What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding means protecting a person’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.  It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the adult’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, having regard to their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action (Care and Support Statutory Guidance DoH March 2016).

St Margaret's Hospice Care defines abuse as a single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to a vulnerable person. Abuse can take many forms and can be perpetrated anywhere by anyone. It can be accidental, as the result of lack of knowledge or understanding, or done with intent to harm. Whatever the circumstances or reason, it is against the law. The term safeguarding means a range of activities aimed at upholding every individual’s fundamental right to be safe from such harm.

Safeguarding is everybody’s business

We all share a responsibility both corporately and individually to ensure that every person in society is treated with dignity and respect and protected from others who may abuse them. All staff and and volunteers of St Margaret's Hospice Care who come into contact with patients in the course of their work have a duty of care to safeguard and promote their welfare and to work to prevent, detect and report neglect and abuse.

Who is at risk?

Someone at risk is someone who:

  • Has needs for care and support
  • Is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect
  • As a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect

Safeguarding children is defined as:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment
  • Preventing impairment of children’s health and development
  • Ensuring children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care and
  • Taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best life chances

Abuse can occur anywhere at any time and can be carried out by anyone. It can be a single act, repeated acts over a period of time or due to a failure to act (neglect). It can happen to one person, or several people at the same time.

Read our Safeguarding Adults at Risk Policy here.

Read our Safeguarding Children at Risk Policy here.


If you are concerned

If you are concerned about someone who is known to St Margaret's Hospice Care, whether a patient or family member, you can discuss your concerns with our Clinical Director and Deputy CEO or On-Call Manager.

Call 01823 333822 or 01935 709480 or email

St Margaret's Somerset Hospice. Copyright © 2022 Registered charity number: 279473 Company limited by guarantee number: ENG 1471345. All rights reserved.

Registered Office: Heron Drive, Taunton, TA1 5HA

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