Some people suggest that the patient group that visits private osteopaths are not likely to have any safeguarding issues. I personally don’t think we should judge in this way. Do vulnerable adults or vulnerable children never come to osteopaths?
For the last couple of years I have taught a safeguarding children lecture on one of the SCCO modules. At each session there have been stories of practitioners who have had concerns about children.
The important thing is to be prepared so that you know what to do should you have concerns about a child or a vulnerable adult. It would be a great shame if an osteopath missed an opportunity to take action and prevent harm. You also have a legal responsibility to report any child that you suspect may be vulnerable to Female Genital Mutilation.
It’s an unpleasant subject and yet it is fundamental that healthcare practitioners have the skills and knowledge to recognise and refer cases of people at risk. Training teaches you about the many different types of abuse and how to recognise them. You will also learn about how to respond to concerns.
How can you train in safeguarding? There are some excellent low-cost online courses such as https://www.skillsplatform.org/health/safeguarding-training An all level safeguarding children bundle of levels 1-3 costs £25. Osteopaths should work at a minimum of a level 2 safeguarding. You need to be aware of your local safeguarding referral routes – information available online in each region.
My personal recommendation is that within each 3 year cycle of CPD you undertake some safeguarding training for both children and adults to keep up to date.