Massage therapy is the giving and receiving of touch for healing. This is a powerful indeed intimate modality and could, in the wrong hands, be open to abuse. Given these sensitivities, BCMB places the highest importance on safe professional practice. This emphasis is reflected in the following:
- The Code of Professional Conduct embedded in the BCMB Learning Contract and signed by all BCMB students.
- The BCMB Disciplinary Procedure, referred to in the Learning Contract.
- The ground rules for safe practice established on the first morning of each BCMB Diploma course.
- The standards taught throughout BCMB training courses, with an emphasis on appropriate boundaries and consent at all stages.
- The assessment standards applied at the end of training courses, as established by the Massage Training institute.
- The standards of continuing professional practice upheld by BCMB’s further training programme and supervision system.
This document considers the policy and actions required should any abuse take place. The term “abuse” is defined in Appendix A. Guidance to BCMB staff on how to deal with alleged abuse can be found at Appendix B; the Designated Named Person is shown at Appendix C.
BCMB has a zero tolerance of any unacceptable behaviour or abuse towards any BCMB stakeholders, in areas under BCMB’s watch. These are defined as activities taking place on BCMB premises, whether during interviews, clinics, training courses or supervision groups.
In this context, BCMB “stakeholders” are defined to be students, graduates, staff and clients participating in activities organised by BCMB.
Should any unacceptable behaviour or abuse be reported, immediate safeguarding action will be taken. This action will be appropriate, proportionate and tailored to the situation but is likely to include:
- Immediate referral to the Designated Named Person for safeguarding BCMB stakeholders. See Appendix C.
- Swift investigation of relevant information through discussion with the relevant parties. This may include attempts to mediate if appropriate.
- Removal of the affected parties from the situation eg
- Suspension of the students/staff concerned from a course whilst the matter is investigated
- Cancelling clinic appointments for unsuitable clients.
- Consideration of any disciplinary action that may be required, under the BCMB Disciplinary Procedure.
- Any staff proven to be responsible for abuse will be dismissed immediately.
- If required, referral to other appropriate agencies, eg social services or the police, should there be a suspicion that criminal activity has taken place.
Recording and managing Information
BCMB is committed to maintaining confidentiality wherever possible and information around Safeguarding Adults issues should be shared only with those who need to know.
All allegations/concerns should be recorded in a relevant file. The information should be factual and not based on opinions, record what has been said, what has been seen and witness accounts if appropriate. The information that is recorded will be kept secure and will comply with the Data Protection Act 1998.
This information will be secured in a locked filing cabinet or on a password protected computer file. Access to this information will be restricted to the Designated Named Person and the BCMB Office Manager.
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“Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons”
(No Secrets: Department of Health, 2000)
- physical abuse: including hitting, slapping, punching, burning, misuse of medication, inappropriate restraint
- sexual abuse: including rape, indecent assault, inappropriate touching, exposure to pornographic material
- psychological or emotional abuse: including belittling, name calling, threats of harm, intimidation, isolation
- financial or material abuse: including stealing, selling assets, fraud, misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits
- neglect and acts of omission: including withholding the necessities of life such as medication, food or warmth, ignoring medical or physical care needs
- discriminatory abuse: including racist, sexist, that based on a person’s disability and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment
- institutional or organisational: including regimented routines and cultures, unsafe practices, lack of person-centred care or treatment
Abuse may be carried out deliberately or unknowingly. Abuse may be a single act or repeated acts.
Guidance to BCMB staff. These guidelines establish good practice for BCMB staff who hear an allegation from a student that abuse has, or may have, occurred.
|Receive||What is said
Accept what you are told – you do not need to decide whether or not it is true
Listen without displaying shock or disbelief
Acknowledge their courage in telling
Do not promise confidentiality
Remind them they are not to blame – avoid criticising the alleged perpetrator
Do not promise that “everything will be alright now” (it might not be)
|React||Respond to the student but do not interrogate
Avoid leading questions but ask open ended ones
Clarify anything you do not understand
Explain what you will do next, i.e. inform the Designated Person
|Record||Make notes as soon as possible – during the interview if you can
Use the student’s own words – do not assume – ask, e.g. “Please tell me what xxxxx means”
Include: time, date, place
Describe observable behaviour and appearance
Cross out mistakes – do not use Tippex
Do not destroy your original notes – they may be needed later on and must be given to the Designated Person
|Support||Consider what support is needed for the student. This may mean allocating some of your time, or that of a colleagues, to follow up phone calls or meetings.
Ensure you are supported – such interviews can be extremely stressful and time consuming.
Once reported to them the Designated Person will take responsibility for the matter and will take all of the necessary actions. However if you have questions or need additional support then do ask.
The Designated Named Person for safeguarding issues is the BCMB Director:
Name: Andy Fagg
Personal email: email@example.com
Mobile telephone: 07986 360845
Should he be unavailable, the nominated deputy is:
Name: Sarah Mclellan
Personal email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile Telephone: 07783 943298