Covid-19

Brighton & Hove

COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Safeguarding Adults Information and Updates

 

Contents

  1. Introduction – Updated October 2020
  2. Issues of exploitation to be aware of
  3. Information for the public and professionals
  4. How to Help / Volunteering
  5. Legal Updates
  6. Resources
  7. Legal Advice

 

1. Introduction – Updated October 2020

During the current Coronavirus pandemic we still need to help keep adults at risk safe from abuse and neglect and share up to date information with the public and professionals.

With COVID-19 infection levels increasing again across the UK the threat the country is facing continues to evolve and places the residents of Brighton and Hove in a position of real vulnerability. It is crucial therefore that people can access up-to-date information so that everyone can keep themselves, their families and those they care for safe.

A number of safeguarding issues and areas of exploitation that are a direct result of the pandemic are becoming increasingly evident. A significant concern of both the Brighton and Hove Safeguarding Adults Board (BHSAB) and the Brighton and Hove Safeguarding Children Partnership  is that much of this abuse may be hidden, particularly with people living in isolation, perhaps with perpetrators of abuse, and with the additional current challenges created by the fact that professionals and agencies are not able to visit clients as frequently.

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) have produced a document outlining Frequently Asked Questions in relation to COVID-19 and Safeguarding Adults. This is aimed at a wide range of people involved in safeguarding adults, including partner agencies of the BHSAB and covers current safeguarding issues for Safeguarding Adults Boards.

Government guidance and support can continue to be found here and the Public Health Team in Brighton and Hove are using a traffic light system so that everyone is aware of the current COVID-19 levels in the city. This can be accessed through the Brighton and Hove City Council website

We ask everyone – the public, volunteers and professionals from all sectors – to continue to be particularly vigilant to identifying and reporting any concerns if you feel that an adult or child is at risk or is experiencing abuse or neglect please contact Adult Social Care or if it is in relation to a child or family then please contact Children and Families 

 


2. Issues of Exploitation to be aware of

Protect yourself from Coronavirus fraud

Scam warning poster

National Trading Standards and Friends Against Scams are warning people to remain vigilant following a rise in coronavirus-related scams that seek to benefit from the public’s concern and uncertainty over COVID-19. They have also documented Coronavirus related scams, and produced a poster to raise awareness which can be found here.

To protect yourself and your family please protect yourself and don’t let fraudsters try to lure you in with offers that look too good to be true.  The advice is simple, think very carefully before you hand over your money, and don’t give out your personal details unless you are sure who you are dealing with.  Communities are also being urged to look out for signs of neighbours being targeted by doorstep criminals.

Test and Trace Scams

Action Fraud have produced a brief paper, available here, which details scams in relation to the NHS ‘Test and Trace’ programme. This underlines the government advice stating that:

Contact tracers will never:

  • ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to us (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
  • ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kind
  • ask for any details about your bank account
  • ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
  • ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
  • disclose any of your personal or medical information to your contacts
  • provide medical advice on the treatment of any potential coronavirus symptoms
  • ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
  • ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS

Coronavirus and Domestic Abuse / Violence

Whilst the Coronavirus situation is a worrying time for us all, this is particularly the case for adults and children living with domestic violence, in terms of escalating risks of abuse and serious harm and the feeling that they are trapped.  The guidance below is designed to help in providing advice and support to keep safe as well as phone lines you can call if you are worried. Don’t forget though that, if you or someone you live with has been, or you think might be, harmed call the police on 101 or, in an emergency 999.

It is important to know that you are not alone.  Even if you are unable to leave your home at the moment, you can still access support in a number of ways:

#YouAreNotAlone Campaign

The Government have launched a new public awareness campaign highlighting the help that is available to anyone that is at risk of, or experiencing, domestic abuse. Using the hashtag #YouAreNotAlone the campaign is seeking to make people aware that support services remain available for those affected by domestic abuse during this challenging time for everyone.

At home shouldn’t mean at risk. If you or someone you know is suffering from #DomesticAbuse, isolation rules do not apply. Police response & support services remain available. Find support at http://gov.uk/domestic-abuse or call 999 if you are in immediate danger. #YouAreNotAlone.

Carers and Domestic Abuse / Violence

It is also important to consider unpaid carers in the context of domestic violence and abuse, in terms of the potential additional tensions that may arise in caring situations. Whilst it might not be possible to access respite, it is vital that carers and cared-for alike – where they can – use other means such as telephone calls, Facetime etc. to connect with others. You are not alone and the services that are here to help are still here, even if the way they provide that support may be different from normal.  

