When a person of trust, e.g. a staff member, is suspected of potential abuse, relevant action must be taken within disciplinary proceedings. This is a grey area with possible tension between safeguarding and disciplinary requirements that may require judgements to be made.
What should be clear is that action taken within disciplinary procedures is aimed at the staff, whilst action taken in respect of safeguarding is aimed at the adult at risk.
One set of procedures should not compromise the other, they are linked but separate.
Investigations about safeguarding must be undertaken by the identified lead under multi-agency procedure (if not police).
The main factors that should be considered are:
- Does information obtained during information gathering warrant immediate suspension?
- Is suspension necessary as a 'neutral act' pending further investigation?
- Is there specific action that can be agreed with the lead safeguarding investigator prior to the strategy meeting?
This information is covered in the WSAB safeguarding adults policy.