https://publicguardian.blog.gov.uk/2019/03/12/making-safeguarding-personal-at-opg/

Making safeguarding personal at OPG

[English] - [Cymraeg]

 

Part of the OPG’s role is safeguarding – or protecting – people at risk of abuse or neglect.

A lot of people think our role is just about investigating when there is wrongdoing or abuse. There is certainly an element of that, but it’s also about putting people first to help those who lack mental capacity feel involved and informed. It’s also about supporting people so they can take action and making sure what we do is appropriate for the situation and the individual.

Couple embracing

What safeguarding means for me

I have been a safeguarding officer in the contact centre at OPG for over 6 years and take great pride in the role and in training other staff in our safeguarding process.

When we receive telephone calls at OPG’s contact centre relating to a safeguarding issue it can result in either a risk assessment being completed and sent over to our colleagues in the safeguarding and investigations team, or the customer being signposted to another organisation or charity that may be able to help the vulnerable person.

I treat my customers how I would like to be treated, and I help them as far as I can. I try to be courageous and curious, asking the questions that I need to, even if those questions are extremely difficult or sensitive. Indeed, sometimes I find myself in a position where I’m having to give out guidance that the customer may not want to hear, but nevertheless it is guidance that they need.

The calls I have dealt with include suicidal callers who feel they have no-one else to turn to for help. I’ve also dealt with calls to report financial, physical, sexual or emotional abuse. Whatever the reason, I will not end the call until I have made every effort to help the caller or vulnerable person.

For me, safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility, from the moment a lasting power of attorney application arrives in our post room, and for as long as the donor is alive, and everything in between. When I deal with a telephone call I make sure that whatever happens, I make a difference, and am proud of that.

Three women sitting at a table having a conversation

Individual actions make a difference

My biggest sense of pride comes from feedback from customers I have spoken to. For example, I recently spoke with a lady whose father was very lonely and isolated, but she could not be there for him as much as she wanted. I signposted her to the Royal British Legion as she had mentioned her father was in the Navy during the war. The Navy connected the gentleman to some of his old shipmates and he now has a full social calendar. The lady called back with her father to thank me for facilitating this for them.

Being aware and asking questions when concerned is essential and for me doing nothing is not an option. Our role as both individuals and a team, no matter where in the overall process at OPG we fit into, is to look after the interests of vulnerable people who cannot do this for themselves. It is a privilege to take on such a responsibility and everyone who works at OPG plays a part in this.

If you have any concerns about the actions of a deputy or attorney please contact  OPG's safeguarding team.


[English] - [Cymraeg]

Gwneud diogelu’n fater personol yn Swyddfa’r Gwarcheidwad Cyhoeddus

Rhan o waith Swyddfa’r Gwarcheidwad Cyhoeddus (OPG) yw diogelu – neu warchod – pobl sydd mewn peryg o gael eu cam-drin neu eu hesgeuluso.

Mae llawer yn meddwl mai ein hunig swyddogaeth yw archwilio camdriniaeth neu ddrwgweithredu. Mae hynny’n sicr yn un o’n swyddogaethau, ond rhan arall o’n gwaith yw rhoi blaenoriaeth i anghenion y bobl hynny nad oes ganddynt alluedd meddyliol er mwyn iddynt deimlo eu bod yn rhan o bethau a’u bod yn gwybod beth sy’n digwydd. Rydym hefyd yn cefnogi pobl i weithredu ac yn sicrhau bod yr hyn a wnawn yn addas i’r sefyllfa ac i’r unigolyn.

Ystyr diogelu imi

Rydw i wedi bod yn swyddog diogelu yng nghanolfan gyswllt yr OPG ers dros chwe blynedd ac rwy’n ymfalchïo yn y rôl ac mewn hyfforddi aelodau eraill o staff ynglŷn â’n proses ddiogelu.

Pan fyddwn yn derbyn galwadau ffôn yng nghanolfan gyswllt yr OPG ynglŷn âmater diogelu byddir naill ai’n cwblhau asesiad risg a anfonir at ein cydweithwyr yn y tîm diogelu ac archwilio, neu’n cyfeirio cwsmer at sefydliad neu elusen arall a allai helpu’r unigolyn bregus.

