Neglect and Acts of Omission

What is Neglect and Acts of Omission?

A person who has responsibility for the charge, care or custody of an adult with care and support needs who fails to provide the amount and type of care required to meet those needs. Neglect can be intentional or unintentional.

Some examples are listed below:

• Ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs
• Failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational service
• The withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating
• Failure to administer medication as prescribed
• Failure to allow choice and preventing people from making their own decisions
• Ignoring or isolating the person
• Not taking account of individuals’ cultural, religious or ethnic needs
• Not taking account of educational, social and recreational needs

Spotting the Signs of Neglect

• Poor environmental conditions
• Inadequate heating and lighting
• Poor physical condition of the vulnerable adult
• Clothing is ill-fitting, unclean and in poor condition
• Malnutrition
• Failure to give prescribed medication properly
• Failure to provide appropriate privacy and dignity
• Inconsistent or reluctant contact with health and social care agencies
• Isolation – denying access to callers or visitors

Medication Errors

There are various processes in place within adult health and social care settings to help prevent medication errors from occurring. Improving people’s awareness of changes to legislation, guidelines and sharing good practice are also key to prevention.
See Local Policies, Strategies and Procedures for further guidance linked to this subject.

Research Identified the Following Themes in Good Care Homes

• A shared purpose in providing the best person centred care
• A sense of community between all involved in the care home
• Managers ensuring external pressures do not have a negative impact on care delivery
• Staff being empowered to take responsibility for resident well-being
• An openness to change for the benefit of residents
• Using the care home environment to the benefit of residents
• Person centred activity and engagement being integral to care work.


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