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Octopus Clinic Safeguarding Policy


Octopus Clinic makes a positive contribution to a strong and safe community and recognises the right of every individual to stay safe. Octopus Clinic comes into contact with children and/or vulnerable adults through the following activities: Physiotherapy and Osteopathy services. This policy seeks to ensure that Octopus Clinic undertakes its responsibilities with regard to the protection of children and/or vulnerable adults and will respond to concerns appropriately. The policy establishes a framework to support paid and unpaid staff in their practices and clarifies the organisation’s expectations.




The principal pieces of legislation governing this policy are:

• Working together to safeguard Children 2010
• The Children Act 1989
• The Adoption and Children Act 2002
• The Children act 2004
• Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
• Care Standards Act 2000
• Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998
• The Police Act 1997
• Mental Health Act 1983
• NHS and Community Care Act 1990
• Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974




Safeguarding is about embedding practices throughout the organization to ensure the protection of children and/or vulnerable adults wherever possible. In contrast, child and adult protection is about responding to circumstances that arise.

Abuse is a selfish act of oppression and injustice, exploitation and manipulation of power by those in a position of authority. This can be caused by those inflicting harm or those who fail to act to prevent harm. Abuse is not restricted to any socio-economic group, gender or culture.

It can take a number of forms, including the following:
• Physical abuse
• Sexual abuse
• Emotional abuse
• Bullying
• Neglect
• Financial (or material) abuse

Definition of a child: A child is under the age of 18 (as defined in the United Nations convention on the Rights of a Child).

Definition of Vulnerable Adults: A vulnerable adult is a person aged 18 years or over who may be unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves from harm or from being exploited. This may include a person who:
• Is elderly and frail
• Has a mental illness including dementia
• Has a physical or sensory disability
• Has a learning disability
• Has a severe physical illness
• Is a substance misuser
• Is homeless



All staff (paid or unpaid) have responsibility to follow the guidance provided in this policy and related policies, and to pass on any welfare concerns using the required procedures.

We expect all staff (paid or unpaid) to promote good practice by being an excellent role model, contribute to discussions about safeguarding and to positively involve people in developing safe practices.

Additional specific responsibilities:

The Designated Senior Manager /lead officer is Lucy Macdonald. This person’s responsibilities are to:

• Ensure this policy is in place, appropriate, accessible, implemented, monitored and reviewed.
• Promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults
• Ensure staff (paid and unpaid) have access to appropriate training/information
• Receive staff concerns about safeguarding and respond to all seriously, swiftly and appropriately
• Keep up to date with local arrangements for safeguarding and DBS
• Take forward concerns about responses (usually Designated Senior Manager)


Implementation Stages


The scope of this Safeguarding Policy is broad-ranging and in practice, it will be implemented via a range of policies and procedures within the organisation. These include those contained within the Octopus Clinic Handbook.

  1. Safe recruitment: Octopus Clinic ensures safe recruitment by ensuring that all clinicians are HCPC registered and registered with the appropriate professional body – for example the CSP.
  2. Disclosure and Barring Service: The organisation commits resources to providing Disclosure and barring service checks on staff (paid or unpaid) whose roles involve contact with children and /or vulnerable adults. There will be systematic checking of safeguarding arrangements of contractors and partner organisations.


Communications training and support for staff

Octopus Clinic commits resources for induction, training of staff (paid and unpaid), effective communications and support mechanisms in relation to Safeguarding.

  1. Induction will include:
    Discussion of the Safeguarding Policy (and confirmation of understanding)Discussion of other relevant policies
    Ensure familiarity with reporting processes, the roles of line manager and Designated Senior Manager (and who acts in their absence)
    Initial training on safeguarding including: safe working practices, safe recruitment, understanding child protection and the alerter guide for adult safeguarding
  2. Training: All staff who, through their role, are in contact with children and /or vulnerable adults will have access to safeguarding training at an appropriate level. Sources and types of training will include self-directed learning and online courses.
  3. Communications and discussion of safeguarding issues: Commitment to the following communication methods will ensure effective communication of safeguarding issues and practice: team meetings, one-to-one meetings and clinical supervision.
  4. Support: We recognise that involvement in situations where there is risk or actual harm can be stressful for staff concerned. The mechanisms in place to support staff include: Debriefing support for paid and unpaid staff so that they can reflect on the issues they have dealt with; Seeking further support as appropriate e.g. access to counseling; staff who have initiated protection concerns will be contacted by line manager within 1 week


Professional boundaries


Professional boundaries are what define the limits of a relationship between a support worker and a client. They are a set of standards we agree to uphold that allows this necessary and often close relationship to exist while ensuring the correct detachment is kept in place.

