What Constitutes Harm

What is meant by the term ‘Harm’

Harm includes ill treatment (including sexual abuse, exploitation and forms of ill treatment which are not physical); the impairment of health (physical or mental) or development (physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural); self-harm and neglect; unlawful conduct which adversely affects a person’s property, rights or interests (for example financial abuse).” Care Certificate Framework (Assessors) document (2015)

An adult at risk of harm is defined as someone who has needs for care and support, and is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect and is unable to protect themselves.

Being hurt in some way includes:

  • Ignoring or inadequately meeting medical or physical needs
  • Failing to provide access to appropriate health and social care services
  • Not providing basic necessities such as clean clothes, food, baths, medication, heating, lighting, a safe living area etc.
  • Not addressing risks to protect someone sufficiently

As a support worker, it may be thought of as abuse or neglect if you cause harm to someone or do not do things you should to prevent harm. It is important that you know the ways of working to safeguard adults in your workplace. Your policies and procedures tell you how to meet the Care Quality Commission’s Fundamental Standards of Quality and Safety. You should also follow the Code of Conduct for Healthcare Support Workers and Adult Social Care Workers in England. www.skillsforhealth.org.ul/code-of-conduct

The Code of Conduct States that workers must:

‘Always make sure that your actions or omissions do not harm an individual’s health or wellbeing. You must never abuse, neglect, harm or exploit those who use health and care services, their carers or your colleagues’

The 10 types of abuse and neglect that cause harm

The 10 types of abuse and neglect that cause harm identified in the Care Act 2014 are: Physical, Sexual, Psychological, Discriminatory, Organisational, Domestic Violence, Modern slavery, Financial and material, Neglect and acts of omission and self-neglect.

To find out more about your responsibilities in preventing abuse and neglect, you can discuss this with your line manager and read Active’s Policy and Procedure.

Use to answer question 10.1 c and 10.1d of the Care Certificate

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