  • Carers UK have information and guidance specifically developed for carers in response to queries about coronavirus, which is available on their website.

Social Distancing and Isolation for Older People

As Coronavirus spreads across the UK it will be harder for older people to maintain social connections.  Useful advice has been provided by the Campaign to End Loneliness.

 


3. Information for the public and professionals

Brighton and Hove City Council Coronavirus Support

As the situation with COVID-19 develops, Brighton and Hove City Council is working with partners in the NHS, Public Health England and other services to keep vital services running and providing the support everyone needs, especially to the most vulnerable.  In response to this unprecedented situation, and in line with Government guidance, safeguarding and protecting the most vulnerable adults in our community remains a priority.   

This website page will be kept updated with the latest links and advice for residents and businesses in the county.

Information from the Council for supporting your wellbeing can be found here

NHS Advice

The NHS have produced a range of advice, including symptoms, what to do if you think you have Coronavirus, and advice about staying home. 

NHS England have also produced coronavirus guidance for clinicians and NHS managers.

NHS England also have visitor guidance, which can be found here.

It’s particularly important to take care of your mental health whilst self-isolating.  For tips on how to keep on top of your mental wellbeing and cope with how you may feel while staying at home, visit Every Mind Matters.

Government Advice

The Coronavirus page on the GOV.UK website has provides guidance on a range of issues, including advice for those working in healthcare settings, residential care homes, supported living and home care settings.

GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service WhatsApp

This new free service aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information advice about Coronavirus, and will further reduce the burden on NHS Services.  To use the free service, simply add 07860 064 422 into your phone contacts and message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.

COVID Symptom Tracker

An app has been developed by Guys and St Thomas’ and Kings College NHS Trusts to help the spread of COVID-19.  Please download the COVID Symptom Tracker app to support this valuable research.

Social Care Institute of Excellence (SCIE)

SCIE are regularly updating their COVID-19 Hub to provide advice to local authorities and care providers.

 

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4. How to Help / Volunteering

The Power of Kindness

Looking for a way to help people in your local community right now?

The British Red Cross says that little acts of kindness are important, now more than ever, and really do go a long way in times of crisis.

  • Keep in touch regularly with family, friends and neighbours – a quick chat on the phone or a message on social media will raise their spirits and yours.
  • If you can, be the eyes and ears of your community (but keep that social distance!) by checking on people who may be vulnerable or isolated and finding out what they might need – can you pick up shopping or medicines safely and leave them where they can access them?
  • No one needs trolley loads of toilet roll! Only buy what you need so that there is enough for everyone, especially for those who can’t afford to buy ahead.
  • Do look after yourself – eating, sleeping and exercising safely (even indoors) will help keep you well and more able to support others.

 

Waltham Forest Council have produced a video for individuals who are volunteering to support their communities, which you can watch here.

 


5. Legal Updates

Coronavirus Act 2020

The Coronavirus Act received royal assent on 25 March 2020.  The proposals set out in the Act will significantly enhance the ability of public bodies across the UK to provide an effective response to tackle this epidemic by introducing temporary legislation and regulatory easing. 

The legislation will be time-limited – for 2 years – and not all of the measures will come into force immediately.

The easing includes:

  • NHS Continuing Healthcare (CHC) Assessments
    Provision to allow NHS Providers to delay undertaking the assessment process for NHS CHC assessments until after the coronavirus outbreak has ended.
  • Temporary amendments to the Mental Health Act 1983
    Allowing a single approved practitioner or a single medical practitioner to undertake certain functions and extension of time limits relating to detention and transfer of patients.
  • NHS and Local Authority (LA) care and support
    Covers three provisions during the Coronavirus pandemic:

    • Provision that a LA may lawfully prioritise who and what type of needs it will meet, rather than being required to meet all eligible assessed needs as specified under the Care Act 2014
    • Provision that LA’s may lawfully determine whether and the extent to which it will carry out assessments in individual’s needs and review care plans, or carry out financial assessments, rather than being required to carry these out in all cases as is currently set out in the Care Act
    • Provision for the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to direct LA’s in relation to the prioritisation of services to meet care and support needs in accordance with guidance issued by the Department of Health and Social Care.

 


6. Resources

Easy Read Documents

Public Health England easy read guide on Coronavirus

Opening Doors have made several easy read documents available

Signed Language

The deaf health charity Sign Health have created a series of signed videos explaining what COVID-19 is and what help and advice is available. 

The NHS 111 BSL (British Sign Language) online service can be accessed online, here, or using the InterpreterNow app.

Sussex Police have also produced some videos with advice in BSL, here.