Rwy’n trin fy nghwsmeriaid yn y ffordd yr hoffwn innau gael fy nhrin, ac rwy’n eu helpu hyd y medraf. Rwy’n ceisio bod yn ddewr a holi’n ddeheuig, gan ofyn y cwestiynau angenrheidiol, hyd yn oed os yw’r cwestiynau hynny’n anodd neu’n sensitif iawn. Mewn gwirionedd, weithiau byddaf yn fy nghael fy hun mewn sefyllfa lle mae’n rhaid imi roi cyfarwyddyd nad oes ar y cwsmer eisiau ei glywed, ond er hynny dyna’r cyfarwyddyd y mae arno ei angen.

Mae’r galwadau yr wyf wedi ymdrin âhwy yn cynnwys pobl sy’n bygwth cyflawni hunanladdiad ac sy’n teimlo na allant ofyn i neb arall am gymorth. Rwyf hefyd wedi delio âgalwadau gan bobl yn rhoi gwybod am gamdriniaeth ariannol, corfforol, rhywiol neu emosiynol. Beth bynnag fo’r rheswm dros yr alwad, ni fyddaf yn terfynu’r alwad nes y byddaf wedi gwneud popeth o fewn fy ngallu i helpu’r un a wnaeth yr alwad neu’r unigolyn bregus.

Yn fy marn i, mae diogelu yn gyfrifoldeb i bawb, o’r munud y bydd cais am atwrneiaeth arhosol yn cyrraedd ein hystafell bost, cyhyd ag y bydd y rhoddwr ar dir y byw. Pan fyddaf yn ymdrin âgalwad ffôn rwy’n sicrhau fy mod yn gwneud gwahaniaeth, beth bynnag a ddigwyddo, ac rwy’n ymfalchïo yn hynny.

Mae gweithred unigol yn gwneud gwahaniaeth

Daw’r boddhad mwyaf i mi o sylwadau gan gwsmeriaid yr wyf wedi siarad âhwy. Er enghraifft, yn ddiweddar bûm yn siarad â gwraigyr oedd ei thad yn unig ac ynysig iawn, ond nid oedd hi’n gallu bod gyda’i thad er ei bod yn dymuno bod yno. Cyfeiriais hi at y Lleng Brydeinig gan iddi grybwyll bod ei thad yn y Llynges yn ystod y rhyfel. Trefnodd y Llynges fod y dyn yn dod i gyswllt ârhai o’i hen ffrindiau ar y môr ac ers hynny mae ei ddyddiadur yn llawn. Rhoes y wraig a’i thad alwad imi i ddiolch imi am hwyluso hyn.

Mae bod yn ymwybodol a gofyn cwestiynau pan fo pryderon yn hanfodol ac i mi tydy peidio âgwneud rhywbeth ddim yn ystyriaeth. Beth bynnag fo’r broses gyffredinol yr ydym yn rhan ohoni yn yr OPG, ein gwaith fel unigolion ac fel tîm yw gwarchod buddiannau pobl fregus nad ydynt yn gallu gofalu am eu buddiannau hwy eu hunain. Braint yw ymgymryd â’r fath gyfrifoldeb ac mae gan bawb sy’n gweithio yn yr OPG ran yn y gwaith hwn.

Os oes gennych unrhyw bryderon am weithredoedd dirprwy neu atwrnai cysylltwch â  thîm diogelu’r OPG.

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8 comments

  1. Comment by Ranjit Kaur posted on

    We are all proud of you Sharon and the work you do to safeguard our vulnerable customers.

  2. Comment by Phil Oakley posted on

    Great blog Sharon

  3. Comment by Monika posted on

    Well done Sharon 🙂

  4. Comment by Nadja Whyte posted on

    How do I find a contact number for this team please?

  5. Comment by David Steene posted on

    Our experience of the Safeguarding team, even when raising a safeguarding concern, has not been that positive. As an example we are told its taking 4 weeks to open emails/letters.
    Have you added more staff and improved training?

    • Replies to David Steene>

      Comment by Andrea Breau posted on

      Hi David

      Safeguarding concerns raised with us concerning the donors of LPAs or EPAs are risk assessed within two days and a formal outcome assessed within five days. This has been our standard approach for some years. If you're in a position to share a little bit more about your experience, then I can ask the relevant team to look into this for you if you'd like this to be followed up further.