When did you last formally review your Safeguarding, MCA and DoLS policies?
Are you confident they are up to date and backed up by robust procedures in the workplace?
Legislation doesn’t change very often, but when it does, it’s always significant and accompanied by guidance etc. in the run up to it being implemented.
Guidance can change more frequently e.g., the guidance to care services regarding COVID has changed regularly as knowledge, vaccination rates and testing availability has changed. Guidance in other areas e.g., mental capacity doesn’t change frequently but, when it does, it tends to be because of a significant case. An example would be the Supreme Court judgement on assessing capacity that was given on 24th November 2021, the first time the Supreme Court has decided on this area. (A Local Authority v JB  UKSC 52).
CQM Learning offer a policy review service, with auditing and rewriting by a practitioner with 10+ years’ experience within health and social care.
We can also develop training to embed policy changes, or work with inhouse L&D to upskill and advise on key policy points.
Policy audit with report on areas for change
|Training materials audit with report on suggested amends||Remote||POA|
|Training materials rewrite||Remote||POA|
|Upskilling of in-house trainers||F2F||POA|
|Upskilling of in-house trainers||Remote||£425/day|
The area where changes happen most often is adult safeguarding. It’s such a big area but you might have a local authority change its local policies because of several factors including a local or national Safeguarding Adults Review, or, for example, because of a periodic review: Kirklees Multi Agency Safeguarding Policy was reviewed in June 2021.
Guidance to the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 (the fundamental standards) indicates that providers must have policies and procedures, which are followed in practice, to meet most regulations. For example, 13(5): “A service user must not be deprived of their liberty for the purpose of receiving care or treatment without lawful authority.”
The Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOEs) also suggest that inspectors will ask to see policies and procedures, where relevant to their inspection process, to check:
- that they are in line with the compliance requirements
- that they are up to date
- that they are being correctly implemented.
For example, S2.2: “How do risk management policies and procedures minimise restrictions on people’s freedom, choice, and control, in particular, for people who lack mental capacity?”
Local commissioners often ask for policies and procedures to be included in service agreements to reflect local strategies, and to ensure that contracted providers are operating in line with local authority and health service statutory responsibilities. Safeguarding, for which local authorities have statutory duties under the Care Act 2014, is a good example here. Therefore, the corresponding policies and procedures must be compliant with “fundamental standard” 13 and local safeguarding authority protocols for making referrals, carrying out investigations, etc.
CQM Learning can assist your service to navigate the changes in legislation, and local and national guidance. We can advise on how staff practices or supervision will also need to change in line with any changes in the policies and corresponding procedures.
Each policy should be audited at least annually or whenever there are significant changes in legislation or guidance to check:
- It is fit for the current purpose and is accurate
- It provides clear guidance to staff on what to do
- Staff practice is consistently in line with the policy