CQC calls for a culture of openness to support people’s sexual needs and keep them safe from sexual harm

27 February 2020 – CQC

CQC wants leaders across adult social care to join forces and create a culture of openness where people using services feel empowered and supported to enable them to be open about sexuality and relationships – whilst making sure they are protected from sexual harm.

Promoting Sexual Safety Through Empowerment is a publication which draws the connection between a situation that gives people the basic human right to express their sexuality, along with an open society where people feel able to raise concerns around safety where necessary.

The 661 statutory notifications of sexual incidents that were reported to CQC between 01.03.2018 and 31.05.2018 reveal 899 sexual incidents or incidents of alleged sexual abuse that took place in adult social care services such as residential and nursing homes. This reveals 3% of all the abuse notifications received by CQC during this period. Nearly half of the incidents (48%) were categorised as allegations of sexual assault. The second most common type of incident (11%) was that of indecent exposure and nudity. 16% of all notifications made allegations against employed staff or visiting workers and 5% of reported instances were detailing cases of consensual sex.

This report aims to initiate an open conversation across adult social care and the wider system, and follows the Relationship and Sexuality in Social Care guidance – published in 2019.

A full copy of Promoting Sexual Safety Through Empowerment is available here.


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