The Care Act 2014 requires each Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) to publish an annual report.
The Care Act (Schedule 2.4 (1) a–g) defines the minimum content of an annual report:
As soon as is feasible after the end of each financial year, a SAB must publish a report on:
- What it has done during that year to achieve its objective,
- What it has done during that year to implement its strategy,
- What each member has done during that year to implement the strategy,
- The findings of the reviews arranged by it under section 44 (safeguarding adults reviews) which have concluded in that year (whether or not they began in that year),
- The reviews arranged by it under that section which are ongoing at the end of that year (whether or not they began in that year),
- What it has done during that year to implement the findings of reviews arranged by it under that section, and
- Where it decides during that year not to implement a finding of a review arranged by it under that section, the reasons for its decision.
- The performance of member agencies and how effectively, or otherwise, they are working together should be included in the report.
The annual report must be sent to:
- The Chief Executive and leader of the local authority which established the SAB,
- Any local policing body that is required to sit on the SAB,
- The local Healthwatch organisation,
- The chair of the local health and wellbeing board.
Annual reports should form the basis for the consultation on the strategic plan for the coming year.
A SAB should seek assurance from its members that the annual report has been considered within their internal governance processes.
LSAB Annual Report 2018-2019
Strategic Business Plan
The Partnership Compact and Strategic Business Plan describes how organisations and their representatives on the Lewisham Safeguarding Adults Board will work together in partnership to safeguard the residents of Lewisham in 2019-20.
Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the adult’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, having regard to their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action.
The Board’s priorities in 2019-20 are to:
- Prevent adult exploitation, abuse and neglect
- Develop intelligence led, evidenced based practice
- Strengthen partnership working.
The detailed Aims and Objectives for 2019-20 (page 11) are set out inside the full document published here:
Lewisham SAB Partnership Compact & Strategic Business Plan
One of these Objectives was to create a Communication and Engagement Strategy which outlines how the Board will effectively communicate and meaningfully engage with a wide cross-section of communities and agencies across the Borough, to meet the Board’s statutory requirement to create a portfolio of evidence linked to community awareness of adult abuse and neglect. This will promote the work already being delivered across Lewisham, and help the Board plan how to continue developing a ‘whole community approach’ to the prevention of adult abuse and neglect.
This Strategy is published here:
Lewisham SAB Communication & Engagement Strategy
Policy and Procedures
The introduction of the Care Act 2014 put adult safeguarding on a statutory footing for the first time, embracing the principle that the ‘person knows best’. It laid the foundation for change in the way that care and support is provided to adults, encouraging greater self-determination, so people maintain independence and have real choice.
There is an emphasis on working with adults at risk of abuse and neglect to have greater control in their lives to both prevent abuse and neglect from happening, and to give meaningful options for dealing with it should it occur.
For professionals who work in Care & Support settings the Care Act provides clearer guidance, and supports pathways to working in an integrated way, breaking down barriers between organisations.
The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), NHS London, the Metropolitan Police, and the London Clinical Commissioning Council have produced London Multi-Agency Adult Safeguarding Policy & Procedures Lewisham Safeguarding Adults Board follows these procedures.
Self-Neglect and Hoarding Multi-Agency Policy and Procedures from the LSAB
Read our policy and procedures on self-neglect and hoarding.
Lewisham Modern Day Slavery Protocol
London Borough of Lewisham Modern Slavery Statement 2019
Lewisham Modern Day Slavery Protocol 2019
Adult Safeguarding: Sharing Information
Sharing the right information, at the right time, with the right people, is fundamental to good practice in safeguarding adults.
Frontline professionals and volunteers should always report safeguarding concerns in line with their organisation’s policy. Policies should be clear about how confidential information should be shared between departments in the same organisation.
For Safeguarding purposes sensitive or personal information sometimes needs to be shared between the Local Authority and its safeguarding partners (including GP’s, health, the police, service providers, housing, regulators and the Office of the Public Guardian). This may include information about individuals who are at risk, service providers or those who may pose a risk to others. It aims to enable partners to share information appropriately and lawfully in order to improve the speed and quality of safeguarding responses.
The Care Act emphasises the need to empower people, to balance choice and control for individuals against preventing harm and reducing risk, and to respond proportionately to safeguarding concerns. The Act deals with the role of the safeguarding adults board’s (SAB’s) in sharing strategic information to improve local safeguarding practice. Section 45 ‘the supply of information’ covers the responsibilities of others to comply with requests for information from the safeguarding adults board.
Sharing information between organisations as part of day-to-day safeguarding practice is already covered in the common law duty of confidentiality, The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) the Data Protection Act, the Human Rights Act and the Crime and Disorder Act. The Mental Capacity Act is also relevant as all those coming into contact with adults with care and support needs should be able to assess whether someone has the mental capacity to make a decision concerning risk, safety or sharing information.
It remains the responsibility of organisations and the professionals they employ to ensure that they have a basis for processing that meets common law requirements and the requirements of the GDPR; and for public bodies that they are acting within their powers.
Download the 7 Golden Rules Poster
Why do we need to share adult safeguarding information?
