Contents

Message from the Independent Chair – Barrie Crook

A key feature of 2019 to 2020 has been the commissioning of an independent report to review how Dorset and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Safeguarding Adults Boards work together and identify options for the future.

The review has given an impartial view of current safeguarding arrangements. The author commented positively on the work of the subgroups and board staff. The introduction of multi-agency risk management meetings (MARMs) had been an important initiative. The development and maintenance of pan Dorset policies and procedures was highly valued. Safeguarding Adult Reviews were rigorously considered, and action plans followed up well.

However, the reviewer also commented that there was infrequent evidence of challenge in board meetings. Analysis of data was limited and therefore the boards do not have sufficient line of sight into the quality of front-line practice. Time could be saved for the pan-Dorset agencies by reshaping board meeting agendas.

Since the review there has therefore been an emphasis upon improvements in data recording and analysis, particularly in seeking to understand better the causes of neglect and acts of omission, which form the most frequent reason for a safeguarding concern being raised.

The boards have also tried a different meeting structure with each board meeting separately on the same day and then together. This new practice has not yet been repeated or evaluated as the advent of COVID-19 led to a temporary pause in a number of board activities.

It was agreed by members that the independent report had provided a useful starting point for discussion but had not mapped out a definitive model that the partnerships could immediately adopt. The appraisal of structural changes has still to be completed. One driver for the review has been Local Government Reorganisation. Dorset Council now forms a much larger authority incorporating a wider span of services and responsibilities. Consideration is therefore being given to how the governance of safeguarding more broadly, including children's and adult safeguarding and community safety, can be better integrated within the authority.

A second important element is the heightened awareness of domestic abuse within safeguarding. This features strongly in many of the accounts provided by member organisations within this report. County Lines and exploitation is another form of abuse where there needs to be integration between safeguarding and community safety responsibilities. As a number of Safeguarding Adult and Domestic Homicide Reviews have now pointed out, there is still insufficient alignment between systems for adult safeguarding and domestic abuse. It remains an aim of the board to consistently improve information sharing and multi-agency risk management in practice.

As a result of Local Government Reorganisation Christchurch passed from Dorset County Council to the new BCP Council. The board was able to monitor the detailed preparations that took place prior to the transfer and has not encountered any examples of where the transfer was not effected well.

Although there are an increasing number of safeguarding issues that lend themselves to a place-based approach, approximately a quarter of concerns emanate from residential establishments in the independent care sector. This calls for continuing cooperation between the two local authorities and Health services across the county. The impact of COVID-19 upon the care sector has been significant and it is clear that agencies have created new structures to promote a coordinated response to the pandemic. Different ways of working have evolved which, with the continuing importance of controlling the spread of infection in the community and the residential sector, will take up much of the boards’ attention during 2020 to 2021.

Once again, I express my gratitude to the Business Manager and Administrator of the Dorset board and the chairs of subgroups whose diligence and enthusiasm underpin all that the board has achieved this year.

Barrie Crook

July 2020

About the Dorset Safeguarding Adults Board (DSAB)

The board exists to protect adults at risk from abuse, significant harm and neglect. We will achieve this through collective accountability.

The Care Act (2014) Section 43 says that every local authority must have a Safeguarding Adults Board. The purpose of the Dorset Safeguarding Adults Board (DSAB) is to help safeguard people who have care and support needs. The board must assure itself that everyone is working together to keep adults safe from abuse and neglect. 

The board meets every 3 months to discuss and review information and ensure that safeguarding practice across the Dorset continues to improve the quality of life and outcomes for individuals.

Safeguarding principles

The 6 safeguarding principles remain central in all of the boards work:

  1. empowerment – supported and encouraged to make decisions
  2. prevention – better to take action before harm occurs
  3. protection – support and representation for those in greatest need
  4. proportionate – the least intrusive response to the risk presented
  5. partnership – solutions through services with local communities
  6. accountability – and transparency in delivering safeguarding 

Core duties

  1. develop - develop and publish a strategic plan setting out how we will meet our objectives and how our members and partner agencies will contribute
  2. publish - publish an annual report detailing what we have done and how effective we have been
  3. undertake - Undertake a Safeguarding Adults Review (SAR) when someone has died or experienced significant harm and it appears agencies have not worked effectively together

Strategic aims

The strategic aims underpin all of the boards work to enable individuals to live safely in their communities by developing a culture which does not tolerate abuse. To achieve our aims we must actively collaborate and maintain a commitment to working together, listen and hear what people say to us, in order to deliver positive outcomes.

  • effective prevention
  • effective safeguarding
  • effective learning
  • effective governance

Priorities for 2019/20 

During 2019-20 the board continued to work towards achieving the priorities set out in the Strategic Plan for 2018-2021.

  • support the development of a more robust independent provider market that leads to fewer safeguarding concerns
  • reduce the instances of people with care and support needs being involved in Domestic Abuse and improve the interface between Domestic Abuse and Safeguarding
  • help to establish working with the whole family as standard practice
  • evidence lessons from SARs and DHRS really have changed the way we work

Business Plan priorities - progress during 2019/20

Each year the board holds a provider event to engage with care providers and hear from them regarding current challenges which can inform the board’s future business, and to share with them an overview of the board’s activity. (details of the DSAB Provider Event are on the following slides).

The board supported a workshop at the Dorset MCA Conference to develop knowledge and skills about Adult Safeguarding and Coercive Control as this remains a complex and challenging practice area.

The DSAB Business Manager, Community Safety Partnership and Children's Board managers delivered a whole family approach to practice session at the Dorset Council Festival of Learning in October 2019. This was aimed at embedding this approach in practice across Adults and Childrens Services.

The Business Teams from the Safeguarding Adults Boards, Safeguarding Children Boards and Community Safety Partnerships have formed a Shared Learning Group to look at themes from SARs and DHRs. This group links with subgroups, in particular Training & Workforce Development around learning and also with the Policy & Procedures group in case any learning necessitates an amendment to the pan Dorset safeguarding procedures.

The DSAB supported and contributed to the funding of the Harry learning event in November 2019 which was delivered to 240 practitioners across agencies. A programme that included findings of the independent review and the inquest looking at each of the protagonists in turn (victim and two perpetrators) led by a presenter with excellent knowledge of the events and the theory of Domestic Abuse invited groups to reflect on what had happened and how things might be done differently today with the advanced learning.

The Independent Chair, Business Manager and representative from the Dorset Community Safety Partnership and Engagement Officer at Dorset Council supported a keeping safe event held by People First Dorset friendship group in Weymouth to share the learning from the ‘Harry’ SAR and to develop healthy relationships.

An Independent Review of the Dorset and the BCP Safeguarding Adults Boards was commissioned. In the summer board members were interviewed, where possible in person, to gain an understanding of their views on the existing arrangements and suggestions for improvements. A report of findings was circulated and in December a joint Development Session was held for members of both Safeguarding Adults Boards to examine the proposals. Although the two boards remain it was decided to trial holding a joint board meeting and the inaugural one was held in March 2020. 

Future challenges

The board’s objectives in the 3-year Strategic Plan and our progress against those would ordinarily have informed the Business Plan for the new reporting year.

However due to the coronavirus pandemic, in the weeks preceding the start of the 2020-21 year many of the board’s partners have had to adapt very rapidly to the ever-changing landscape. Whilst safeguarding remains at the heart of all activity, new ways of working have had to be developed overnight. Existing issues have needed new and innovative approaches due to infection-control considerations, and emerging issues have seen partner agencies work collaboratively to look for workable, safe solutions. In terms of funding the crisis, partner organisations will have had already stretched limited resources that much further.

