Safeguarding investigations can cause a number of difficulties for providers. Not only are they the cause of a lot of stress, but they can also result in significant financial loss if the local authority imposes an embargo on admissions. In addition, there’s often a clear conflict between the demands made by a safeguarding team e.g.: to suspend or dismiss staff and your obligations as an employer. Safeguarding investigations are also often a cause of adverse publicity.
You should always seek early advice on any safeguarding investigation which has resulted in an embargo. Early intervention is often important in preventing a situation from escalating.
We regularly act for clients facing such investigations. We’re able to provide strategic advice and representation to help reduce any damage to your business and to ensure that if an embargo is put in place, it’s lifted as soon as possible. We’re also able to advise you on the employment law implications of the investigations or its findings and how you ensure compliance with your obligations as an employer.
It’s now increasingly common for safeguarding referrals to be investigated by the police, often involving PACE interviews and our team is experienced in advising providers when this occurs. Neither care providers nor their staff have experience of responding to police enquiries which can be intimidating and worrying. Our team will guide you through this process.
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Last year, CQC proposed changes to its factual accuracy process and asked providers for their views, which included the introduction of a word limit for factual accuracy comments.