October 2016: This chapter has been amended to add the revised Out-of-Area Safeguarding Adults Arrangements, published by ADASS in July 2016, as linked above.
Risks may be increased by complicated cross boundary arrangements, and it would be dangerous and unproductive for local authorities to argue over whose responsibility it is to investigate cross boundary safeguarding incidents.
The ‘placing local authority’ continues to hold responsibility for commissioning and funding a placement. However, many people at risk live in residential settings outside their own placing area. In addition, a safeguarding incident might occur during a short term health or social care stay, or on a trip, requiring police action in that area or immediate steps to protect the person while they are in that area.
The initial lead in response to a safeguarding referral should always be taken by the local authority where the incident occurred. This is known as the ‘host local authority’. This might include taking immediate action to ensure the safety of the person, or arranging an early discussion with the police when a criminal offence is suspected.
The host local authority will:
The placing local authority continues to have responsibilities to the person who is the subject of the referral, and will take action as needed by:
In terms of renegotiation, dispute resolution and uncertainty between two local authorities, the ‘default’ position is described in the paragraphs above. However, the responsibility for the enquiry of a referral could be negotiated, with authorities agreeing alternative arrangements when these are in the best interests of the adult, or when it is more appropriate and practical to do this. For example, during a short stay outside the ‘host’ or ‘placing’ area.
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