Safeguarding Children & Vulnerable Adults

April 2015
The Optical Confederation has published guidance on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults for optical practitioners and optical practices. The guidance, developed in collaboration with the College of Optometrists and the Department of Health, sets out in a simple non-bureaucratic way, what optical staff and practices need to do. Details of common signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect are included with a simple protocol which all optical practitioners and staff can follow. The five step protocol has been designed to assist practitioners to:observe and record signs discuss with a senior colleague if appropriate act as appropriate (including informing the statutory agencies) confirming notification to and advice from local safeguarding contacts noting advice received and actions. 
The guidance also provides model notification forms to assist practitioners in focussing their observations and reporting to the statutory agencies as appropriate.

An online training module has been developed by Directorate of Optometric Continuing Education and Training (DOCET) to further assist optometrists when safeguarding children, available at: http://www.docet.info/cms/safeguarding/index.cfm
All practitioners advised to complete the free DOCET safeguarding Children and safeguarding vulnerable Adults training. CET points awarded.