The direction of the board’s Business Plan will inevitably alter course to align with the member organisations focus on the most pressing issues, to include the need to examine practice during the crisis, sharing learning in a timely manner and measuring and analysing the impact it has on issues such as domestic abuse and on those with care and support needs. All this will be against the backdrop of preparing for the possibility of further ‘waves’ of the virus.

Even in the very early stages of these challenging times, it has been clear that partner organisations have adapted very quickly to new ways of working and have made use of the technology available. This will undoubtedly impact how the board and its partners work in the future.

Business Plan priorities 2020/21

The Safeguarding Adults Board will monitor safety and contribute to support plans in the care sector.

A reflective learning event will be held in the Autumn with a focus on preventing future harm particularly in the light of concerns about an increase in COVID-19 infection rates during the winter period, when the health and care system is annually under stress.

Domestic abuse remains a continuing priority. The board will work closely with the Community Safety Partnership to develop and maintain a much more co-ordinated and joined up approach when responding effectively to adults who have care and support needs who are experiencing domestic abuse or coercion and control. The board recognises that domestic abuse between older partners or familial abuse has not always been acknowledged and responded to effectively. The impact of COVID-19 restrictions may have also impacted on carer stress, contributing to an increase in domestic abuse.

Neglect also remains an ongoing priority. The board will analyse and segment the data on neglect and acts of omission which is the largest type of concern recorded. This is already leading to exploration of opportunities for preventative actions.

There is also potential increasing risk of self neglect from the impact of isolation and unexpected bereavement as a result of COVID-19. The SAR sub-group has also recently been reviewing more cases of suicide.

It is acknowledged that an overarching governance structure for safeguarding in its widest sense would help to mitigate the risk of duplication across partnerships and lead to better coordination and outcomes for the person. Different models of governance which bring together the responsibilities of Children and Adult safeguarding and community safety are being implemented in some authorities. The SAB review, which commenced with an independent report in October 2019 following Local Government Reorganisation, was paused in March due to pandemic. There is now a need to integrate into our planning the learning from how the safeguarding system as a whole has responded to the pandemic, the pattern of new safeguarding risks and the identified needs which have resulted from it.

A new board structure and governance arrangement will be agreed and implementation plans designed.

Associated themes have also been identified in the boards workplan and include the following – clarify understanding of different risk management meeting structures, work alongside the Community Safety Partnership and Safeguarding Children's Partnership to respond appropriately to exploitation, understand and engage with safeguarding issues for homeless individuals.

In conjunction with Public Health the board has committed to being involved in a national project on safeguarding vulnerable dependent drinkers. 

Sub-groups of the board

The DSAB shares 4 sub groups with the Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Safeguarding Adults Board to enable a joined up approach across the county:

A shared executive group also meets regularly to maintain oversight of the boards agreed priorities.

Policy and procedures sub-group

The Policy and Procedures sub-group meets on four occasions during throughout the year. A major aspect of the groups work is to oversee the revision of the Safeguarding Adults Procedures. The latest version was issues in August 2019, later than planned but necessary to allow for work on a more urgent SA Priorities and to enable the inclusion of some graphics to accompany the text. The revision contains some important new or revised Appendices including those on Large Scale Enquiries, Pressure Ulcer care, Allegations against people in positions of trust and guidance about multi-agency scams, rogue trading and fraud.

View the current safeguarding procedures.

The groups communications and media campaign has continued with a further 2000 posters printed and distributed during 2019/20. A further update to the Keeping Adults Safe leaflet has also been completed.

2 new pop up banners have also been purchased to support with community learning events. Plans are currently underway for a fresh communication and media campaign to promote a wider community understanding of adult safeguarding and effectively communicate where to report concerns.

Work has also been undertaken to update the Personal Information Sharing Agreement (PISA) with each areas making revisions to current guidance following Local Government reorganisation.

The sub group agreed that a strategy paper should be drafted to provide direction for agencies and encourage their commitment to deliver the benefits of prevention, early intervention and wellbeing. This is currently being considered within the Executive Group and is anticipated to be available in 2020/21. The group has also agreed a major, innovative, piece of work to comprehensively reformat the Safeguarding Adults Procedures so they are more easily accessible. A “portal” approach is being considered and will be worked on during the year ahead as part of the groups workplan.

Quality Assurance sub-group 

The Quality Assurance sub group meets quarterly to support the Safeguarding Adults Boards’ to take a strategic overview of the quality of safeguarding activity across its area of responsibility. The group reviews and analyses data and performance information as well as the outcome of audits. Service user feedback in line with Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP), is integral to supporting improvements in provision and practice to ensure effective prevention and early intervention. The principles of MSP are consistently promoted to ensure that they are embedded across partners and the individual remain at the very centre of their safeguarding journey.

The sub group continues to maintain an oversight of performance across the statutory agencies. It has an analytical approach to interpreting data and information to effectively identify trends and themes and key areas of focus for the groups work plans. Advocacy referrals and contract monitoring processes are also regularly reviewed to ensure effective support and representation of views and wishes.

This subgroup holds responsibility for assuring the board that there are effective and accountable safeguarding adults quality performance indicators and monitoring systems in place. It produces a quarterly report to the board highlighting individual agency safeguarding themes, approach and service provision and holds responsibility for ensuring this is maintained across all partner organisations. This enables the board to consider how it should respond and any areas for inclusion in the boards Business Plan.

During 2019/20 the group reviewed its terms of reference to strengthen its focus with a renewed commitment to developing feedback mechanisms and coordinating multi agency audit work to effectively understand the persons safeguarding journey and experiences across organisations, identifying areas of good practice and learning.

Areas of work initiated or completed by the Quality Assurance sub group throughout 2019/20 include the following:

  • additional recording mechanisms agreed to enable a better understanding of those safeguarding concerns relating to Neglect & Acts of Omission. This has enabled enhanced analysis of this abuse type and a better understanding of influencing factors.
  • initiated an audit of the Multi Agency Risk Management Meeting process. The purpose of the audit is to assure the board that the guidance issued in 2017 is being used correctly and to seek assurance that the process is not being used in pace of other more appropriate governance arrangements. The audit will be completed in 2020/21 with a report including recommendations shared with the boards. Outcomes will shape any revisions of the guidance.
  • improved links with carers steering groups to support improvements in capturing feedback and improve service delivery
  • continued attendance and contribution to both Learning Disability Partnership Boards and friendship groups
  • all partners have worked towards improving the analysis of their data to promote a mutual understanding of safeguarding practice and processes

Training and workforce development sub-group

The Training, Workforce and Development subgroup has responsibility for ensuring the Safeguarding Adults Boards have an action plan which identifies, implements and evaluates the learning and developmental needs of the workforce across partner agencies. The group works closely with both the Policy and Procedures sub group as well as the Quality Assurance sub group to ensure training is developed which reflects changes in policy as well as agreeing the methodology for monitoring the standard and impact of safeguarding adults training.

The groups work includes:

  • workshop and displays at the MCA Conference in Dorchester
  • Shared Learning group with Community Safety Partnership, Safeguarding Adults Boards and Childrens Safeguarding
  • attendance at Pan Dorset Strategic Group Meeting (Safeguarding Training for Children)
  • training and Workforce Development Subgroup-Pan Dorset Work
  • support and displays at Poole Hospital Safeguarding Week
  • support and displays at the 'Teenage 2 Adult' Conference at Kingston Maurward College
  • support group for Trainers who deliver Safeguarding Adults Training

In addition to this the sub group has worked closely with Partners in Care (PIC) by providing updates to Care Managers focusing on developments n safeguarding practice, themes and changes to the Dorset Safeguarding Adults Procedures. This has been co-ordinated through their regional hub meetings.

