Recording Skills in Safeguarding Adults is the latest title from renowned JKP author 
Jacki Pritchard – and written with Simon Leslie – which explains why good record-keeping is essential and provides models of best practice. In the excerpt below, the authors introduce the book and its necessity.

For over 30 years it has been highlighted in child protection inquiries that communication has been a recurring failing (Laming, Duncan and Gray 2003, 2009; Reder and Duncan 1999; Reder et al., 1993). Recording is a form of communication and it needs to be done to a high standard. Unfortunately many workers see writing records as a burden and do not understand why it is important to record accurately and regularly. It is of great concern that many workers do not have the opportunity to attend a training course which focuses solely on recording skills. Many line managers will say that they address recording in supervision sessions and that workers ‘learn as they are doing the job’. That is just not good enough. Keeping records is an extremely important requirement in any organisation and a worker cannot record well unless they are told explicitly what is required of them. It is also important that managers read their workers’ records. This is not about ‘checking up’ on workers; it is about making sure they are doing the job properly.

We acknowledge that some organisations do provide good recording training for their staff, but it is more common to find that workers’ recording skills are inadequate and this is due to the lack of training and supervision. This book is concerned primarily with safeguarding adults so will address how to keep and produce records for evidential purposes.

We constantly hear that not many cases of adult abuse get to court, so consequently some managers and workers think it is pointless worrying about what might happen if they have to give evidence in a court case. One of the many reasons cases do not get to court is that records are so poor; they often fail the evidential stage of the Full Code Test (see Chapter 6) which has to be undertaken by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS 2004). So the aim in writing this book is to make workers aware of how written records can make good evidence, how documents should be written and what needs to be kept.

We know that most workers are under extreme pressure with ever increasing workloads and there can be a reluctance to give recording the priority it deserves. Increasing workloads can be partly due to a lack of resources. It is important that people in positions of power argue for an increase in resources, but to do that arguments have to be put forward that there is a real need. Keeping good records can aid this.

Copyright © Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2010.

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