What is safeguarding?
Safeguarding means protecting people's health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect.
Safeguarding adults means:
- Protecting people’s rights to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect
- People and organisations working together to prevent the risk of abuse or neglect, and to stop it from happening
- Making sure people's wellbeing is promoted, taking their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs into account
From 1 April 2015 Safeguarding Adults is underpinned by The Care Act 2014. This calls for effective multi agency working to ensure that adults at risk of harm are safeguarded within our communities.
An adult at risk is defined by The Care Act 2014 as a person who:
- Has needs for care and support (whether or not the authority is meeting any of those needs)
- Is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect
- As a result of those needs is unable to protect himself or herself against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it
Reporting a safeguarding concern
If you have a concern about the safety or welfare of a vulnerable adult in North Tyneside, please complete our online reporting form.
If you are an employee of an Adult Social Care provider and you would like to report a safeguarding concern that has happened in North Tyneside, please complete our online reporting form
The North Tyneside Safeguarding Adults Initial Enquiry Form is to be used by Adult Social Care providers to report suspected or actual instances of abuse or neglect and could form the start of a Safeguarding Adults (Section 42) Enquiry under the Care Act.
This form should be completed as fully as possible in order that robust decisions can be made about the progression, or otherwise, of the Safeguarding Adults Enquiry.
Please use the Safeguarding Adults Risk Threshold Tool, your knowledge of the person and your professional judgment to decide on the seriousness of the concern.
Advice in writing a safeguarding report:
- Write down exactly what you are told or have seen
- Use the exact words of the person telling you, not your own
- Include times of incident
- Include the type of alleged abuse
- Include the location of the alleged abuse
- Make it clear who said what and when
- Write down everything you saw, keep it factual
- Write down people's names in full, explaining who they are
- Be accurate - write down facts as they happened, be unbiased/do not take sides, do not ask leading questions
- Use the phrases tell me about it, explain that to me, describe that
In order to clarify information, without asking leading questions:
- Explain in detail what you were told and/or saw
- Write down anything you did as a result of the allegation
- Write or type your report yourself. Keep a copy for your records.
- Make sure you include the date and your signature
- Give a copy to your service manager
- Do not show it to anyone who does not need to see it.
The North Tyneside and Northumberland Joint Safeguarding Policy sets out the course of action we should take to protect people at risk of harm from abuse.
We have also included a series of comprehensive Safeguarding Information Books, which support the Policy. The books are aimed at professionals and staff across agencies that will enable them to ensure the safety of individuals and to understand each others' roles in carrying out this task.
There is an overarching North Tyneside Safeguarding Adults Policy which is further supported by the following safeguarding information workbooks.
Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB)
The Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) report into the wider system of Health and Wellbeing and Safer North Tyneside.
The Care Act 2014 brings a statutory requirement for each local authority to set up a Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB). The main objective of a SAB is to assure itself that local safeguarding arrangements are in place and that partners act to help and protect adults in its area who meet the criteria under the act.
Since 2017 North Tyneside has now agreed to have a Joint SAB with Northumberland.
The Board has three core duties under the Care Act:
- It must publish a Strategic Plan for each financial year that sets out how it will meet its main objectives and what the members will do to achieve this.
- It must publish an Annual Report detailing what the SAB has done during the year to achieve its main objectives and implement its strategic plan.
- It must conduct any Safeguarding Adults Reviews (SARs) in accordance with Section 44 of the Care Act 2014.
The SAB consists of multi agency executives, who oversee safeguarding and promote the welfare of all North Tyneside and Northumberland adults who may be at risk of harm and living within North Tyneside and Northumberland. Delivering with a strong membership and a clear Constitution, the Board has a robust focus on the changing dynamics in Health and Social Care.
The objectives are:
- To ensure there is a working agreement/understanding across all agencies in respect of operational definitions and thresholds in respect of adults at risk of harm
- To ensure adequate/appropriate funding agreements are in place as per the national guidance for each agency
- To identify and allocate resources for the SAB and sub groups
- To commission and approve an annual business plan and monitor its progress based upon government direction.
- To identify multi agency information requirements in respect of performance management information
- To develop an accountability framework
- To ensure the SAB strategy is implemented within each agency
- To commission projects/work for the SAB sub groups
- To scrutinise and monitor the work of the sub groups
- To raise awareness within the wider community of the need to safeguard vulnerable adults and promote their welfare
Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SARs)
A Safeguarding Adults Review (SAR) is a process for all partner agencies to identify the lessons that can be learned from particularly complex or difficult Safeguarding Adults cases and implement changes to improve services in the light of these lessons.
From April 2015, Section 44 of the Care Act 2014 placed a duty on local Safeguarding Adults Boards to arrange SARs.
The statutory guidance for The Care Act 2014 states that SABs must arrange a SAR:
- When an adult, with needs for care and support, (whether or not the local authority was meeting any of those needs) in its area 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
- If an adult in its area has not died, but the SAB knows or suspects that the adult has experienced serious abuse or neglect and there is concern that partner agencies could have worked more effectively to protect the adult
The aim of the process is to learn lessons and make improvements rather than to blame individual people or organisations. SARs can also be used to explore examples of good practice where it is likely that lessons can be applied to future cases.
Who decides when to hold a SAR?
The Safeguarding Adults Board has a Safeguarding Adults Review Committee that considers referrals for SARs. The group makes recommendations to the Safeguarding Adults Board on whether a SAR should be held or if other steps can be taken to respond to the issues that a case has raised. Anyone can make a referral to the Safeguarding Adults Review Committee.
How is a SAR carried out?
If the decision is to proceed with a Safeguarding Adults Review, the Committee can use this information to determine the type of review to be undertaken and the scope of the review.
Once completed the findings of the review will be reported back to the SAB with any action plans identified. The SAB then monitors the implementation of these plans with the help of the Safeguarding Adults Review Committee. The executive summary and agreed action plan is published and made available to the public, which is agreed with the family members or appropriate others.
There is a timetable for all parts of the process based on national guidelines.
North Tyneside Council currently deliver Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Training to all sectors including Social Services, North Tyneside CCG, Northumbria Healthcare Trust, and the Independent and Private Sector.
The North Tyneside and Northumberland Safeguarding Adults Board Workforce Development subgroup oversee the implementation and delivery of a Safeguarding Adults Training programme within the borough. The programme is delivered by a range of professionals, using endorsed training packages.