Additional support has also been offered through attendance at the Home Care Provider event and meeting for trainers of care home managers. 

Safeguarding Adults Review sub-group

The subgroup regularly receives referrals of cases for it to consider whether a Safeguarding Adult Review (SAR) is required. A SAR must be arranged when an adult dies as a result of abuse or neglect, whether known or suspected, and there is concern that partner agencies could have worked more effectively to protect the adult.

Of the Dorset referrals since 2016, only one case has met the threshold to date. In BCP area there have been 2, each of which is being progressed as a joint review, in one case as a Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) in the other where a Mental Health Homicide Investigation has also taken place.

There are other avenues that can be considered if it is felt that a case has not met the SAR criteria but learning can be derived. In such circumstances a referral in made to the Safeguarding Leads group whose members consider the case and report back to the SAR subgroup with their findings and recommendations.

The subgroup also reviews the outcome of Domestic Homicide Reviews to determine if any recommendations may be relevant to adult safeguarding and provide some quality assurance:

outcome of Domestic Homicide Reviews
Dorset Outcome BCP

1

agreed

-

-

agreed and progressed as a joint report

2

2

currently under consideration

1

2

not SAR – reviewed by safeguarding leads

2

1

LeDeR review considered sufficient

1

1

not SAR but other review considered by the subgroup

2

2

DHRs or SCR reviewed by the subgroup

6

Data includes information for both Dorset and the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Boards to illustrate the outcome of referrals since 2016. 

It is also a role of the subgroup to monitor action plans arising from the recommendations of reviews. In 2019-20 a considerable amount of work was undertaken to disseminate multiagency learning from the SAR/DHR into the death of Harry, a young man with a learning disability who was murdered in 2015. An action plan was completed following the review. A number of learning events have been held for staff of organisations represented on the board, independent providers, carers and service users. The boards have worked jointly with the Learning Disability Partnerships in both areas to cascade learning.

Provider event – February 2020

Each year the board hosts a Provider event which offers an opportunity for it to engage with all providers in Dorset. This important event ensures that we work in partnership and enables the board to deliver safeguarding updates, short learning sessions and an opportunity for providers to contribute and identify priorities for the boards business plan.  

This years event took place at The Crown Hotel, Blandford Forum on the 5th February 2020.

Presentations included:

  • an overview of the board and its strategic aims and achievements
  • update from Dorset Council Safeguarding Adults Team including the new online referral form
  • commissioning and contracts update
  • Criminal Exploitation & County Lines: the Dorset picture
  • Liberty Protection Safeguards: Overview and update

Event feedback

This years event was attended by almost 100 provider staff. Feedback from the event about what was most useful included the following comments: 

  • information on county lines and how to spot potential victims was helpful
  • good to network with providers and professionals
  • new Liberty Protection Safeguards overview was informative
  • opportunity to ask questions
  • case studies
  • update on the boards work and achievements
  • presentation from the safeguarding team and learning about on line referral form
  • the interaction between the presenters and audience
  • reviewing the safeguarding statistics for Dorset
  • all of the event was useful

Suggestions for next year

  • make it a whole day event!
  • more small workshops and group work
  • more guest speakers including the police
  • film the presentations
  • include the persons voice 
  • lessons learnt and what changes have been made to practice and services
  • engage more about issues related to the whole family

Board meetings 2019/20 - member attendance

During the period of April 2019 to March 2020, a total of four Board Meetings took place. Of these four meetings a representative was present on the following number of occasions:

Board member organisation and their attendance
Board member organisation Number of meetings attended
Dorset Council 4
Her Majesty's Prison Service 4
Dorset Wiltshire Fire and Rescue 0
Dorset Healthcare 4
Dorset Police 4
Dorset CCG 3
Dorset Volunteer Centre 1
Poole Hospital 3
National Probation Service 2
South West Ambulance Service Foundation Trust 0
Community Rehabilitation Service 0
NHS England 2
Dorset County Hospital

Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital

4

Dorset County Council Elected Member

2
Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole Care Providers Federation 0
Independent Chair/Business Manager 4

Members contribution

The Board receives financial contribution from its members to support in the undertaking and completion of its work. The contributions support three types of expenditure:

  • funding of board staff and expenses involved in the running of the board
  • to support the priorities identified in the business plan
  • the costs of commissioning a safeguarding adults review

Total contributions received in 2019 to 2020 was £51,120. The details of the contributions are:

Name of the organisation and the amount of the contribution they made
Board member organisation Contribution

Dorset Council

 £25,426

Dorset Police

 £9,000
 Dorset CCG  £10,000
 Dorset Healthcare Foundation Trust  £2,000
 Poole Hospital Foundation Trust  £1,000
 Royal Bournemouth & Christchurch Foundation Trust  £1,000
 Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service  £500

Policies and procedures

View the Safeguarding Adults Board policies and procedures.

Members reports

At the end of 2019-20 the COVID-19 pandemic led to board members focus shifting to enable a co-ordinated and effective response in supporting residents of Dorset during the crisis. As a result, not all board members have been able to submit a report for inclusion.

A report absence does not detract from the input and commitment they have demonstrated to the boards work throughout the year.

Dorset Council

Safeguarding activity and performance information 2019/20

Number of concerns received

  • 4114 concerns raised
  • 2395 confirmed safeguarding
  • 42% of all concerns received are from providers

Progressed to a S.42 enquiry

  • equals 354. which is 15%
  • this is what needs to happen to make sure someone is safe
  • 40% occur in the persons care home, residential and nursing
  • 52% occur in the persons own home

Age and gender

  • women are more than twice as likely, 60%, to be subject of a S.42 enquiry in Dorset than men in all age groups
  • there is a significant increase for those over the age of 75 and a further rise for women over the age of 85+ progressed  
  • 75% of all S.42 enquiries are for those aged 65+ years

Type of abuse

  • 33% - neglect and acts of omission
  • 21% - physical
  • 14% - domestic abuse
  • 12% - financial

Source of risk

  • 35% - social care provider
  • 26% - known relative, family or carer
  • 17% - known but not related
  • 7% - known other private sector

Outcome of the enquiry

  • risk reduced by 59%
  • risk removed by 27%
  • risk remains is 11%

During 2019/2020 the Dorset Safeguarding Adults Board received two requests for a Safeguarding Adults Review (SAR) to be undertaken. One of these fulfilled the threshold for a SAR. The other request did not result in a review, but further work may be undertaken by the safeguarding leads group to identify any areas of good practice and learning.

Dorset was served by nine councils until 1 April 2019 when local government reorganisation reduced those to two:

  • Dorset Council
  • Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council

The principal reasons why we came together to form the new unitary Dorset Council were to:

  • protect frontline services by reducing costs and duplication
  • give Dorset a stronger voice nationally
  • better meet the needs of communities across Dorset, by bringing all services together in one council, working jointly for local people

Bringing services together, with a shared common purpose, created a scale and effectiveness that the previous councils couldn’t achieve alone. However, the Dorset Council Plan for 2020-24 recognises that some constraints still remain, as demand continues to rise for services such as support for people with care and support needs.

Dorset Council maintained a key focus on adult safeguarding throughout the transition period to ensure that individuals received a high quality and personalised service.

