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3.1 Safeguarding Adults Boards

1. Introduction

The Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) is the multi-agency board established in each local authority to promote, inform and support safeguarding adults work; clinical commissioning groups, police and the local authority. They ensure that priority is given to the prevention of abuse and that adult safeguarding is integrated into other community initiatives and services.

A local SAB may be chaired by a Director of Adult Social Services, an Assistant Director, a Senior Elected Member or, where partner agencies have agreed, by an independent Chair. In Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland it has been agreed that an independent Chair should be appointed to provide rigour and accountability.

2. Functions of the Safeguarding Adults Board

A Safeguarding Adults Board has three functions:

  1. It must publish a strategic plan for each financial year that sets how it will meet its main objective and what the members will do to achieve these objectives. The plan must be developed with local community involvement, and the SAB must consult the local Healthwatch organisation.
  2. It must publish an annual report detailing what the SAB has done during the year to achieve its main objective and implement its strategic plan, and what each member has done to implement the strategy as well as detailing the findings of any Safeguarding Adults Reviews or any ongoing reviews.
  3. It must conduct any Safeguarding Adults Review.

3. Safeguarding Adults Reviews

See also Chapter 14, Care and Support Statutory Guidance.

A Safeguarding Adult Review (SAR) is a review of the practice of agencies involved in a safeguarding incident. It is commissioned by the SAB when a serious incident or incidents of adult abuse take place or are suspected. The aim is for agencies and individuals to learn lessons and improve the way in which they work.

The local SAB has the lead responsibility for conducting a Safeguarding Adult Review. Terms of reference need to be carefully constructed to explore the issues relevant to each specific case. This guidance follows best practice as laid down by ADASS.

The purpose of an Adult Review is not to apportion blame as to who is responsible for the death of or significant harm to a vulnerable adult and how this came about: that duty falls to the criminal justice system and / or coroner’s office. The purpose of a SAR is to:

  • establish whether there are lessons to be learned from the case;
  • identify what those lessons are, how they will be acted upon and what is expected to change as a result within a given timescale in terms of improvements to practice;
  • inform and improve local inter-agency working;
  • review the effectiveness of procedures (both multi-agency and those of individual organisations) and make recommendations for improvements;
  • prepare or commission an overview report which brings together and analyses the overall findings.

Staff should refer to their local Safeguarding Adults Board Office if they think they have a case which may meet the criteria for a SAR.

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