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Safeguarding Adults

Report abuse

Multi agency policy, procedures and guidance

We have a number of current procedures in place.

The Care Act 2014 and safeguarding adults

The Care Act brings big changes to safeguarding adults at risk of abuse and neglect.
If a person is concerned about abuse or neglect they can contact us, Medway Council.

Safeguarding enquiries

We may then make a safeguarding enquiry into the concern. An enquiry:
  • should establish whether any action needs to be taken and if so, by whom
  • could range from an informal conversation with the adult at risk to a more formal multi-agency discussion
  • does not have to follow a formal safeguarding process
  • is not the same as a referral, there should be more enquiries than there are referrals

There are two different types of safeguarding enquiries

If the adult fits the criteria outlined in Section 42 of the Care Act, then local authorities are required by law to conduct enquiries. These will be referred to as 'Statutory Safeguarding Enquiries'. The criteria includes someone who: 

  • is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect
  • has needs for care and support, whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs
  • as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of, abuse or neglect

Local authorities will sometimes decide to make safeguarding enquiries for adults who do not fit the Section 42 criteria. These enquiries are not required by law and therefore will be referred to as 'Non Statutory Enquiries'. Local authorities are not required by law to carry out enquiries for these individuals; they do so at their own discretion. These enquiries would relate to an adult who:

  • is believed to be experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect
  • does not have care and support needs (but might have just support needs)

An example of these types of enquiry might be in relation to a carer who is experiencing abuse (either intentional or unintentional).

Gaining access to adults suspected to be at risk of neglect or abuse

In October 2014, Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) published a guide to legally gaining access to adults suspected of being at risk of abuse or neglect legally where access is restricted or denied.

Kent and Medway Safeguarding Adult Board

The Kent and Medway Safeguarding Adults Board has also produced guidance and information on the following:

  • Self-neglect policy and procedures
  •  Joint police, social services and health protocol for dealing with cases of domestic abuse where vulnerable adults are involved
  • Safeguarding adults - checklists for practitioners
  • Kent and Medway Safeguarding Adults Board annual report 2013-14

Safeguarding adult reviews (SAR)

Kent and Medway Safeguarding Board (SAB) has a responsibility to arrange a review when an 'adult at risk' dies in its area as a result of abuse or neglect, and there is a concern that partner agencies could have worked more effectively to protect the adult.

The Board must also arrange a SAR if an 'adult at risk' in its area has not died, but the SAB knows or suspects that an adult has experienced serious abuse or neglect. In the context of SARs, something can be considered serious abuse or neglect, for example where the individual would have likely to have died but for intervention, or has suffered permanent harm or has reduced capacity or quality of life (whether because of physical or psychological effects) as a result of the abuse or neglect.

The Board is also free to arrange for a SAR in any other situations involving an adult in its area with needs for care and support.

SARs are not inquiries into how someone died or suffered injury, or to find out who is responsible. They are to:

  • look at any lessons we can learn from the case about the way all local professionals and agencies worked together
  • review the effectiveness of our safeguarding adults policy and protocols
  • inform and improve local safeguarding practice for all agencies involved
  • deliver an overview report and recommendations for future actions

Take a look at SAR procedures and previous reviews.  

National whistleblowing helpline

If you work in health or social care services and you would like some help and advice about 'whistleblowing' then please contact the National Whistleblowing helpline or you can contact the Care Quality Commission via their whistleblowing page.