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Safeguarding statement

The GOsC is committed to the protection of the public including working collaboratively with other organisations to protect vulnerable people.

It is our responsibility to have safeguarding processes in place and it is the responsibility of our Council (as trustees) to ensure these processes are followed.

Safeguarding is about protecting the rights of adults and children to live in safety and free from harm, abuse and neglect. As a healthcare regulator and registered charity, safeguarding is built into our culture and values so that anyone with a concern can feel able to raise it with us.

Our role

We work with the osteopathic profession, patients and other stakeholders to promote patient safety in the UK. We do this by setting, maintaining and developing standards of osteopathic practice and conduct. We also assure the quality of osteopathic education.

We will investigate any concerns against osteopaths who may be unfit to practise.

Safeguarding and protecting people

Safeguarding means protecting a citizen's health, wellbeing and human rights; allowing them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect.

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. Our approach to safeguarding applies to anyone we interact with including patients, members of the public, osteopaths, other health professionals, students and our colleagues.

It's important that we all understand what this means. Public trust and confidence, and the reputation of healthcare regulation, could be harmed if safeguarding concerns are not responded to appropriately.

We have taken into account the Charity Commission’s guidance on safeguarding as well as statutory guidance and legislation across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Through our regulatory activities, we interact with vulnerable people, including osteopaths, other health professionals, patients, students, and members of the public. We ensure that all concerns are investigated in a timely and sensitive manner.

If the information we receive suggests that a vulnerable individual may be harmed, we may choose to share this information with the relevant local authority or the police. All safeguarding concerns are shared with our Director of Fitness to Practise.

We have a process in place that includes a data sharing agreement in case we need to make a referral to the Disclosure and Barring Service/Disclosure Scotland.

We also have a process to raise and manage concerns about colleagues, including a separate Code of Conduct for Council and Fitness to Practise panellists.

How to raise a safeguarding concern

You can raise a safeguarding concern about a member of GOsC staff or Council, or any other person that we interact with in the course of our work, by contacting us at council@osteopathy.org.uk.

Any member of staff can report any concerns they have about anyone they interact with while at work to our Director of Fitness to Practise.

If you have a concern about an osteopath’s behaviour that may have caused harm, abuse or neglect to someone, we will also consider whether we need to investigate this as part of our standard concerns process.

If we receive a safeguarding concern about another registered professional that we employ, we will forward this information to the appropriate regulator for consideration.

For general safeguarding queries or for more information on our safeguarding policy, email council@osteopathy.org.uk.