RELEVANT SECTION / CHAPTER
April 2017: This chapter was revised to include an updated flowchart in Section 4, Resolving Practitioner Disagreements and Escalation of Concerns.
At no time must professional dissent detract from ensuring that the adult is safeguarded. The adult’s welfare and safety must remain paramount throughout.
Disagreements over the handling of concerns reported to adult social care typically occur when:
If the professionals are unable to resolve differences through discussion and / or meeting within a time scale which is acceptable to both of them, their disagreement must be addressed by more experienced or more senior staff.
With respect to most day to day issues, this will require an adult social care team manager or assistant team manager liaising with her / his equivalent in the relevant agency.
If agreement cannot be reached following discussions between the above ‘first line’ managers (who should normally seek advice from her / his line manager or designated / named / lead officer) the issue must be referred without delay through the line management of the respective agency structure.
Alternatively, and more commonly in health services, input may be sought directly from the designated or named professional for safeguarding / safeguarding adults in preference to the use of line management.
At this point a meeting should be called to discuss the situation involving all parties. Records of discussions must be maintained by all the agencies involved. The outcome of discussions and agreed actions should also be recorded.
If professional disagreements remain unresolved, the matter must be referred to the Safeguarding Adult Board (SAB) representative for each agency involved.
In the unlikely event that the issue is not resolved by the steps described above or significant policy issues are raised, it should be referred to the SAB office for discussion with the SAB Independent Chair who may act as a mediator to facilitate resolution to the disagreement in collaboration with other appropriate professionals.
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