The Royal College of Nursing today (Monday 20 August) launches the UK’s first guidance to help healthcare staff more effectively protect adults who are at risk of abuse or neglect because of the level of care they need.
The College was asked by NHS England to lead the work, which has involved over 30 other Royal Colleges and healthcare organisations. The new document, Adult Safeguarding: Roles and Competencies for Health Care Staff, outlines the professional standards that all staff at healthcare organisations will need to meet by 2021.
Sally Copley, Director of Policy and Campaigns at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “People with dementia are at higher risk of abuse so it’s vital that effective systems are in place to protect them, and we welcome this commitment to stamping out abuse. Wherever people receive care, from home to hospital, they should be able to do so without fear.
“The new guidance is great in theory, but health and care professionals must be given the resources to deliver it in practice. Currently there is simply not enough money in the system to provide even basic care for people with dementia, let alone the specialist training and support needed to work with people often unable to make their needs known. This can lead to unintentional but still unacceptable abuse, such as people with dementia receiving inappropriate treatments like physical restraint or anti-psychotic drugs.
“A million people in the UK will be living with dementia by 2021, all needing and deserving high quality care, and health and care professionals must be properly trained and supported to provide that. Alzheimer’s Society is campaigning to fix dementia care because we need urgent action if the system is going to meet that challenge.”