This page is designed to answer the following questions:
- 10.4c Describe the actions to take if they experience barriers in alerting or referring to relevant agencies (Care Certificate, Standard 10: Safeguarding adults)
- 6.1 Describe unsafe practices that may affect the well-being of individuals (Level 2 Diploma in Care, Safeguarding and protection in care settings)
- 6.2 Explain the actions to take if unsafe practices have been identified (Level 2 Diploma in Care, Safeguarding and protection in care settings)
- 6.3 Describe the actions to take if suspected abuse or unsafe practices have been reported but nothing has been done in response (Level 2 Diploma in Care, Safeguarding and protection in care settings)
- 6.1 Describe unsafe practices that may affect the well-being of individuals (Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care, Safeguarding and protection in care settings)
- 6.2 Explain the actions to take if unsafe practices have been identified (Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care, Safeguarding and protection in care settings)
- 6.3 Describe the actions to take if suspected abuse or unsafe practices have been reported but nothing has been done in response (Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care, Safeguarding and protection in care settings)
- 2.4 Explain how to raise concerns, including whistleblowing, when suspected abuse has been reported but procedure does not appear to have been followed (Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care, Understand Safeguarding and Protection in Health and Social Care Settings)
NOTE: This page has been quality assured for 2023 as per our Quality Assurance policy.
On this page
What are unsafe practices?
Unsafe practices are any actions that could jeopardise the safety or well-being of an individual or cause harm to yourself or others.
For example, not following the correct procedure when repositioning an individual could result in injury to yourself or others or compromise an individual’s dignity.
Other examples of unsafe practices include:
- Forgetting to give an individual their medication
- Withholding an individual’s money or property
- Not washing hands or not using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when carrying out personal care on individuals
- Holding onto an individual’s walking frame as they walk
- Using the wrong size sling
- Not maintaining the confidentiality of an individual’s personal information
- Locking an individual in a room
- Using or not reporting faulty equipment
- Lack of supervision
- Failing to add nutritional fortification to food in line with dietitian instructions.
- Poor management
Not only do unsafe practices risk the health and well-being of the individuals that you support but they also increase the risk of abuse and neglect.
What to do if you identify unsafe practices
Unsafe practices should be challenged immediately and prevented from continuing. Unsafe practices should not be allowed to continue as they risk the safety and well-being of all involved. You should not carry out practices that you believe are unsafe and an alternative solution should be swiftly found. If you are not able to control the situation yourself (for example, if others do not listen to you) then you should report your concerns to your manager or supervisor. You should also make a record of your concerns. Your organisation’s agreed ways of working will explain how you should report unsafe practices in your setting.
What to do if you report concerns but they have been addressed
If your concerns are not taken seriously or you experience barriers, you should escalate them to the next level of management or responsible person(s). If your concerns are still not addressed, you should report them to relevant outside agencies. This may be an individual’s social worker or advocate or (in more serious cases) CQC (Care Quality Commission), HSE (Health and Safety Executive), social services safeguarding team or the police. Your employer should have an up-to-date whistleblowing policy which will protect you from potential reprisals from reporting or referring concerns externally.
You have a duty of care to ensure that follow up on any concerns you report about unsafe practices, abuse and neglect to ensure that they are addressed properly.