RELEVANT CHAPTERS

Safeguarding: What is it and why does it Matter?

April 2017: This chapter was revised to include a new Section 5, Making Safeguarding Personal.

1. Introduction

This resource reflects the commitment of all organisations and practitioners in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to work together to safeguard adults experiencing or at risk of abuse or neglect (hereon referred to as adult). The Multi-Agency Policies and Procedures (MAPP) aim to make sure that:

  • the needs and interests of adults are always respected and upheld;
  • the human rights of adults are respected and upheld;
  • a proportionate, timely, professional and ethical response is made to any adult who may be experiencing abuse;
  • all decisions and actions are taken in line with the Mental Capacity Act 2005, where relevant / applicable.

The procedures also aim to ensure that each adult maintains:

  • choice and control;
  • safety;
  • health and wellbeing;
  • quality of life;
  • dignity and respect.

2. Partnership Working

The MAPP is aimed at different agencies and individuals involved in safeguarding adults, including managers, professionals, volunteers and staff working in public, voluntary and private sector organisations. They represent the commitment of organisations to:

  • work together to protect adults and prevent abuse;
  • empower and support people to make their own choices;
  • support adults and provide a service to those at risk who are experiencing abuse, neglect and exploitation;
  • investigate actual or suspected abuse and neglect.

2.1 Making enquiries: abuse and neglect

See also Local Contacts for contact information for the Safeguarding Teams and the Emergency Duty Team.

Under Section 42, Care Act 2014 if the local authority has reasonable cause to suspect an adult in its area (whether or not ordinarily resident there):

  1. has needs for care and support (whether or not the authority is meeting any of those needs);
  2. is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect; and
  3. as a result of those needs is unable to protect himself or herself against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it the local authority must make (or cause to be made) whatever enquiries it thinks necessary to enable it to decide whether any actions should be taken in the adult’s case (whether under this Part or otherwise) and, if so, what and by whom.

Everyone involved in an enquiry must focus on promoting the individual’s wellbeing and work together to that shared aim.

2.2 Objectives of the enquiry

The objectives of an enquiry into abuse or neglect are to:

  • establish facts;
  • ascertain the individual’s views and wishes and seek consent;
  • assess the needs of the adult for protection, support and redress; and,
  • make decisions as to what follow-up action should be taken with regard to the person, or the organisation responsible for the abuse or neglect.

The first priority should always be to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the adult and, where the adult has capacity to make their own decisions, to aim for any action to be in line with their wishes as far as appropriate.

The safeguarding process should be experienced as empowering and supportive; not as controlling and disempowering. Practitioners must always seek the consent of the individual before taking action or sharing personal information. However, there may be circumstances when consent cannot be obtained because the adult lacks the capacity to give it, but the best interests of the individual or others at risk demand action.

Where an adult has capacity to make decisions about their safeguarding plans, and where no one else is at risk, their wishes are very important (see Chapter 14Care and Support Statutory Guidance, Department of Health and Social Care).

Where an adult lacks capacity to make decisions about their safeguarding plans, a range of options should be identified which help the adult stay as much in control of their life as possible. Wherever possible, the adult should be supported to recognise risks and to manage them. Safeguarding plans should empower the adult as far as possible to make choices and to develop their own capability to respond to risks.

These duties apply in relation to any person who is aged 18 or over and at risk of abuse or neglect because of their needs for care and support. The level of care needs is not relevant, and the adult does not need to have eligible needs for care and support, or be receiving any particular service from the local authority, in order for the safeguarding duties to apply.  Where someone is over 18 but still receiving services from children’s social care and a safeguarding issue is raised, the matter should be discussed with the relevant adult social care services. Where appropriate, they should involve the local authority’s’ children’s safeguarding colleagues as well as any relevant partners (for example police or NHS) or other persons relevant to the case.

3. Local Implementation

Under the Care Act 2014, each local authority is required to establish a Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) to help and protect adults in its area; giving these boards a clear basis in law for the first time. This policy has been developed by the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Safeguarding Adults Boards. Its implementation by all relevant partners is intended to achieve consistency in the way which adults are safeguarded across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. The effective implementation of this MAPP will be monitored by the Leicester Safeguarding Adults Board and the Leicestershire and Rutland Safeguarding Adults Board through their independent Chairs.

The Care Act indicates that SABs must include the local authority, NHS and the police, who should meet regularly to discuss and act upon local safeguarding issues; develop shared Business Plans for safeguarding, working with local people to decide how best to protect adults in vulnerable situations; publish the safeguarding Business Plan and report to the public annually on its progress, so that different organisations can make sure they are working together in the best way.

Since 2010 Leicester and Leicestershire and Rutland have formed their own SAB. Click on their links to visit their websites and find out more information about the work of each SAB.

4. Individual Implementation

These policies and procedures should also be used in conjunction with individual organisations’ procedures on safeguarding adults and related issues such as domestic abuse, fraud, disciplinary procedures and health and safety.

5. Making Safeguarding Personal

See Making Safeguarding Personal chapter

Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP) stresses the importance of keeping the adult at the centre. Under MSP, the adult is best placed to identify risks, provide details of its impact and whether or not they find the mitigation acceptable. Working with the adult to lead and manage the level of risk that they identify as acceptable creates a culture where:

  • adults feel more in control;
  • adults are empowered and have ownership of the risk;
  • there is improved effectiveness and resilience in dealing with a situation;
  • there are better relationships with professionals;
  • good information sharing to manage risk, involving all the key stakeholders (see Information Sharing);
  • key elements of the person’s quality of life and wellbeing can be safeguarded.