GP & primary care practitioners
This page contains information to help support colleagues working in primary care with their safeguarding adult responsibilities.
Support for carers in primary care
A carer is a person of any age, adult or child, who provides unpaid support to a partner, child, relative or friend who couldn't manage to live independently or whose health or wellbeing would deteriorate without this help. This could be due to frailty, disability or serious health condition, mental ill health or substance misuse.
Did you know that 1.2 million carers spend over 50 hours caring for others? This equates to a full time workforce larger than the entire NHS. Carers are estimated to save the UK economy £119 billion a year in care costs, more than the entire NHS budget and equivalent to £18,473 per year for every carer in the UK.
The RCGP provides a range of resources to help GPs and primary healthcare staff in their support of people with caring responsibilities.
The charity carersmatter.org offers free carer awareness training for practice staff. Please contact Kerrie Campbell, community engagement manager at Carers Matter Norfolk (Kerrie.Campbell@carersmatternorfolk.org.uk)
carersmatternorfolk.org.uk/ : any unpaid carer can self-refer, or a health/social care professional on behalf of a carer can refer to Carers Matter Norfolk for information/advice and signposting and carers assessments - either via the form on the website or call the advice line 0800 0831148
caringtogether.org/professionals/carer-friendly-tick-award for more details about the Carer Friendly Tick Award for healthcare settings.
Primary care learning from a safeguarding adult enquiry: a forgotten vaginal pessary
The safeguarding adult team recently reviewed the case of an elderly lady with dementia living in a residential care home. This lady had presented with recurrent vaginal discharge and on examination by the GP was found to have a vaginal pessary in situ. It transpired that this pessary had been in place for four years.
Further enquiry identified that insertion of the pessary was not coded appropriately in the medical records and as such the need for a recall and change of pessary was overlooked.
The patient had registered at a new surgery on moving into residential care. A further learning point was that under System One it appears that when a practice deregisters a patient, recall codes are automatically inactivated. As such the new practice was not aware that the patient had a pessary in situ.
This case highlighted the positive role of the GP surgery in ensuring both the appropriate care and follow up of patients requiring vaginal pessaries for urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.
- NICE (NG123) recommends that before starting pessary treatment it should be explained that the pessary should be removed at least once every six months to prevent serious pessary complications and women using pessaries should be offered an appointment in a pessary clinic every six months if they are at risk of complications, for example because of a physical or cognitive impairment that might make it difficult for them to manage their ongoing pessary care. (NG123 last updated 24/06/2019).
- Does your surgery have a robust system for coding that a patient has a pessary in situ and is an active and appropriate recall code is in place?
- If an active recall code is removed does the surgery ensure the reason why is recorded?
- If you are a System One practice it is worth considering reviewing all old recalls when a patient registers and reactivating these if appropriate or aligning these with your own practice search codes to ensure important recalls are not missed.
- How does the practice support newly registered care home residents? Would it be possible for an appointed clinician to review the case notes for newly registered care home resident to ensure important conditions/issues are not missed?
Supporting homeless people to register with a GP practice
The charity Groundswell works with people who experience homelessness, offering opportunities to contribute to society and create solutions to homelessness. People who experience homelessness are entitled to register at a GP surgery. They do not need a fixed address or identification. Groundswell have produced “My right to healthcare cards” to empower individuals to register at a GP surgery.
Please view a helpful video demonstrating use of the card. Please consider raising awareness of this campaign in particular amongst your reception staff who are often the first point of contact for patients.
Domestic Abuse Champions
Does your GP surgery have a domestic abuse champion? Free training available!
Domestic violence is an abuse of human rights and a major public health problem because of the long term consequences for people who have experienced it. The RCGP advises that many people experiencing abuse believe that their GP can be trusted with disclosure and GPs can offer practical support to protect people who disclose abuse.
Domestic abuse champions are trained to develop knowledge on asking, responding, and supporting people affected by domestic abuse, and to use their knowledge to help their colleagues to respond effectively and appropriately. The champion may be a GP but equally would suit a practice nurse or receptionist who has direct contact with patients.
Training is delivered over two full days. Training is free although a charge is made if delegates fail to attend without notice.
Waveney practices: information on the DA Champions Training can be found on Suffolk CPD Online by following the link below and searching ‘Domestic Abuse Champions’
In addition the team are able to offer bespoke training for the practice-please contact Teri Cudby via email for more information: Teri.Cudby@suffolk.gov.uk
Change Grow Live alcohol and drug advisory service: information for professionals
There is information and an online webchat service available for professionals via this link:
Referrals can be made by patients and professionals online via:
Referrals in Norfolk can also be made by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The main number for all of Norfolk is 01603 514096 and we have an out of hours service available by the same number.
- Press option 1 to speak to our Norwich, Central and North Norfolk team
- Press option 2 to speak to our Thetford & South Norfolk team
- Press option 3 to speak to our Great Yarmouth & East Norfolk team
- Press option 4 to speak to our King’s Lynn & West Norfolk team
Adult Safeguarding: Roles and Competencies for Health Care Staff | Intercollegiate Document
The Royal College of General Practitioners: National Standards and Policies
Safeguarding Adults at Risk | Generic Policy
This policy has been designed for use by general practice and can be adapt as needed. NSAB would like to thank OneNorwich for their support in developing this document.
Health Education England Level 3 Adult Safeguarding Training module on Mental Capacity for the e-learningforhealth platform.
This purpose of this document is to provide for social workers and those working in front-line clinical settings an overview of the law and principles relating to the assessment of capacity. Its focus is on:
- how to apply the MCA 2005 principles when assessing capacity; and
- how to record assessments, primarily in the context of health and welfare decisions