LSHTM Report and Support Duty of Care Guidance
When you submit a report to LSHTM using the Report and Support tool, LSHTM will ordinarily only carry out an investigation or make a report of the complaint to an external third party with your consent.
However, there are certain circumstances where LSHTM has a legal responsibility and duty to investigate or make an external report even if you do not provide consent for LSHTM to do so. In addition, LSHTM may need to take action in relation to a report without seeking your consent where it can be reasonably inferred that not doing so could put any individual in danger, interfere with an LSHTM or third party investigation, lead to the destruction of relevant information, or where LSHTM is under a statutory obligation to disclose any such investigation or report.
Any action taken by LSHTM will be dependent on the nature and quality of information provided in the report. As such, it is not possible to provide an exhaustive list of all the circumstances in which LSHTM may take action. However, at a minimum, this will include any situation in which there is evidence of illegal or criminal activity, there is an actual or perceived threat to the health and safety of any individual, or that failure to act would put LSHTM in breach of a regulatory or statutory duty, including its duties to staff and students as an employer and a university.
In addition to the above, LSHTM may need to investigate or report on any matter which could affect the welfare of children or vulnerable adults. Details of the most likely circumstances in which LSHTM will carry out an investigation or make a report in relation to safeguarding are set out below. This list is not intended to be exhaustive and the actions taken by LSHTM will depend on the specific circumstances of each case.
Allegation about inappropriate behaviour by a staff member or student towards an individual who is under the age of 18. LSHTM may need to do the following:
1. Report the matter to the police and/or social care services, including where a child is in immediate danger or is at risk of harm, a crime is in progress or there is evidence of a possible criminal offence, or life is at risk.
2. Notify LSHTM’s Safeguarding Officer and the Local Authority Designated Officer, including where the case meets the reporting threshold for a “safeguarding allegation relating to a child”.
3. Where the identity of the child is known, the child’s parents may be informed.
4. Investigate the matter further in accordance with LSHTM’s internal policies. In deciding whether to investigate in such circumstances, LSHTM will consider, for example, the seriousness of the incident or where multiple allegations have been made against an individual.
Allegation about inappropriate behaviour by a staff member or student towards an adult at risk. LSHTM may need to do the following:
1. Report the matter to adult social care and/or police, including if an adult at risk is in immediate danger or is at risk of harm, a crime is in progress, has occurred or may occur or life is at risk.
2. Refer to adult social care, if, on the basis of the information available, it appears to LSHTM that the following three criteria are met:
2.1 a person has care and support needs (regardless of the level or seriousness of those care and support needs);
2.2 they may be experiencing or at risk of abuse and neglect; and
2.3 they are unable to protect themselves from that abuse and neglect because of those care and support needs.
If an adult refuses intervention to support them, or requests that information about them is not shared with other safeguarding partners, a referral to a third party may be made by LSHTM on a case by case basis including if:
2.4 the adult lacks the mental capacity to make that decision – this must be properly explored and recorded in line with the Mental Capacity Act 2005;
2.5 other people are, or may be, at risk, including children;
2.6 sharing the information could prevent a crime;
2.7 the alleged abuser has care and support needs and may also be at risk;
2.8 a serious crime has been committed;
2.9 the adult has the mental capacity to make that decision but they may be under duress or being coerced;
2.10 the risk is unreasonably high and meets the criteria for a multi-agency risk assessment conference referral; and/or
2.11 a court order or other legal authority has requested the information.
3. Investigate the matter further in accordance with LSHTM’s internal policies. In deciding whether to investigate in such circumstances, LSHTM will consider, for example, the seriousness of the incident or where multiple allegations have been made against an individual.
Allegation about inappropriate behaviour by a staff member or student towards an individual over the age of 18. LSHTM may need to do the following:
1. Report the matter to the police, including if a crime is in progress, has occurred or may occur, or life is at risk.
2. Refer the matter to the police on a “no names” basis or on a case by case basis on a named basis, including if there if there is a risk to safety or well-being of the complainant. On a case by case basis LSHTM may report the name of the subject of the complaint to the police, for example, where an allegation of serious sexual assault has been made.
3. Investigate the matter further in accordance with LSHTM’s internal policies. In deciding whether to investigate in such circumstances LSHTM will consider, for example, the seriousness of the incident or where multiple allegations have been made against an individual.
If a report is received anonymously by LSHTM then LSHTM may decide to take any of the above actions on a “no names” basis.
A “child” is anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday. The fact that a child has reached 16 years of age, is living independently or is in further education does not change their status or entitlements to services or protection.
An "adult with care and support needs" or “adult at risk” – to whom safeguarding duties apply – is a person aged 18 or over who:
• has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs);
• is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect; and
• as a result of those needs is unable to protect himself or herself against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it.
A “safeguarding allegation relating to a child” is an allegation that a person has:
• behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child
• possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child
• behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children.
If you have any questions on the escalation circumstances please contact the Legal and Compliance Team by emailing email@example.com.