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Adult Safeguarding. Roni Burchfield Independent Chair/ Adult Safeguarding Unit March 2013. Adult Safeguarding.

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Adult Safeguarding

Roni Burchfield

Independent Chair/ Adult Safeguarding Unit

March 2013

adult safeguarding
Adult Safeguarding
  • West Sussex County Council (WSCC) is required by the Department of Health to have policies and procedures in place to Safeguard ‘Adults at Risk’ and to coordinate with partners to ensure these are followed – based on the ‘No Secrets’ Guidance 2000.
  • ‘Pan Sussex Multi-Agency Policy and Procedures for Safeguarding Adults at Risk’.
  • These set out the procedures for considering allegations of abuse against ‘Adults at Risk’.
  • The term ‘Safeguarding’ is also used in the context of preventing harm.
code of practice
Code of Practice

It is the responsibility of everyone who works with Adults at Risk to:

  • Promote good practice and prevent abuse
  • Adhere to the ‘Pan Sussex Multi-Agency Policy and Procedures for Safeguarding Adults at Risk’
  • Respect individual differences
  • We all have a duty to Safeguard by reporting concerns and not keeping secrets
adult abuse is
Adult abuse is …..

”the violation of an individuals human and civil rights by any other person or persons”

(No Secrets, Department of Health & Home Office 2000)

adult abuse may
Adult abuse may ……

“Consist of a single act or repeated acts. It may be physical, verbal or psychological, it may be an act of neglect or an omission to act, or it may occur when a vulnerable person is persuaded to enter into a financial or sexual transaction to which he / she has not consented or cannot consent. Abuse can occur in any relationship and may result in significant harm to, or exploitation of, the person subjected to it.”

(No Secrets, Department of Health & Home Office 2000)

an adult at risk is
An adult at risk is ….
  • “a person aged 18 and over who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and who is and maybe unable to take care of him / herself, or unable to protect him / herself against harm or serious exploitation”

Who Decides – Lord Chancellor’s office 1997

NB: Carers by virtue of their caring role

roles in the process
Roles in the Process:
  • Investigation Manager- Proactive coordination & management of Adult Safeguarding Investigation Process within timescales
    • (Adults Services / SPT - CMHTs)
  • Investigation Officer-Undertaking the Investigation / particular aspects of the Investigation & reporting back to the Investigating Manager (All agencies)
  • Independent Chair
response to alerts principles
Response to Alerts-principles
  • Primary purpose is to ensure the safety of the Adult at Risk
  • Every Alert must have a clear response (whether an investigation takes place or not)
  • Level of investigation should be proportionate to the perceived level of risk/seriousness and use recourses effectively
  • The investigation should actively seek to involve the Adult at Risk- not erode their right to make choices and decisions
  • Level of investigation should be kept under review
wscc adult safeguarding process key stages
WSCC Adult Safeguarding Process:Key stages
  • Alert made (Safeguarding procedures enacted)
  • Initial informationgathered & analysed (24hrs)
  • Decision (NFA, Incident or Level of Safeguarding Investigation required 1,2,3 or 4)
  • Strategy Meeting/ discussion
  • Investigation undertaken & completed (further strategy meetings / discussions may be required)
  • Case Conference determines outcome of Investigation - always for Level 3 & 4 (Independent Chairs)
  • Safeguarding Plan in place - clear monitoring & review arrangements (Safeguarding Process ends)
harm significant harm
Harm / Significant Harm:


  • Ill treatment (including non physical abuse and sexual abuse)
  • Impairment of development &/or avoidable deterioration in physical or mental health
  • The impairment of physical, emotional, social or behavioural development or the impairment of health
  • Or unlawful conduct which appropriates or adversely affects property, rights or interests (e.g. theft, embezzlement or extortion)

(‘Who Decides’ Lord Chancellor’s Dept 1997 & Law Commission Review 2010)

significant harm
Significant Harm
  • Circumstances, severity, degree & impact/ effect on the individual

Indicators that the effect of harm for the person is likely to be significant:

  • The person’s life could be or is under threat, for example due to neglect or physical abuse
  • There is or could be a serious, chronic and/or long lasting impact on the person’s health/ physical/ emotional/ psychological well-being
  • The person has little or no choice or control over vital aspects of their life, environment or financial affairs
what should you do if you have a concern
What should you do if you have a concern?
  • If there is immediate danger you should contact the emergency services.
  • If appropriate you should discuss the situation with your manager.
  • Wherever possible, you should inform the person that you are concerned about them and would like to seek support for them. However, you can still contact Adult Services for advice even if this has not been possible.
what should you do if you have a concern1
What should you do if you have a concern?
  • You can contact Adult Services by phone, fax or e-mail. Or you can complete an Adult Safeguarding Alert form on the WSCC website.
  • What is the difference between poor practice and Adult Safeguarding? – see handout.
west sussex alerts received
West Sussex: Alerts received

2006/07 629 Up 50%

2007/08 1,239 Up 97%

2008/09 2,858 Up 131%

2009/10 3,088 Up 8%

2010/11 2,858 Down 10%

2011/12 1,935Down 31%

Taking account of incidents down 7%

disclosure barring service
Disclosure & Barring Service
  • Merger of the Criminal Records Bureau and the Independent Safeguarding Authority in Dec 2012
  • As part of Adult Safeguarding Investigation the Employer and the LA have duties/ powers to refer.
further information contact details
Further Information/Contact Details
  • Adult Services: 01243 642555
  • Emergency oohs – 01903 694422
  • WSCC Learning and Development Gateway (internet)
  • Basic Awareness Training, Level 1 Provider Manager Training.