  • The learning and organisational development team in the new Adults and Housing Directorate delivered 17 face to face Safeguarding Adults Essential Skills courses across Dorset which were attended by 296 participants. In addition, 2 courses focussing specifically on Modern Slavery were also delivered to all staff across Dorset Council.
  • Following the development of the Domestic Abuse Training Framework developed in partnership with key agencies such as Dorset Police, Dorset Healthcare, Dorset Probation and Childrens Services and in conjunction with the Dorset Community Safety Partnership, a new ‘level 3’ programme was developed.
  • Ten face to face courses were delivered to 150 Dorset Council employees, across Adult, Housing and Children’s services. 
  • All Dorset Council employees are also supported by the availability of an online learning module.
  • The learning and development team also supported the annual Safeguarding Adults Board Provider event. This is an opportunity for the care sector to come together to participate in short learning sessions and contribute to the Boards business planning for the following year. This event took place in February 2020.

During 2019/20 Dorset Council embarked on an ambitious Strengths Based Practice Programme to enable staff to take a collaborative approach in working with adults who themselves identify the outcomes they want to achieve using their strengths and assets. Unlike previous learning programmes, this programme was designed to include learning opportunities for all staff in Adult Services including colleagues from housing and commissioning.  This programme also supports our commitment to Making Safeguarding Personal which promotes the empowerment of the person and ensures they remain in control throughout their safeguarding journey.

During October 2019 the annual Adults & Housing Festival of Learning event took place with the theme ‘Strengths Based Practice’. Over 200 colleagues attended with 29 sessions hosted over a 2 week period. Sessions included Adult Safeguarding and Making Safeguarding Personal, Criminal Exploitation & County Lines, the Mental Capacity Act and a Whole Family Approach to Practice. The keynote speaker was Clenton Farquharson (Think Local Act Personal).

Festival of learning feedback:

  • provided an opportunity to hear about topics which are on the periphery of my work
  • Great choice of events - I gained information my team should have been aware of and can now implement this to improve our practice.
  • Clenton was great! He was honest, reliable and allowed us as practitioners to see our work from another perspective.
  • The hour slots were very engaging, interactive and clearly presented. They brought in a Strengths-Based Approach and I learn something at each session.

Dorset Council works within an integrated care system (Our Dorset) which brings together different partners to improve both the health and social care system and importantly the experience of individuals who use our services. Prevention at scale and integrated community services has created a common goal to enable people with care and support needs to live safely in their communities.

The Council continues to attend the Quality Monitoring Groups which focus on the scrutiny of the quality of domiciliary, residential and nursing care. The Quality Improvement Team based within the commissioning service, work to support providers and care sector partners and maintains a strong partnership approach to ensure an open and transparent culture.

The Specialist Safeguarding Team has a dedicated duty worker who in a consultative capacity provides information and advice. This builds greater confidence amongst practitioners, providers, residents and ensures identified safeguarding concerns can be addressed and acted upon quickly. Improved data analysis evidenced where further practice development was needed such as trends in enquiries into neglect and acts of omission. 

The Specialist Safeguarding Team in Dorset council provides a single point of contact for all people and partners when they have safeguarding concerns. There continues to be an internal monthly audit programme to audit safeguarding decision making and identify and share the learning arising from the audits. Making Safeguarding Personal continues to be an area of focus to ensure the principles are fully understood and embedded in practice.

During 2019/20 the specialist Safeguarding Team have also established the Adult Safeguarding Bimonthly Leads meeting which includes representation from Dorset CCG and all health partners, South West Ambulance Service, and Dorset & Wiltshire Fire Service. Two members from the team have also contributed to the social work teaching programme at Bournemouth University to develop their knowledge and understanding of the Adult Safeguarding duty under the Care Act (2014).

Mental Capacity Act Team 2019-20

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) are a statutory mechanism of protecting people’s rights when they require high levels of restriction to meet their care needs and lack the capacity to consent to this for themselves.  The council has a responsibility to make sure no-one is subject to greater levels of restriction than is absolutely necessary – and the DoLS are the way this is done for people in care homes and hospitals. During the year from April 2019 to March 2020, Dorset Council received 2546 DoLS referrals, of which 508 were assessed as being priority referrals. The team aims to complete all priority referrals within 14 days from the point of the initial referral; although the situation is very fluid, especially with people who are in hospital who can regain capacity or go home within very short spaces of time. The team works very closely with Dorset Council’s Legal Services to take cases to Court of Protection where there are disputes which cannot be resolved at a local level or where a person is objecting to some aspect of a deprivation of liberty authorisation. There were in excess of 40 cases taken to Court of Protection during the course of 2019/20, which is recognised as a positive as it is shows Dorset Council’s commitment to protecting and promoting people’s Human Rights.

The team offers a ‘real time’ advice service, with a duty worker available during office hours to take calls from people wanting advice or support with any aspect of the Mental Capacity Act. Calls come in from Social Care staff, hospitals, care homes, advocacy services, Primary Care and family and other informal carers. The team work closely with the Dorset Council Safeguarding Team who moved location in County Hall to sit in the same area in order to promote good information sharing, support and co working.

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards system is due to be replaced with the Liberty Protection Safeguards, which aim to provide the same level of protection of people’s rights but in a more streamlined way and in all settings, not just hospitals and care homes. The implementation of these new safeguards has been delayed by Covid-19 but is now planned for April 2022.  The MCA Team is working with our partners in Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council, the Acute Hospital Trusts, Dorset Healthcare and the Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group to ensure the change to the new system is as smooth and effective as possible.

The 11th Mental Capacity Act Conference – 18th February 2020

This annual conference was held at Thomas Hardye School with over 400 people attending from Dorset Council, BCP, DHUFT, the acute Hospitals, Voluntary and Independent Sector and Care Homes. The conference was opened by Councillor Laura Miller (Portfolio holder for Adult Social Care and Health) and included an excellent keynote speech from Alex Ruck-Keen a prominent lawyer working with the Mental Capacity and Human Rights Act. Dorset Fire Service also addressed the use of emollients with vulnerable and immobile people. There were a range of workshops led by people working across the health and social care partnership . Some examples of the sessions are strengths based working with the MCA, assistive technology and working with mental capacity in the perinatal service.

The conference feedback was excellent and the whole day was a celebration of the Mental Capacity Act (2005).

View the information about the event including feedback and presentation slides

In response to the COVID19 pandemic which began at the end of this reporting year, Dorset Council quickly responded to the emerging crisis to ensure that adults were safeguarded and their wellbeing promoted. Dorset Council established a safeguarding and mental health subgroup as part of the Community Shield. This group coordinated a community and partnership response to helping people maintain their emotional wellbeing and mental health who were shielding  or requiring support during the pandemic. The group including the community and voluntary sector, Dorset Fire and Rescue, CCG, Public Health, Childrens and Adults Social Care worked together to identify children, adults and families at risk building on the strengths and insight of local networks within communities.  . An Equality Impact Assessment was being developed which includes consideration of the impact of Covid-19 on people from ethnic minority communities.

In Dorset council, the Adults and Housing Directorate also established a safety cell group with partners which reported into the Local Resilience Forum (LRF).  A small multi agency group (LA's, Dorset Police, Dorset CCG, SAB Chair and Business Managers) met weekly or bi weekly to monitor demands across the safeguarding partnership. The has ensured safeguarding remains a key focus area and multi-agency contingency planning can be achieved. The DSAB and Dorset Community Safety Partnership have worked closely to monitor domestic abuse throughout the period and supported a new campaign to raise awareness. There has been increased focus on safeguarding people during a period when lives have changed dramatically because of self-isolation and social distancing and, in particular, attention paid to carers experiencing high levels of stress and on the needs of people with substance misuse.

NHS England and NHS Improvement (South West)

For NHS England and NHS Improvement, 2019/20 has been a year of transformational change and new opportunities leading to the organisation becoming a single body on 1 April 2020. For the organisation it has been important that NHS England and NHS Improvement maintains safeguarding continuity, as it prepared for the devolution from the national safeguarding team, to regional safeguarding leads. 

