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Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Response to Care Act 2014 – Safeguarding Adults draft guidance

From Solihull Safeguarding Adults Board

 Response to Care Act 2014 Safeguarding Adults Draft Guidance

(You can also download this response as a Word Document.)

Representatives from the following organisations who are members of Solihull Safeguarding Adults Board met on 24th July 2014 to discuss the draft Safeguarding Adults Care Act 2014 Guidance:  SMBC, WM Police, Age UK, Solihull Action through Advocacy, Community and Voluntary Sector, Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Partnership Trust, Healthwatch, Carers Centre and West Midlands Fire Service.

The following represents the feedback from the Board.

Draft Safeguarding Adults Care Act 2014 Guidance

The Board welcomes the Care Act 2014 which sets out for the first time a statutory framework for Safeguarding Adults and identifies local authority responsibilities and those of the local partners.

It is really good to see the Making Safeguarding Personal approach is embedded throughout the guidance and that ALL adults should be aware of safeguarding procedures unless there is good reason for them not to.  However the section headed Making Safeguarding Personal was considered poor.

We had an in depth discussion about what an “enquiry” is.  The views ranged from – an enquiry is what a provider might do to decide if they should make a safeguarding adults alert to what the LA receiving team did to decide if an alert they received met the threshold for further safeguarding work and therefore becomes a referral to an enquiry was another name for an investigation.

We identified that: s42 (2) of the Care Act indicated an enquiry was the threshold decision making process. BUT paragraph 14.37 of the guidance states “an enquiry could range from a conversation with an individual….to a much more formal multi-agency agreement” which some people felt was the strategy discussion/meeting.  BUT paragraph 14.54 of the guidance details the objectives of an enquiry indicating an enquiry is the investigation.  AND paragraph 14.67 of the guidance states “Once enquiries are completed, the outcome should be notified to the LA which should then determine with the adult…..if any further action is necessary and acceptable.” indicating an enquiry is an investigation.  Given this range of interpretation of the Act and the guidance the overall view was further clarification is required to ensure consistency and reliability.

Overall the guidance in relation to Safeguarding Adults Boards is satisfactory.  Further clarification on probation services roles and responsibilities in relation to SABs given they recent changes would be beneficial.

The Board welcomes the guidance in relation to independent advocacy (s68 Care Act) and whilst understands the possible reasons for detailing who cannot be an appropriate person to facilitate the adults involvement as detailed in paragraph 14.91, overall the Board felt this universal exclusion of “someone who is already providing care and treatment in a professional capacity or on a paid basis” was too restricting as many professional may be very suitable to facilitate the adults involvement.  The suggestion is maybe independent advocacy services can delegate their responsibilities to “someone who is already providing care and treatment in a professional capacity or on a paid basis” if they assess they are the best people to facilitate the adult’s involvement.

The Board identified the guidance uses a wide range of terms and definitions which they were unsure if that meant different things.  For example:

  • The last sentence in paragraph 14.2 is different to the first sentence in paragraph 14.36 and paragraph 14.103 and the requirements of s42(1) of the Care Act.
  • Safeguarding Adults and Adult Safeguarding is used intermittently throughout the guidance.  Is there a difference?  What is the difference?
  • Adult at risk, Adults at risk of abuse and harm and Adult with care and support needs are used intermittently throughout the guidance? Which?

Specific Questions

Question 66 – Are there additional possible members of Safeguarding Adults Boards that we should add?  NHS England.  Also clarification on Probation services roles and responsibilities in relation to SABs given they recent changes would be beneficial.

Question 67 – Are there additional aspects of the Safeguarding Adults Board’s work that we should highlight?  We suggest how a SAB links to other Boards should be an aspect that needs to be highlighted.

Question 68 – Would it be useful to append a draft template for the strategic plan for Safeguarding Adult Boards to use if they wish?  Guidance would be welcomed to provide consistency and enable peer review and/or others to compare and evaluate.  It would also help providers who cross Local Authority areas and could be linked to the AVA data return.

Solihull Safeguarding Adults Board

Sue Walton – Business Manager

25th July 2014