Octopus Clinic expects staff to protect the professional integrity of themselves and the organisation. The following policies contain guidance on staff (paid or unpaid) conduct on the following matters:
• Giving and receiving gifts from clients: Octopus Clinic does not allow paid or unpaid staff to give gifts to or receive gifts from clients. However, gifts may be provided by the organisation as part of a planned activity.
• Personal relationships between a member of staff (paid or unpaid) and a client who is a current service user is prohibited. This includes relationships through social networking site such as Facebook. It is also prohibited to enter into a personal relationship with a person who has been a service user over the past 12 months.
• Use of abusive language is prohibited
• Response to inappropriate behaviour /language is outlined
• Use of punishment or chastisement
• Passing on service users’ personal contact details
• Degree of accessibility to service users (e.g. not providing personal contact details)
• Taking family members to a client’s home
• Selling to or buying items from a service user
• Accepting responsibility for any valuables on behalf of a client
• Accepting money as a gift/ Borrowing money from or lending money to service users
• Personal relationships with a third party related to or known to service users
• Accepting gifts/ rewards or hospitality from organisation as an inducement for either doing/ not doing something in their official capacity
• Cautious or avoidance of personal contact with clients
• If the professional boundaries and/or policies are breached this could result in disciplinary procedures or enactment of the allegation management procedures.

Reporting Procedure

  1. Communicate your concerns with your immediate manager
  2. Seek medical attention for the vulnerable person if needed
  3. Discuss with parents of the child or with the vulnerable person
  4. Obtain permission to make a referral if safe and appropriate if needed seek advice from the Children and Families helpdesk or Adults helpdesk
  5. Complete the Local Authority Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Incident Report Form if required and submit to the local authority within 24 hours of making a contact
  6. Ensure that feedback from the Local Authority is received and their response recorded



Allegations Management


Octopus Clinic recognises its duty to report concerns or allegations against its staff (paid or unpaid) within the organisation or by a professional from another organisation.

The process for raising and dealing with allegations is as follows:

  1. First step: Any member of staff (paid or unpaid) is required to report any concerns in the first instance to their line manager/ safeguarding manager/ peer. A written record of the concern will be completed by the individual
  2. Second step- contact local authority for advice.
  3. Third step – follow the advice provided

Octopus Clinic recognises its legal duty to report any concerns about unsafe practice by any of its paid or unpaid staff to the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), according to the ISA referral guidance document.



Octopus Clinic will monitor the following Safeguarding aspects:
• Safe recruitment practices
• DBS checks undertaken
• References applied for new staff
• Records made and kept of supervision sessions
• Training – register/ record of staff training on child/ vulnerable adult protection
• Monitoring whether concerns are being reported and actioned
• Checking that policies are up to date and relevant
• Reviewing the current reporting procedure in place
• Presence and action of Designated senior manager responsible for Safeguarding is in post.


Managing information


Information will be gathered, recorded and stored in accordance with the following policies: Data Protection, GDPR and Confidentiality Policy.

All staff are aware that they have a professional duty to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children and vulnerable adults. The public interest in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults may override confidentiality interests. However, information will be shared on a need-to-know basis only, as judged by the Designated Senior Manager.

All staff are aware that they cannot promise service users or their families/ carers that they will keep secrets.


Conflict resolution and complaints


Octopus Clinic is aware of the policy on resolution of professional disagreements in work relating to the safety of children / Escalation Policy and if necessary this will be taken forward by Lucy Macdonald. Conflicts in respect of safety of vulnerable adults will be taken forward by Lucy Macdonald.

Communicating and reviewing the policy


Octopus Clinic will make clients aware of the Safeguarding Policy on his website. This policy will be reviewed by Lucy Macdonald, every year and when there are changes in legislation.


We take the safeguarding of patients, staff and all those we come into contact with very seriously. This document outlines our

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