NHS England and Improvement – South West has undertaken a considerable journey in the last year as we developed our new workforce aligned to each Directorate. As part of our workforce development we have developed a diverse safeguarding team supporting national safeguarding programme delivery, leadership and safeguarding support to our partners as well as specialist roles within our own commissioned services. A new South West Regional Safeguarding lead has been appointed and we are looking forward to settling our teams in their new roles in addition to the opportunity and potential this coming year brings.

Nationally and the South West has seen considerable change over the last financial year, not only in our own workforce but across our South West partners in both Health and Social Care. We have continued to be actively working with our cross-government partners and to ensure our NHS plays a full part as system leaders. This includes actively contributing to and looking ahead to national changes, such as the implementation of Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) and to ensure the relevant sections of the Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill are implemented at a national level and, across region.

The NHS Standard Contracts, Safeguarding Digital Strategy and Commissioning Assurance Toolkits have remained a key focus of work on protection, section 42 enquiries, Think Family, and the prevention agenda and contextual safeguarding. This work is ongoing, and since COVID-19, expanding across cross government workstreams, as well as regionally through our integrated care systems, community safety partnerships and violence reduction units, where we look to identify hot spots of contextual safeguarding and trauma informed practice.

The Safeguarding Adults National Network (SANN) has continued to raise the profile of the safeguarding adult’s agenda. The Network has Designated Adult Professionals from local systems who have been nominated by regional leads. During 2019/2020 there have been face to face core meetings as well as, a virtual network which is hosted on the FutureNHS Safeguarding Workspace. Over the financial year, the virtual network has been able to feed any issues, concerns and successes to the core network for discussion, via this platform. 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, SANN meets virtually fortnightly, and has expanded to include Safeguarding Adult Board Business Managers and the Chair of the National Independent Safeguarding Adults Board Chairs. Together, we continue to build the voice of the virtual network and create a community of practice for safeguarding adults’ colleagues across the health and integrated care systems.

Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group

The CCG Safeguarding Team was restructured in 2019, this led to the appointment of a Head of Safeguarding, an Adult Safeguarding Lead and a Designated Children’s Nurse who joined the team in March 2020. The new members of the team have joined the three GP Safeguarding Leads, the designated nurse for Looked After Children (LAC), and the designated doctor and designated doctor for LAC.

The vision for the new team is to work in a systems led approach across the CCG and its commissioned services, simplifying processes and streamlining bureaucracy, with a view in health to have a single training package, safeguarding policy and risk register. The new team will work closely with contracts and procurement to ensure safeguarding is embedded throughout all services.

Across the health economy, both the CCG and all of our commissioned providers are engaged and committed to safeguarding. The safeguarding teams across all commissioned services provide expert advice, support, supervision and specialist training to support all staff to fulfil their safeguarding responsibilities and duties. 

Over the past 12 months the safeguarding teams across Dorset have adopted a `think family` / think community approach, both Dorset Health Care and Dorset County Hospital have integrated their specialist safeguarding services.

All providers maintain their knowledge and keep-up-to-date  through attendance at regional and national networks and all safeguarding specialist in health receive regular supervision.

Dorset Healthcare University - NHS Foundation Trust

Dorset Health Care’s Safeguarding Service has gone through considerable transformation this year. The professional lead for safeguarding has led the development of a comprehensive integrated safeguarding service across the trust. The service has focused on the statutory safeguarding requirements as set out in the Children Act (1989, 2004), Working Together 2018 and the Care Act (2014).

The service provides assurance that the trust has safeguarding children, young people and adults at risk in the centre of the care provided. The service is committed to work with learning and development to continually update and upskill staff to ensure processes and procedures are in place to facilitate excellent safeguarding standards.

Our safeguarding vision and strategy recognises that prevention is central to service provision, therefore we are working to deliver a “Safeguarding Everyone, Think Family” approach across the trust. This approach allows the trust to embrace the additional requirements of the wider safeguarding agenda including contextual safeguarding, domestic abuse, prevent, modern slavery and human trafficking. The working group provides a forum for the dissemination of learning from safeguarding and safeguarding reviews and enables us to monitor actions and outcomes.

We have responded to the challenges of COVID19, introducing remote working to ensure effective interagency engagement to maintain safety for children and adults at risk. Innovative training opportunities have also been adopted through this virtual platform.

The service complies with the NHSE/I Safeguarding Accountability and Assurance Framework (SAAF) 2019. This outlines the trust’s safeguarding roles, duties and responsibilities through the demonstration of safeguarding leadership and safeguarding commitment at all levels of the organisation. The Trust is fully engaged and supports local accountability and assurance structures set by the local Safeguarding Children’s Partnership, two Safeguarding Adult’s Boards, Community Safety Partnership and the CCG.

The safeguarding service has reviewed all the internal relevant safeguarding policies, procedures and guidance to ensure all trust staff and volunteers are aware of their statutory duties to safeguard. All safeguarding documentation is uplifted onto the trust internal website.

The service has continued to work with learning and development to offer a comprehensive integrated safeguarding training package to meet the requirements set out in the following:

  • intercollegiate document, Safeguarding Children and Young People - roles and competencies for health care staff 4th edition (2019)
  • adult safeguarding - roles and competencies for health care staff (2018)
  • looked after children - knowledge, skills and competencies of health care staff (2015)

The service receives evidence to indicate that all staff are compliant with the training requirements which includes a comprehensive Domestic Abuse eLearning package for both clinical and non-clinical staff .  A number of bespoke DA training sessions have also been delivered which have embraced issues of stalking, harassment, coercion and control.

The safeguarding team offer safeguarding supervision to all relevant staff as appropriate to their role. Group supervision sessions have been provided by the Senior Safeguarding Practitioners (SSP). This has been continued albeit virtually during the Covid19 pandemic. Safeguarding supervision has been developed further to embrace a train the trainer model allowing suitably experienced practitioners to deliver supervision with support from the SSP’s. Both the Sexual Health services and the Looked after Children Nurses are using this model.

We now have Senior Safeguarding Practitioners and Safeguarding Practitioners in place, each with different roles and responsibilities. A safeguarding hub has been developed as a single point of contact for all DHC safeguarding concerns. Our safeguarding practitioners have generic safeguarding knowledge to offer first line support to frontline practitioners, accessing support from the senior safeguarding practitioners (adult and child) for support with more complex cases.

We have continued to meet the demands of the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) based at Poole Police Station and have worked alongside multi agency partners to embrace the growing requirements of the Domestic Abuse agenda through the BCP council Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) and the High Risk Domestic Abuse pilot with Dorset Council. 

We have strengthened our links with Mental health and learning disabilities services which includes working alongside a nominated adult mental health practitioner to strengthen the “Safeguarding Everyone, Think Family” agenda. This practitioner has worked with a number of MH safeguarding forums and strong links have been forged with the Criminal Justice Liaison Diversion service, the homelessness service and the Forensics service. This has facilitated a deeper understanding  of individuals within the services and the complexity of their needs. The professional lead for safeguarding has been supporting the Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) task and finish group after a mental health homicide review . The Professional Lead for Safeguarding now also attends all the mental health, community services and CYP senior team meetings to strengthen the voice of safeguarding. Work has also ongoing reinforcing links with the Medical Advisory Committee.

Considerable work has been undertaken to review the clinical systems to identify when there are children under the care of adults in receipt of services. A safeguarding template has been designed and embedded into the electronic patient record, for the safe storage and sharing of relevant and proportionate information.

