Dorset Safeguarding Adults Board and Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Safeguarding Adults Board joint business plan 2020-22

Introduction

The scope of adult safeguarding is wide and it is therefore often difficult to prioritise certain areas of work to the exclusion of others. This year the exercise of building a business plan has been hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic which has absorbed the energies of key partners and delayed the final agreement of a plan. The pandemic itself has realigned priorities, introducing new concerns but also potentially exacerbating issues which the boards already considered important.

The priorities set out below have discussed at meetings of each board. They are also based upon evaluation of safeguarding data, which is being kept under review during Covid-19, and identification of key risks emerging from and during the pandemic. 

It is likely that priorities will need to be reviewed and/or the timescale for completion of objectives lengthened as the year progresses. 

Priority themes

Safeguarding in the care sector

A high proportion of safeguarding concerns already emanate from the care sector which has been particularly affected by Covid-19. The SABs have a role alongside others in monitoring safety in and contributing to support plans for the sector.  A significant amount of work has been undertaken by partners in response to the pandemic and each local authority has produced a support plan and action plan in relation to care homes in its area.

It is planned to hold a special joint meeting of the SABs in September/October. This will be a reflective learning event with a focus on preventing future harm particularly in the light of concerns about spikes in Covid-19 during the winter period when the health and care system is annually under stress. 

There have so far been no referrals for SARs in respect of deaths in care homes.

Domestic abuse  

This is a continuing priority for the SABs. Both local domestic abuse and safeguarding adults protocols will apply to situations where a person who has care and support needs that prevent them from safeguarding themselves is experiencing domestic abuse as per Domestic Abuse Statutory Guidance Framework.

Community Safety Partnerships have lead responsibility for responding to domestic abuse. However as Domestic Homicide and Safeguarding Adult Reviews continue to show, the two systems are not sufficiently coordinated when responding to adults with care and support needs. 

The boards have recognised that domestic abuse has not always been acknowledged as a factor in relationships between older partners or in familial abuse, whilst during the recent lockdown the impact of carer stress contributing to DA may have increased.  

Following Local Government Reorganisation separate domestic abuse strategies are being developed in the two CSPs, which may lead to each SAB having local as well as joint initiatives in respect of domestic abuse.

Neglect and self-neglect

It is a continuing priority for the SABs to better 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, e.g. in respect of medicine management. The forthcoming audit of Multi Agency Risk Management Meetings (MARMs) will shed more light on the effectiveness of responses to this theme.

Additionally there is a 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 recently been reviewing more cases of suicide.

SAB governance review

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 of scarce resources. Different models of governance which bring together the responsibilities of children’s 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. There is now a need to integrate the following into our planning:

  • learning from how the safeguarding system as a whole has responded to the pandemic
  • the pattern of new safeguarding risks and needs that have resulted from it

Associated themes contained in the workplan

Implementation of learning arising from SARs/DHRs and LeDeR reviews

Forthcoming reviews will highlight the need for better coordination with MAPPA to manage high risk offenders:

  • to clarify understanding and use of different risk management meeting structures
  • to develop capability to manage complex and potentially dangerous individuals, some of whom will also have care and support needs
  • and ‘duty to cooperate’ agencies to fully carry out their responsibilities for supervision of level 1 MAPPA offenders

Exploitation

This is an area led by the Community Safety Partnerships but SAB partners will seek to understand better the impact upon individuals with care and support needs and respond appropriately.

Homelessness

Following a homicide in Dorset there will be an opportunity to identify system learning from the death of a homeless person temporarily placed in a hotel in Weymouth. Board members will need to engage with any safeguarding issues for rough sleepers if any choose or have to return to the street after living in temporary Covid-19 accommodation. 

Substance misuse 

In conjunction with Public Health both Boards have already committed to being involved in the national project on Safeguarding Vulnerable Dependent Drinkers.

Detailed objectives and timelines are included in the Boards’ workplan which links with the plans of the 4 subgroups and will be reviewed quarterly. 

Barrie Crook, Independent Chair, September 2020

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