Case Studies


Reedyford Health Care (RHC) is a large, friendly General Practice in Pendle that provides high quality care to the people of Nelson, Barrowford, Colne, Brierfield and Fence. It operates across two sites and is actively involved in the training of GPs and specialised clinics as well as offering routine family medical care.

The RHC staff includes clinical and non-clinical staff. i.e. Doctors, practice manger, practice nurses, healthcare assistants, midwives, health visitors, district nurses and administration staff.

The Challenge

RHC had recently identified some development areas in respect of the essential safeguarding standards required by the Care Quality Commission registration requirements needed for 1st April 2013. Areas for development were identified in the following areas:

  • Safeguarding Policy and Procedures for Vulnerable Adults
  • Reporting Concern Form Vulnerable Adults
  • Training in safeguarding vulnerable adults for both clinical and non clinical staff.

Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Policy and Procedures:

RHC did not have an existing Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Policy, Procedures or reporting form. Any new Policy or Procedures would need to be based on the National British Medical Association Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults toolkit and compliant with guidance issued by the General Medical Council for Good Medical Practice and Confidentiality.

The policy and procedures should also reflect local practices and so would need to be aligned with Lancashire’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Vulnerable Adult’s processes.

RHC requested that the Policy and Procedures were completed in a short timescale in order to be ready for the first training session.


Whilst some GP’s and partners had received some basic training in the Mental Capacity Act 2005, most staff had not received any awareness training in Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults. (Level 2)

RHC requested that their clinical and non-clinical staff would require different levels of training for Safeguarding Vulnerable Adult training. Clinical staff would need to attain a higher level of training than non-clinical (Level 3).

All Safeguarding training would need to reflect similar competency standards as set down in the Intercollegiate Document for Safeguarding Children and Young People: Roles and competences for health care staff published by the Royal College for Paediatrics and Health Care Staff September 2010.

Funding requirements meant that the delivery of training to both clinical and non-clinical staff would need to be completed by 31st March. The delivery times also needed to fit around RHC’s current protected training timetable i.e. 2 hour lunch-hour slot every Tuesday, as staff could not be released for a full days training.

The Athena Solution

Athena believed in working with Reedyford Health Care based on a partnership approach. This included a thorough consultation process for agreement of final draft of their new Policy and Procedures.

A bespoke easy read Safeguarding Policy and Procedures was developed and completed within the required short timescale of 1 month and prior to the start of the level 3 training for clinical staff (18th March). This meant that it was available immediately for staff following training in order to provide additional support and guidance.

Athena identified that the level 2 training could be delivered to fit into the 2hr protected training timetable of the RHC. However the intensive level 3 training (6 hrs) needed to be broken down into modules and delivered over 3 x 2hr modules.  Delegates would have to attend all 3 level 3 modules to achieve credit for the level 3 training.

Training programmes were designed that included a variety of learning approaches which were participative, inclusive and interactive. There were opportunities for discussion and critical reflection within both the level 2 and level 3 sessions.

A ‘power point’ presentation was designed to complement the interactive training methods including the most recent preventative Safeguarding legislation e.g. child abuse disclosure scheme/domestic abuse disclosure pilot scheme. The presentation also reinforced RHC internal procedures for reporting concerns, hi-lighting local authority and police contacts numbers.

Clear and concise handouts were prepared which recapped the main themes of both level 2 and 3. They also included links which sign-posted participants to internet for further national guidance.

A final report would be produced on the overall quality and effectiveness of Athena’s policies and training to fulfil contractual obligations for the funding provider.

The Outcome

We wrote a bespoke Safeguarding Vulnerable Adult Policy and Procedures , together which was simple and easy to read. It contained a detailed list of appendices which provided very useful, further specialist and practical advice.

The Policy and Procedures produced reflect compliance with BMA, CQC and local Safeguarding Vulnerable Adult Board’s standards.

A sample incident report was forwarded to RHC for consideration which identified the main details and categories that would need to be included in a safeguarding vulnerable adult’s incident reporting form.

Up-to-date, informal and fun training courses were created that fitted the training timetable requirements of Reedyford Health Care. The training was delivered around Surgery schedules and completed in an organised, friendly and timely way.

Athena’s communication was effective, timely and friendly at all times and according to the contract specifications and learning outcomes. The summary of evaluations shows that delegates have achieved a real increase in knowledge of vulnerable adult abuse with increased confidence levels of knowing what to do and when to report.

The use of real life case studies and investigations by trainer Lisa Pilkington brought reality and credibility to the training programme to demonstrate that each and every one of the staff at Reedyford Health Care are in a key position to identify safeguarding concerns.

Care Quality Commission (C.Q.C.) Inspection and Report 2013

In September 2013 the Care Quality Commission carried out a routine scheduled inspection of Reedyford Health Care in which they met all the Essential Standards being inspected including – Safeguarding people who use services from abuse.

The report comments:-

  • “the RHC had ‘clear policies and procedures in place for dealing with allegations of abuse against children and vulnerable adults”
  • “all staff had undertaken appropriate training in safeguarding – this would help staff to recognise and act when people were at risk of abuse or neglect”
  • “Staff who we spoke with understood the principles of obtaining consent, including issues relating to capacity”
  • “All staff we spoke with told us they understood their responsibilities to report any concerns in relation to children and adults”
  • “We found all new staff, GP’s and nursing staff had the appropriate disclosure and barring service (DBS) checks in place as part of the employment process.”

 Dr Julia Pearson said

“We passed our CQC inspection at the end of September 2013 and I was very glad to be able to show them our adult safeguarding policy. They were particularly pleased to see that a statement about whistle blowing was included.”

The report can be accessed via the CQC website at-