Collaborative work has taken place with partners to meet the requirements of Section 10 of the Children Act 2004 and the Care Act 2014 with strong evidence of effective cooperation at all levels of the multi-agency partners, from strategic level through to operational delivery. 

The safeguarding service has strengthened collaborative working with the trust’s Quality directorate to manage any serious incidents where there are elements of safeguarding present. The safeguarding service has managed a number of significant events throughout the year including unexpected death and serious injury of a child, young person or adult at risk. The service also engages in all safeguarding practice reviews (previously serious case reviews), domestic homicide reviews, safeguarding adult reviews and multi-agency case audits.

The Service is engaged with any LADO referrals that implicate a DHC staff member and has guidance in place to managing allegations against people who work with children and adults at risk. The service is also fully engaged within a comprehensive audit programme, which allows for the service to learn and develop. Finally, the service is looking forward to the opportunities that the forthcoming year will offer it, including further transformation of the team, a review and quality assurance of what is currently offered.

Dorset County Hospital - NHS Foundation Trust

Dorset County Hospital Foundation Trust recognise that one of the most important principles of safeguarding is that it is everyone’s responsibility. The safeguarding team provide expert advice, support, supervision and specialist training to support all trust staff to fulfil their safeguarding responsibilities and duties. The safeguarding work is underpinned by the trust's strategy outstanding care for people in ways which matter to them to ensure the persons voice is always heard when accessing any of our services .

Over the past 12 months, the safeguarding team has fully integrated to adopt a think family/think community approach across the trust and have been active in promoting Safeguarding. These are just some of the activities undertaken:

  • the team presented their vision for an integrated approach to Safeguarding at a pan Dorset event for Safeguarding where Kenny Gibson, NHS Lead for Safeguarding was in attendance May 2019
  • attendance at South West NHS Adult leads meetings, allowing for sharing of issues, safeguarding group supervision and to contributing resources across the South West
  • a rolling programme of Dragonfly workshops (domestic abuse in rural areas project) were delivered by You First to staff members of all grades and backgrounds at DCH
  • the team attended a regional County Lines event in Taunton, May 20197 shared this knowledge within their training packages and through internal communication briefs
  • the team, along with Tracey Underhill,  Domestic Health Advocate,  held a ‘trolley dash’ to the wards and Departments as part of ’16 Days of Action’ raising awareness of Domestic Abuse in November
  • internal and external internet sites fully upgraded and refreshed
  • twice yearly Safeguarding newsletters shared with all employees at DCH
  • the LD and MCA Advisor, as well as staff from GUM, Women’s Health and Breast Care worked with People First Dorset in delivering the Girls Aloud project
  • during Autism Awareness month weekly briefings sent to all staff which including information on: what is autism; mental health issues and autism; barriers to accessing good healthcare; autism in the workplace
  • through the Learning Disability Awareness week the Safeguarding Lead, LD and MCA Advisor as well as member from People First Dorset carried out a ‘Trolley Dash’ to wards and departments checking staff knowledge around how to support a person with a learning disability who may come into our services. Correct answers were rewarded with sweet treats! This gave ‘live time’ assurance around staff knowledge of reasonable adjustments, policy and use of the Mental Capacity Act.
  • the Safeguarding Lead, LD and MCA Advisor and Addictions Nurse ran a workshop at the Annual Mental Capacity Act Conference in February 2020. The workshop was entitled, Alcohol, Capacity and Vulnerability.
  • Dorset Advocacy, ‘Experts by Experience’ completed a Mystery Shopper visit to DCH in June 2019

Poole Hospital - NHS Foundation Trust

Poole Hospital continues to be an active partner is the Safeguarding Adults Board activities and has regular attendance at the Board and sub-groups. Through its own internal structures, it continues to work in support of the Boards 4 key aims to have Effective Prevention, Effective Safeguarding, Effective Education and Effective Governance.

The trust had its last CQC inspection between 15 October 2019 and 14th November 2019. Overall the trust maintained its good rating with an outstanding rating for the caring domain. In respect of safeguarding the only key action for the trust was to continue with work to ensure that all staff complete mandatory safeguarding training in a timely way.

Highlights from 2019/20

Over the past year the adult safeguarding lead and the named and lead safeguarding midwives have worked collaboratively to further develop a whole family and lifespan approach to adult safeguarding. This has included the following highlights:

The Safeguarding Champions group has been strengthened through the addition of midwifery staff since September 2019. The development programme for the Champions group has included learning disabilities, the Mental Capacity Act, County Lines and Sexual Exploitation, Domestic Abuse and the MARAC process. External speakers have attended from the Sexual Assault Recovery Centre in Bournemouth, the Police Impact Team and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council. 

In July 2019 the trust introduced an additional resource through which staff can discreetly provide the domestic abuse help line number to women who may be vulnerable to abuse (for example lip balms with the telephone number on), these products have been implemented across the trust.

In November the trust’s children, adult and maternity safeguarding team worked together to highlight safeguarding across the whole trust. The team were joined at an awareness raising day by partner agencies including the police, Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) and the Rape Crisis Team and together shared information with staff and patients.

Within the trust’s clinical departments the team undertook daily trolley dashes around the hospital to ensure that safeguarding awareness was bought to all areas. Staff on wards had the opportunity to meet everyone in the team, ask questions, and help themselves to information and resources.

Safeguarding training

Both the safeguarding lead nurse and named midwife are now involved in facilitating safeguarding training across the trust and working closely with the adult and children’s leads to deliver in house level 2 and 3 training. This has had excellent feedback and also enabled staff from across the trust and maternity site to work together.

During 2020/21 new on-line training will be developed to supplement face to face learning and provide a flexible and easy to access offer for training all staff in the trust.

The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust

The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trist  provide healthcare for the residents of Bournemouth, Christchurch, East Dorset and part of the New Forest with a total population of around 550,000. Some specialist services cover a wider catchment area, including Poole, the Purbecks and South Wiltshire.

The trust strives to provide safe, caring, effective, responsive and well-led care within the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals and safeguarding is an important component of this.

The hospitals in the trust have strong relationships with other health leads and ensure that learning is shared with these. The trust also works in partnership with Pan Dorset partner agencies to promote and strive towards the priorities of the Safeguarding Adults Board and the alignment of practice in the CCG and in all Dorset Acute Trusts.

Staff in selected areas of the trust have received enhanced learning disability training and have participated in awareness-raising initiatives including trolley dashes.

The online safeguarding training has been updated and relaunched and the promotion of domestic abuse awareness is ongoing.

The trust’s strategic objectives include:

  • valuing our staff
  • improving quality
  • reducing harm
  • strengthening team working

This framework supports the team to deliver safe and compassionate care for our patients and shape future health care across Dorset.

Our final objective of listening to patients ensures meaningful engagement to improve patient experience. This aligns with the Care Act principle of Making Safeguarding Personal.

Dorset Police

Modern day slavery and human trafficking

We are continuing to develop our capability to investigate modern slavery and human trafficking (MSHT) offences. We have:

  • taken part in an inspection from the National MSHT and are seeking to continue to develop in this area
  • delivered training to a small proportion of neighbourhood officers and first responders
  • invested in the further training of detective inspectors and detective sergeants on the modern day slavery investigators course.

Further training was planned for June and October but had to be postponed due to Covid. This will be revisited in due course.

The development and planned introduction a first responder’s booklet to assist front line officers in the initial management of a MSHT offence.