Covid Brighton & Hove Directory

A coronavirus help directory for Brighton & Hove has been developed by Community Works and the Trust for Developing Communities, with support from NHS Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group and Sussex Community Foundation. You can access the directory at covidbrightonhove.org.uk

You can use the site to find organisations who can help with everything from food shopping or getting your prescription, to coping with loneliness or finding advice about money and benefits. You can also use it on behalf of a friend, family member or neighbour who you’re worried about.

Safeguarding Adults

With the Coronavirus outbreak community groups and volunteers are increasingly crucial in supporting adults at risk.  With that in mind, you are volunteering with your local community, or you are hiring volunteers, it is important that you safeguard yourself and others from harm and abuse.

The Ann Craft Trust has published information to help.

The Government has produced a factsheet designed to address specific concerns that people involved in supporting their community may have at this time.

The Brighton & Hove SAB has also produced a poster with safeguarding guidance for volunteers, which you can access here. You can also access more general guidance on our website, or contact us at SAB@brighton-hove.gov.uk

Safeguarding Children

There are Children whose usual protective factors such as attending school, being cared for by other relatives have now been removed. Therefore we need to ensure that no child is “hidden”.

BHSCP are working on a campaign to raise awareness of these vulnerable children, and have developed posters to promote the message “See something, Say something” as far as possible.

You can also find these posters on the BHSCP website in the ‘Covid-19’ news section, here, along with other useful resources to help keep children safe in Brighton and Hove.

Government

Please click here for the latest updates from the Government.

NHS

See above.

Sussex Police

Sussex Police have advice and information about coronavirus, including information in British Sign Language. This can be accessed here.

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service

East Sussex Fire & Rescue have outlined how risk can be reduced during the Covid19 outbreak, including measures to facilitate home safety visits and measures for businesses. You can access this information here.

Healthwatch

Healthwatch Brighton & Hove have been collating resources and information for members of the public, which can be accessed here.

Third Sector

Many third sector organisations and services have produced advice or guidance relating to Covid19. For organisations or services not listed here, you may wish to search the Covid Brighton & Hove Directory detailed above.

  • AgeUK Brighton and Hove
    You can access Age UK Brighton and Hove website here. A flyer is also available detailing help available with contact details, which you can download here.
  • Brighton and Hove Recovery Service
    Change Grow Live now provides the city’s drug and alcohol services. They have have detailed changes to the service, details for referrals and online support, and contact numbers/addresses on their website.
  • RISE
    RISE is a Sussex-based charity that supports people affected by domestic abuse and violence. They have published a service update on their website, here.
  • SWOP
    SWOP is the Sex Workers Outreach Project, led by Oasis Project, and is a service which provides support for women involved in the exchange of sex. Help is offered around sexual health, mental health & wellbeing, drug/alcohol use, staying safe, and other practical assistance and signposting. You can read more about the service here, or find guidance around sex work and Covid-19 here.
  • BHT
    Brighton Housing Trust provide housing and support, advice, and guidance for individuals across East Sussex. You can find details about their response to Coronavirus, and updates for tenants on the BHT website.
  • Clock Tower Sanctuary
  • The Clock Tower Sanctuary is a drop-in day centre for homeless 16-to-25 year olds in the city. The service is currently being run remotely, and contact details are available on the CTS website.

Training

Health Education England have made available free training resources on COVID-19 that will be useful to staff and volunteers. 

Health Education England also offer a free online safeguarding adults training.

 


7. Legal Advice

Voices in Exile

Do you have Limited Leave to Remain (LTR) with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF)? Have you recently lost your job or part of your income because of Covid-19? If so, you can get free legal advice on removing the NRPF condition so that you can claim benefits.

Email advice@voicesinexile.org or call the Voices in Exile advice line: 01273 082105 (Tuesdays 1.30-3.30pm, Thursdays 2-4pm or Fridays 11am-1pm).

Office of the Public Guardian

The Office of the Public Guardian have introduced a rapid check process (within 24 hours), recognising the increase of need to check the validity and scope of LPAs (Lasting Power of Attorney).

Guidance for NHS and social care staff is available: check if a COVID-19 patient has an attorney or deputy.

The OPG have also produced advice and guidance around their response to the outbreak, which will be updated here.

Disclosure & Barring Service

The Disclosure & Barring Service have produced an FAQ document to address concerns that people supporting their community may have at this time. You can access this here.

 


Thanks to colleagues from the East Sussex Safer Communities Partnership for contributions towards some of the content on this page, and to BHSCP colleagues for their support in collating and circulating this information