The guidance supports workers and providers to recognise potential signs of ill-treatment or wilful neglect, when an offence may have occurred and how and who you should report this to.
Both care providers and registered workers have responsibilities to be alert to the signs of when an offence may have occurred and a responsibility to report. The guidance provides examples of workers’ and providers’ actions which may be considered wilful neglect or ill-treatment of an adult receiving support.
What is wilful neglect and ill-treatment?
An offence of wilful neglect or ill-treatment may be committed against an adult receiving health and/or social care. The offence was created under the Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc. and Care) (Scotland) Act 2016 (the 2016 Act). An offence can be committed by care workers or adult health or social care providers while providing or arranging health and social care.
The SSSC Codes of Practice set out clear standards of behaviour and competence you need to meet to provide safe and effective care to people who use services. The Codes set out what good practice and conduct look like. It also reflects professional and public expectations of a social service worker’s role. This includes an obligation to report harm, exploitation and any dangerous, abusive or discriminatory behaviour.
When to report it
If a care worker deliberately fails to care for someone properly or is being cruel towards someone, this is likely to be considered wilful neglect or ill-treatment and you should report it.
If a care service provider fails to act when they are aware of practices which result in the serious neglect of adults using their care service or are consistently failing to ensure the health and safety of people who use their service resulting in serious risk to their life, health or wellbeing, despite concerns being raised by staff or external agencies, this is likely to be considered wilful neglect or ill-treatment and you should report it.
Workers have a duty to report under the SSSC Codes of Practice.