County Lines

The force has continued to work with national partners to develop and implement effective safeguarding practices in relation to County Line offences in the following ways:

  • continued work with National County Lines Coordination Centre and the College of Policing
  • introduction of a County Lines team in BCP area
  • sharing, analysis and management of information

The force has continued to develop a more effective way of sharing information following police contact with vulnerable people with partner agencies. A team of Safeguarding Referral Officers (SROs) manage the referrals for vulnerable adults, domestic abuse and vulnerable children within the Safeguarding Referral Unit (SRU). The work is supported by a detective sergeant to ensure a timely review and that any criminal investigations are triaged and allocated to an officer for further investigation.

The force is actively engaging S42 planning enquiry meetings, professional meetings and MARMS to ensure that we proactively contribute to the safeguarding of these most vulnerable.

The Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB) continues to focuses on an intelligence-led approach to threat, risk and harm. The FIB has a dedicated vulnerable adult’s desk, an analyst and a researcher, developing and supporting vulnerable adult and MSHT investigations.

Training and development

The force is seeking to develop further vulnerability training during autumn 2020.

This one-day training day will improve the skills of officers/staff to:

  • effectively recognise and support the complex needs of vulnerable individuals
  • encourage professional curiosity
  • ensure that they have the skills to keep people safe

The adult safeguarding team have all completed level 1 adult safeguarding course. The forces learning and development unit are developing an adult safeguarding course for specialists.

Stalking clinic

The force continues to support the stalking clinic and ensure that relevant cases are referred to clinic and considered for stalking protection orders. 

Vulnerability lawyers

The force has introduced two vulnerability lawyers this year in order to develop our tactical options in keeping the people of dorset safe. These lawyers support the vulnerability programme by providing legal guidance and obtaining civil orders on behalf of dorset police such as domestic violence protection orders, stalking protection orders, trafficking orders and sexual harm prevention orders. The team will be joined by a third part time lawyer in September 2020.

Governance

Dorset police have now established a vulnerability programme board chaired by ACC fielding. This is the overarching governance board driving the force’s vulnerability agenda and will take dorset police from good to outstanding.

There are two key sub groups that support this board:

  • DA and operations group
  • partnership and operations group

Over the last year the force has invested in creating dedicated posts in the shape of a superintendent, inspector and project manager, in support of our commitment to delivering an outstanding service to vulnerable victims. An additional superintendent post has just been agreed to further support this work with a focus on partnership and business support to the operational teams within Public Protection Command.

Transformation and business development

In addition to the Vulnerability Programme described above, Crime and Criminal Justice Command are undertaking further work to review structures and capabilities to further enhance our quality of service and delivery. Integral to this is a commitment to ensure the most effective and efficient use of resources and to enhance the force capability in support to the vulnerability agenda and drive to deliver outstanding service in relation to vulnerability. Within this work, the recognition of effective partnership working in order to achieve the ambition of outstanding is explicit.

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue

During 2019/20 The Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service have reviewed their safeguarding procedures to make the clearer and easier to follow. This includes bookmarking links, chart of responsibilities and easy to follow flow charts.  Additions to the procedure includes handling confidential information and Personal Information Sharing Agreement (PISA). The safeguarding referral form is now available electronically, the form is more intuitive, auto populating in some areas and offers information text boxes to help with completion. The form is automatically sent to the services safeguarding email upon completion preventing possible barriers to referring or data breaches. In line with the Care Act (2014) there is also a question about what the person wants from the referral (Making Safeguarding Personal).

The service’s procedures adopts a ‘whole system approach’ to adult and children’s safeguarding and they are reflective of our key principles. Safeguarding arrangements are delivered via a broad spectrum of activities.

This includes:

  • support and promotion of both national and local safety campaigns
  • specific intervention such as operational incidents, safe and well visits, fire setter programmes and other children and young people programmes
  • multi-agency training and awareness
  • through formal safeguarding arrangements, in partnership with local authority safeguarding teams and other key agencies.
  • circulating resources such as posters and prompt cards

By working closely with other agencies, we can utilise information sharing to keep vulnerable persons safe and to keep others safe, including Service staff.

Formal safeguarding arrangements are developed and delivered predominantly by the safeguarding lead, who is responsible for supporting the organisation in its policy commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of young people and adults at risk. The focus of the role is to provide professional, accessible and reliable advice and guidance to staff relating to safeguarding concerns and practice. This also includes making sure we conform to relevant legislation, that we reflect organisational and local authority policy and procedures and best practice to ensure continuous improvement through embedding safeguarding standards across the organisation.

The role is also crucial in making sure that we develop and establish good working relationships with partner agencies and local authorities. This allows us to effectively raise safeguards with local services and arrange extra support for the referrals that do not meet the safeguard thresholds by knowing when to sign post and when to call 999. By arranging extra support, we are ensuring that the most vulnerable people in our area receive early intervention and support, with the aim of preventing the concerns from escalating, improving well-being as well as possibly saving money across the health and welfare system. A safeguarding information page is available on Connect (the services intranet), where additional information and tool kits can be accessed.

To ensure organisational resilience, we have a Single Point of Contact (SPOC), safeguarding lead and deputy safeguarding leads. Cover is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by the duty area manager who is contactable through Fire Control. Group/area managers give strategic management representation on all local safeguarding boards.

We also have representation on a self-neglect/hoarding panel which sets out the shared understanding across key agencies of how we jointly respond to very serious situations of adult self-neglect.  The aim is to prevent death or serious injury by ensuring there is a shared multi-agency understanding and recognition of issues involved in working with individuals who self-neglect and to make sure there is effective multi-agency working and practice in place which enables agencies to uphold their duty of care. 

We have worked with ‘You Trust’ which is a charity that supports vulnerable people working with a wide range of specialist areas from learning disabilities to mental health and domestic violence and abuse Services.  Key staff have received training in domestic abuse and have become Domestic Abuse Champions so they can offer guidance to those experiencing domestic abuse.

Contact has been made with all surrounding Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) Safeguarding leads as crews are increasingly attending calls outside of our service area.  This is to ensure crews are aware that they should follow their own respective organisational procedures and the local FRS Safeguarding lead will direct any referrals as appropriate. The intention is to prevent confusion and any safeguarding concerns being missed.  The Safeguarding Lead hosts and chairs meetings with Devon and Somerset FRS, Hampshire FRS, Royal Berkshire FRS and Avon FRS Safeguarding Leads three to four times a year to share best practice. The meetings are useful, not only from the perspective of reviewing current practice, but also to remind us that the issues we face are common to us all.

We provide locality base evidence of what we are involved in and report progress and opportunities to Members through Local Performance and Scrutiny Committees on a quarterly basis. This is also reported to the Authority on a six-monthly and annual basis.

Assurances have also been provided on recent financial abuse and domestic abuse audit reports to Swindon Local Safeguarding Adults Board.  Quarterly reports are completed on performance headlines and emerging issues.  The Board monitors the key performance information which helps demonstrate the effectiveness of the partnership’s safeguarding activity. Each quarter focuses on a different topic.

Three years refresher training took place this year. The interesting training was developed by the Safeguarding Lead and a Local Safeguarding Trainer/ Social Worker and has been well accepted and proven to be a great success. The feedback and buy-in from staff have been outstanding and this has resulted in programmed training that ensures that all key personnel dealing with young people and the public have carried out level 2 safeguarding training, and that this training is delivered consistently.

The learning and organisational development Adviser and the Safeguarding Lead  meet two to three times a year to ensure we are meeting our stated training requirements and we continue to look at how we can improve the evaluation of the training that is delivered to ensure the consistency and application of our procedure in practice. This has also led to the Safeguarding Lead being invited onto a local authority group and invites to sessions to train the trainer which cover new learning and legal updates.

Our safeguarding e-learning has recently been updated and supports our other means of training and allows us to monitor understanding.  The training that has been put in place crucially serves to highlight that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and keeps all staff up to date with changes such as modern slavery, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, child sexual exploitation and radicalisation.

