This chapter is Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland local authority guidance.
This document provides guidance for managers and staff in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland on how to proceed when an allegation is made to the local authority about an individual who works with adults who have care and support needs, in either a paid or voluntary capacity, and who may pose a risk of harm due to their actions deriving from their personal life.
The lead officer for PIPOT varies within the three authorities so contact should be made directly with the lead authority to confirm their own arrangements.
See Local Guidance and Templates for the PiPOT form.
1. When does the Process Apply?
The arrangements apply in circumstances where:
- ‘A person works, or volunteers, with adults who have care and support needs and who, in connection with their personal life is: ….’
- alleged to have committed a criminal offence against, or involving another person, or, is
- alleged to have conducted themselves in a manner that might indicate that they are unsuitable to continue to work, or volunteer, with adults who have care and support needs.
The process may also be used in circumstances where:
2. A person works or volunteers with adults who have care and support needs and has themselves been subjected to abuse such that their ability to safeguard vulnerable people in their care requires consideration.
2. When does the Process not Apply?
The process does not apply when the allegation involves harm to an adult with care and support needs.
In circumstances when the adult alleged to have been harmed is considered an adult at risk as defined under the Care Act, the applicable process is safeguarding adults, not PiPoT (see Safeguarding Enquiries. This applies to every situation, including those where the alleged perpetrator is employed by the LA. If it comes to light during the S42 enquiry that an alleged perpetrator works with adults who have care and support needs, this needs to be addressed as part of the S42 enquiry.
3. The PiPoT Process
3.1 Managing referrals
Sufficient information should be gathered by the person who receives the referral in order to make a decision on whether this meets the criteria for a PiPoT referral. Minimum information to take a referral should include:
- Name, address and contact details for the subject of referral
- Confirmation that the subject of the referral is aware of the referral to ASC
- Where the subject of the referral works or volunteers
- Specific reason why the referrer feels the PiPoT process is required, specifically risks and reason for concern
In circumstances where sufficient information as detailed above has not been provided by the referrer consideration should be given to whether this enables a decision to be about whether this meets the criteria for PiPoT. In these circumstances the referrer can be asked to collect further information, as appropriate.
The lead authority for the PiPoT will be determined by the subject of the referral’s work address. There will be occasions when the adult subject to the referral may work or volunteers in for more than one organisation with different locations. In such circumstances it should be agreed which local authority will take the overall lead.
Following discussion with a manager, the case should be allocated to a social worker to gather information. Advice and guidance should be provided through usual line management routes; with the option to escalate to one of the lead officers if the situation is particularly complex or contentious, if there is uncertainty as to whether the PiPoT process should apply, or if the subject of the referral works within Adult Social Care (ASC). Special consideration should be given to whom the case is allocated if the referral is about a member of ASC staff to ensure that there is no conflict of interest. It would not be appropriate for a case to be allocated to someone in the same team or for the direct line manager to be involved in giving advice. The line manager/s should not be made aware of the referral unless / until it has been agreed that the employer should be advised of the potential risk.
Usual practice should be to involve the referred person in this process. Only where discussion with the referred person may be considered harmful to them or others should this not take place and the decision not to involve the person requires management authorisation. In most cases, the referred person should be made aware from the outset that a referral has been received and their involvement and engagement in the process sought. Reassurance should be given that whilst ASC will gather information, no disclosure will be made to the employer without the referred person being made aware. The one exception to this is where the allegation is so serious that there is sufficient justification to contact the employer / voluntary organisation without making prior contact with the referred person. In all such instances, there needs to be a discussion with a manager in advance of the contact.
The allegation should be recorded how and where this is recorded will agreed locally. The referred person should be made aware that information will be held on the ASC data base.
There will be occasions when the allegation spans across both Adult’s (PiPoT) and Children’s (LADO) processes. In such circumstances, it should be agreed which process will take the lead, with a commitment to appropriate and proportionate information sharing. There is an option to escalate this decision to the LADO / Lead Officer, if required.
3.2 Managing the allegation
Following the fact finding and information gathering process, a management decision needs to be taken in terms of whether, and what, to disclose to the person’s employer / voluntary organisation. In most cases, the decision will be made by a Team Senior/Team Leader level, but with the option to seek advice from one of the lead officers if the situation is especially complex. The rationale for decision making needs to be clearly recorded on case notes for assurance and audit purposes.
The person referred should be kept updated during the process and informed of the outcome. If the decision is taken to inform the employer / voluntary organisation, the information shared should be proportionate and the person should be advised what information will be shared. Wherever possible, the referred person should be encouraged to share the information with their employer / voluntary organisation themselves, although this will need to be followed up by ASC to confirm.
Legal opinion should be sought, as required, on a case-by-case basis.
All decisions made should be recorded in case notes (with restricted access when appropriate).
3.2 Working with the employer / voluntary organisation
Once the employer or voluntary body has been informed, they are responsible for assessing the risks in the context of their service or organisation. Only the employer has the authority to suspend, redeploy or make other changes to the working arrangements. Each organisation will have policies or procedures in place and these should be the employer’s primary source of guidance.
The employer should be advised of their duty to assess and effectively manage the potential risk of harm posed by the staff member to adults with care and support needs, considering the nature and seriousness of the allegation. The Local Authority can advise the employer on the need to undertake a risk assessment and action plan and request a copy of this if the level of concern is sufficiently high, but this is dependent on the cooperation of the employer and is not enforceable.
4. End of Process
The PiPoT process ends either once a decision has been taken not to disclose, or following the disclosure to the employer. At this point, the responsible manager (usually the Team Leader/Team Senior) will review the interventions and close the case as per standard protocol.