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2.9 Stage 6: Closure

RELEVANT CHAPTER

Stage 5: Review

1. Definition of Closure

Closure is when the safeguarding adults enquiry is concluded. This includes all corresponding actions being completed and where relevant the development of an effective protection plan for the adult.

2. Purpose of Closure

The purpose of closure is to ensure all actions are completed or are in progress, including that:

  • all records are completed and contain all relevant information;
  • the adult knows the outcome of the enquiry and where possible, provides feedback on whether the enquiry met their objectives identified throughout the process;
  • the adult knows that the process is concluded and who to contact if they have any future concerns about abuse;
  • feedback has been given to all relevant parties including the referrer, the person alleged to have caused harm and any significant others;
  • all those involved with the person know how to refer if there are renewed or additional concerns.

3. Roles and Responsibilities

The managing officer must reach agreement to close the process with all organisations that have been involved in the enquiry and protection plan. The closing process must be signed off by the managing officer.

4. Timescales

Closure can take place at any stage of the process if:

  • the level of harm has been assessed as low and an information gathering, sharing and protection plan can be evidenced;
  • the allegation of abuse has not been substantiated;
  • the adult has the capacity to decide that they want no further intervention and there are no other adults or children at risk;
  • the status of the allegation has been determined and the adult is protected.

It is usual that a case will remain in the safeguarding adults process if the risk of harm to an individual remains high or very high. However, there are individuals who have the capacity to choose to remain in high or very high risk situations. In these circumstances, it is imperative that all stages of the safeguarding process have been followed to ensure that all options have been offered to the adult and can be fully evidenced.

5. Process

The decision to complete and close an enquiry, taken at a strategy discussion / meeting, a case conference or a review is a multi-agency one. It is essential that the discussion and / or meeting identifies the risk of harm to the individual and the potential risk of harm to others if relevant, and that the minutes clearly reflect the decisions taken.

The case may remain open to care management or care programme approach (CPA) systems, in which case the situation will be reviewed and monitored through those processes. This will include monitoring and review of the protection plan as necessary.

At the point of closure the following actions will be completed:

  • all evidence and decisions are adequately recorded;
  • the necessary monitoring forms and all data monitoring systems are completed
  • the referrer is notified of completion;
  • all relevant partner organisations are informed about the closure;
  • referral is made to appropriate professional bodies where necessary ;
  • notifiable occupation schemes for example Health and Care Professions Council) are informed and, if proven, action is taken to remove a member of staff from a professional register or refer the matter to the Disclosure and Barring Service.

6. Other Factors

Feedback must routinely be sought from the adult about their experience of the process and whether they now feel safer and their wishes and outcomes have been met.

Through the Safeguarding Adult Board, any partner agency can request that a serious incident investigation, Safeguarding Adult Review or independent management review is undertaken if there was a ‘near miss’ or a fatality, procedures do not appear to have been followed or agencies did not work together effectively. See also Safeguarding Adult Reviews.

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