The Safeguarding Lead has also completed additional training, including Safeguarding Essential Training, Information Asset Owner training (storing of confidential information), Serious Case Review, Managing Incident training, Managing Allegations, Hoarding and a Policies and Procedures workshop.  Training has also been completed on General Data Protection Regulations as the safeguarding information we hold is some of the most sensitive that is held within the Service and is therefore recorded as ‘Official Sensitive’. 

We have ensured we work closely in partnership with South West Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SWASFT) and the police forces that serve our area of responsibility.  If either the ambulance service or the police visit a property and think that there is a fire risk, or some fire intervention is required, this goes to the Safe and Well Lead to disseminate and make sure it is managed internally and they also feed back any outcomes to the referring agency.  Working with other agencies allows better access and management of fire risks for individuals with care and support needs and raises the awareness and training around identifying and managing fire risks in domestic dwellings and the built environment.  The Safeguarding Lead has also worked closely with the named professional from SWASFT on hoax calls and frequent callers.  This led to a monthly report of frequent callers being set up.

The Safeguarding Lead also contributes to the NFCC (National Fire Chiefs Council) Safeguarding Co-ordination Workstream.  The purpose of the workstream is to provide direction for the NFCC in relation to safeguarding children and adults at risk to ensure the NFCC complies with government legislation and guidance.  This also supports the Service in aligning local and national policy.

National Probation Service (Dorset)

The National Probation Service in Dorset is committed to the Safeguarding Adults agenda and implements new policy and procedures, sends staff on appropriate training and undertakes a number of Quality Assurance activities as well as making appropriate referrals.

The National Probation Service engages in joint working with other agencies through Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA), Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC), Stalking Clinics and Professionals Meetings. Staff seek to support victims and perpetrators in order to reduce safeguarding concerns.

Appropriate use of recall, licence variation conditions and breach of community orders support prevention and safeguarding.

National Probation Service staff work to support vulnerable victims of crime and to seek to reduce the risks of serious harm by perpetrators by use of one to one work and appropriate group interventions while recognising that some of these adults may have dual roles of perpetrator and victim.

Staff undertake training in Domestic Abuse and Safeguarding

Staff make referrals into the local authority Adult Safeguarding team in relation to adults they are working with and engage in joint working and use of Care Act referrals:

  • The National Probation Service cooperates fully with the Safeguarding Adult Review (SAR) procedures in relation to known offenders, sits on panels and implements learning from all SAR’s
  • This year the National Probation Service has made a particular contribution to ongoing joint reviews
  • Senior management from the National Probation Service contribute to various Pan Dorset boards which seek to support adult safeguarding including MAPPA, and the Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Groups.
  • The Head of Service in Dorset seeks to ensure full engagement and integration across the various boards to support linked up thinking and deliver statutory responsibilities.

HM Prison and Probation Service

Adult Safeguarding at HMP The Verne – Portland

HMP the Verne has a responsibility to deliver a duty of care to all of our residents. In prisons, ‘Safer Custody’ and ‘Risk of Harm’ have, historically, tended to be the language used when discussing issues of safety and the term ‘Safeguarding’ has often been left open for interpretation.

In our first year of operating, our aim has been to address these issues by clearly defining, communicating and implementing our policy in respect of safeguarding adults within our establishment: The key principles which inform the ways in which Prison and Probation Service staff and all other stakeholders work with our residents are as follows:

  • defining what is meant by ‘Safeguarding’
  • identifying an individual’s need
  • assessing Social Care needs
  • systems for reporting suspected abuse and neglect
  • systems for responding to suspected abuse and neglect
  • sharing safeguarding information

We endeavour to provide a safe and secure environment through the introduction of processes which promote the protection of people who are at significant risk of serious harm. A fundamental aspect of our duty of care is to offer our residents this protection when it is needed. Residents who are unable to protect themselves, as a result of personal care and support needs, are provided with this same level of protection that is equivalent to that which would be provided in the Community. This may be by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.

Common characteristics of an adult at risk in a prison environment include:

  • insufficient, variable or fluctuating capacity to make decisions about their own safety
  • communication difficulties
  • physical dependency on others for personal care and activities of daily life
  • experience of abuse as an adult or child
  • being cared for in a care setting, that is, more or less dependent on others •not getting the right level or appropriate care needed
  • isolation and social exclusion, low self esteem
  • stigma and discrimination
  • lack of access to information and support
  • being the focus of anti-social behaviour

Safeguarding interventions may be required in the following circumstances –

  • residents with care and support needs
  • residents with learning disabilities
  • residents with diminished mental capacity, as defined in the mental capacity act 2005
  • residents who habitually remain within their rooms and/or have few possessions
  • residents who are purchasing items for others and/or swapping property
  • residents who repeatedly break prison rules (this can be due to a lack of cognitive capacity and/or an inability to read notices rather than disobedience – safeguarding issues may easily be confused with a discipline problem)

At HMP the Verne, the reception and first night centre processes are crucial in identifying an individual’s needs. Our induction process ensures that all residents are assessed for potential harm to themselves, to others (and from others).

All historic documentation and information that arrives with the resident is interrogated by operational staff.

Personal interviews are held with the resident at Reception front desk.

Initial healthcare screening is conducted, including a detailed medical examination that includes an assessment of self-harm and safer custody concerns

Our residential services play a key role in ensuring that residents are supported and their daily needs are met. Following progression from reception/ induction, residential staff and healthcare have a key role in spotting any signs of distress, anxiety, anger or other abnormal behaviour which might lead to residents harming themselves.

We have been careful to ensure that our staff and residents are aware that Social care is different from health care and, as such is the responsibility of our local authority, not the NHS.

Since April 2015, under the Care Act (2014) local authorities in England who have a prison and or approved premises within their geographical area will be responsible for assessing and meeting the eligible social care and support needs of adult residents detained in prisons. We have defined this as the care and support which enables people to retain their independence and dignity when they are ill, disabled, or infirm through old age. We have a large percentage of elderly residents and residents with disabilities at The Verne and these have been found to be most likely to need assistance

The Verne continues to work closely with Dorset Council to identify those individuals who need help and to provide care workers for residents who are eligible to have their care needs met. We strive to ensure an equal system is in place whereby our residents receive an equal level of support to that which is provided to other residents in Dorset.

Case management information regarding incidents of abuse and neglect by others (and actions taken in response to them) is shared with:

  • other organisations with safeguarding responsibilities for the offender concerned, such as health and social care providers
  • those with responsibility for safeguarding the individual in the community on release, including approved premises staff and the relevant local authority

This is achieved by holding regular safeguarding meetings chaired by the functional head responsible and with representation from all relevant areas of the establishment and partner agencies. Specific cases are discussed, and partnership working is reviewed. We recognise that it is important that all reports of suspected abuse or neglect are treated seriously.

We have ensured that there are various processes in place to follow with the aims of:

  • preventing further abuse or neglect
  • supporting and protecting victims, witnesses and reporters
  • investigating whether or not the suspected abuse or neglect took place
  • ensuring that appropriate sanctions are applied to the perpetrator(s)

Report abuse

Abuse is wrong. Tell someone.

See it, hear it, report it

  • residents in the Dorset Council area call – 01305 221016
  • Christchurch and Bournemouth Residents call – 01202 454979
  • Poole Residents call the Adult Social Care help desk – 01202 633902
  • If outside of normal office hours, please call the out of hours service on 01305 858250
  • If you think someone is at immediate risk of harm, contact the Police by calling 999

You can also tell a health or social care worker such as a social worker, nurse, doctor or occupational therapist.

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