Safeguarding refers to behaviour and policies to keep adults and children safe, particularly those more at risk of abuse. The surgery has a leaflet called "Advice on Abuse" which a doctor may refer to during a consultation. It is designed to inform you of what abuse is and what to do if you are concerned for yourself or someone else.
Please click on the link Advice Leaflet.
Further help and information to help Safeguard Children can be found Oxfordshire Safeguarding Childrens Board
Safeguarding Adults and Children
All our clinicians are trained in safeguarding responsibilities and support. If you are concerned about abuse, whether personally or in regard to someone else, you might find the information below useful.
What is abuse?
Any abuse is wrong. Abuse is what happens if someone does or says something to you which may make you feel scared or upset. Abuse is when someone tries to take your rights away. Abuse is if someone does something to you even if you tell them to stop.
Abuse includes all forms of harm and mistreatment and may consist of a single act or repeated acts. It may include some of the following:
· Physical: being hit, slapped, shaken, pushed, kicked or burned.
· Sexual: being forced to take part in any sexual activity without consent (including if the victim is one's partner).
· Psychological: being shouted at, sworn at, frightened or ignored.
· Financial: illegal or unauthorised use of a person's property, money, pension or benefit book or other valuables.
· Neglect: being deprived of food, heat, clothing, comfort or essential medication.
· Discrimination: being abused due to race, sex, disability, age, illness, religious beliefs or sexual orientation.
Who is most at risk?
A vulnerable adult or a child is most at risk. A vulnerable adult is anyone 18 or over who may be at more risk due to:
· Being old and frail
· Having learning difficulties
· Having mental health problems
· Being dependent on alcohol and substances
· Having language barriers.
Who might be the abuser?
Anyone can be an abuser. It could be:
· A partner or a member of your family, a friend or neighbour
· A member of staff or carer
· Another vulnerable adult
· A stranger.
What can I do if I am concerned about myself or someone else?
We understand that it is difficult to know what to do in this situation, but our advice will always be to tell someone you trust and tell them as soon as you can.
You can tell a friend, a family member, your partner, a nurse or key worker, a doctor. You could also contact official authorities like Social Services or the police. There are useful contact numbers on the back of this booklet.
What will happen if I choose to tell you that I have been abused or I think someone else has?
· Listen carefully, support you and take any information you give us seriously
· Record your worries and concerns, using the words that you said
· Inform the official authority on your behalf or help you to make the initial contact
· Take every step possible to ensure you are safe and free of harm
· We cannot keep any information secret that a person is being, or is at risk of being abused. We will contact the official authorities.
What will the official authorities do?
· They will listen to your concerns and record them.
· They will take every step to ensure you or the person you are concerned about, are safe and that you are not being treated differently because you have reported that you are being abused or are concerned.
· If it is you that is being abused, they may meet with professionals involved in your care and identify a plan to keep you safe. You would be invited to attend that meeting, with an advocate or a trusted friend. If you a re not able to attend, a member of staff will be identified to meet with you and explain what happened at the meeting.
· They will not tolerate abuse.
· They may prosecute the alleged abuser, or try to get that person support.
Important contact numbers
In an emergency ring 999
Oxfordshire Local Authority—01865 792 422
Berkshire West Local Authority—01635 42400
Buckinghamshire Local Authority—0845 370 8090
Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline—0800 731 0055
Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board —01865 815843
Oxfordshire Mental Health Information—0845 050 7666
Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre—0800 783 6294
Police Non-emergency Number—101
Victim Support Line—0808 168 9274