QB Staff6 EL



Adult Safeguarding
Even in the midst of a pandemic, clinicians should be aware of and follow the Mental Capacity Act 2005
1. The patient must be assumed to have capacity
2. The patient must be given all possible support to make decisions
3. The patient can make unwise decisions [subject to restrictions for infection control which apply
to everyone]
4. Any decision taken about a person without capacity must be in their best interest [Subject to
considerations of justice in the use of limited resources]
5. Any decision taken about a person without capacity should be the least restrictive
View most recently updated version on the RCGP COVID-19 Resource Hub 5
Any concerns about an adult being harmed or neglected must be escalated through the normal safeguarding
adult pathways.
Domestic violence and abuse (DVA), perpetrated by one (or multiple) adult family members against
another can be physical, emotional, sexual and/or financial. Risk factors for DVA include social isolation,
frail health, and increased dependence on another for care. The COVID-19 pandemic will cause an
increase in deaths at home and face-to-face support may be more limited, increasing the risk of abuse not
being identified. Good communication will be needed between healthcare teams with safe, timely
information recording any concerns about DVA on the patient electronic medical record.
For more information, read the full guidance on Domestic Violence and Abuse in the context of end of life
care in the COVID-19 pandemic on the RCGP COVID-19 Resource Hub.
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