropriate local and national agencies, contribute to appropriate policies, maintain records and keep confidentiality, adhere to and promote this policy within the organisation, and support or provide access to support for individuals suffering harm or abuse.
Awareness of harm and abuse in our organisation
Harm is caused by accidents, deliberate abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, financial), neglect (deliberate or not) or factors such as bullying, prejudicial attitudes or a failure to enable a person to participate in activities that are open to most of their peers.
All incidents of harm to anyone involved in our service will require an appropriate response to safeguard the individual (s), to reduce risks and improve our service.
Deliberate acts of harm (sexual, physical, emotional, financial), exploitation and neglect are abuses against the person and will incur disciplinary proceedings and require reports and referrals to social services, the police, other professional bodies and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) where appropriate.
Everyone involved in our organisation should understand that safeguarding is everybody’s business.
Risk of harm
Where there is risk of harm to our service users, volunteers or staff, the Designated Safeguarding Officer and deputy are empowered to act accordingly.
- to log all conversations regarding the issue.
- to sign and request signatures on reports and statements.
- to seek advice from expert sources.
- to share concerns (with consent where required and appropriate) internally with senior staff / Chair of the Board.
- to share concerns and make referrals to external agencies such as Social Services, the Police or NSPCC as appropriate to the circumstances.
- to make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service regarding staff or volunteers in regulated activity whose conduct is harmful to service users and when they are removed from regulated activity.
All reports and logs (including personnel records) will be kept securely and confidential according our data protection policy and confidentiality statement, until or unless it is necessary to share this material with the agencies named above. Information will be shared on a “need-to-know” basis only.
Communication and reporting concerns
We will communicate this Policy to all staff, volunteers, service users and their families / carers, using appropriate methods, so that our message is understood by all.
We support and encourage all service users, volunteers and staff to speak up where they have
- a concern - a worry, issue or doubt about practice or treatment of a service user or colleague, or their circumstances,
- a disclosure - information about a person at risk of or suffering from significant harm),
- an allegation - the possibility that a volunteer or staff member could cause harm to a person in their care.
Always seek consent to share information from the person at risk unless doing so would:
- Place them at increased risk of significant harm
- Prejudice the prevention, detection or prosecution of a crime
- Lead to unjustified delay in making enquiries about harm
- They are unable to consent
- It’s just not practicable
…and to report to our named Designated Safeguarding Lead or deputy.
We have a Safeguarding Consent Form which the DSL or deputy will complete if you contact us regarding a concern you have.
Whistle blowing (disclosure in the public interest)
We encourage staff or volunteers to report things that aren’t right, are illegal or if anyone at work is neglecting their duties, putting someone’s health and safety in danger or covering up wrongdoing.
In the first instance they should speak with the Designated Safeguarding Lead, their deputy or the trustee with appropriate responsibility.
Though we would prefer our members and personnel to use internal processes whenever possible to make a report as above, this does not prevent them from making a report or referral to e.g. Social Services, in their own right as a private individual.
This policy was last reviewed in October 2023.