Organisations need to share safeguarding information with the right people at the right time to:
- Prevent death or serious harm,
- Co-ordinate effective and efficient responses,
- Enable early interventions to prevent the escalation of risk,
- Prevent abuse and harm that may increase the need for care and support,
- Maintain and improve good practice in safeguarding adults,
- Reveal patterns of abuse that were previously undetected and that could identify others at risk of abuse,
- Identify low-level concerns that may reveal people at risk of abuse,
- Help people to access the right kind of support to reduce risk and promote wellbeing,
- Help identify people who may pose a risk to others and, where possible, work to reduce offending behaviour,
- Reduce organisational risk and protect reputation.
False perceptions about needing consent to share safeguarding information
Some frontline professionals and their managers can be over-cautious about sharing personal information, particularly if it is against the wishes of the individual concerned. They may also be mistaken about needing consent to share safeguarding information. The risk of sharing information is often perceived as higher than it actually is. It is important that professionals consider the risks of not sharing safeguarding information when making decisions and that these decisions are recorded.
How to address false perceptions
- Raise awareness about responsibilities to share information (profession or work role-specific guidance may help),
- Encourage consideration of the risks of not sharing information,
- Brief staff and volunteers on the basic principles of confidentiality the EU General Data Protection Regulation and data protection,
- Improve understanding of the Mental Capacity Act,
- Provide a contact number for staff and volunteers to raise concerns,
- Be clear in procedures about when to raise a safeguarding concern,
- Assure staff and volunteers that they do not necessarily need to have evidence to raise a concern.
Complex networks between safeguarding partner agencies
The local authority has the lead responsibility for safeguarding adults with care and support needs, and the police and the NHS also have clear safeguarding duties under the Care Act 2014. Clinical commissioning groups and the police will often have different geographical boundaries and different IT systems. Housing and social care providers will also provide services across boundaries.
The Care Act 2014 (Section 6 ) places duties on the local authority and its partners to cooperate in the exercise of their functions relevant to care and support including those to protect adults. The safeguarding adults board should ensure that it ‘has the involvement of all partners necessary to effectively carry out its duties’.
Below is a simple flowchart of the key principles for information sharing. You can also download this flowchart.
Sharing information to prevent abuse and neglect
Sharing information between organisations about known or suspected risks may help to prevent abuse taking place. The safeguarding adults board has a key role to play in sharing information and intelligence on both local and national threats and risks. The board’s annual report must provide information about any safeguarding adults reviews. This can include learning to inform future prevention strategies. Designated adult safeguarding managers ‘should also have a role in highlighting the extent to which their own organisation prevents abuse and neglect taking place’.
What if a person does not want you to share their information?
Frontline workers and volunteers should always share safeguarding concerns in line with their organisation’s policy, usually with their line manager or safeguarding lead in the first instance, except in emergency situations. As long as it does not increase the risk to the individual, the member of staff should explain to them that it is their duty to share their concern with their manager. The safeguarding principle of proportionality should underpin decisions about sharing information without consent, and decisions should be on a case-by-case basis.
Individuals may not give their consent to the sharing of safeguarding information for a number of reasons. For example, they may be frightened of reprisals, they may fear losing control, they may not trust social services or other partners or they may fear that their relationship with the abuser will be damaged.
If a person refuses intervention to support them with a safeguarding concern, or requests that information about them is not shared with other safeguarding partners, their wishes should be respected. However, there are a number of circumstances where the practitioner can reasonably override such a decision, including:
- You have a lawful basis for sharing without consent under the GDPR & Data Protection Act 2018,
- The individual lacks the mental capacity to make that decision – this must be properly explored and recorded in line with the Mental Capacity Act,
- Other people are, or may be, at risk, including children sharing the information could prevent a crime,
- The alleged abuser has care and support needs and may also be at risk,
- A serious crime has been committed staff are implicated,
- The person has the mental capacity to make that decision but they may be under duress or being coerced,
- The risk is unreasonably high and meets the criteria for a multi-agency risk assessment conference referral,
- You have a legal obligation.
If none of the above apply and the decision is not to share safeguarding information with other safeguarding partners, or not to intervene to safeguard the person:
- Support the person to weigh up the risks and benefits of different options,
- Ensure they are aware of the level of risk and possible outcomes,
- Agree on and record the level of risk the person is taking,
- Offer to arrange for them to have an advocate or peer supporter,
- Offer support for them to build confidence and self-esteem if necessary,
- Record the reasons for not intervening or sharing information,
- Regularly review the situation,
- Try to build trust and use gentle persuasion to enable the person to better protect themselves.
If it is necessary to share information outside the organisation:
- Explore the reasons for the person’s objections – what are they worried about?
- Explain the concern and why you think it is important to share the information,
- Tell the person who you would like to share the information with and why,
- Explain the benefits, to them or others, of sharing information – could they access better help and support?
- Discuss the consequences of not sharing the information – could someone come to harm?
- Reassure them that the information will not be shared with anyone who does not need to know,
- Reassure them that they are not alone and that support is available to them.
If the person cannot be persuaded to give their consent then, unless it is considered dangerous to do so, it should be explained to them that the information will be shared without consent. The reasons should be given and recorded.
It is very important that the risk of sharing information is also considered. In some cases, such as domestic violence or hate crime, it is possible that sharing information could increase the risk to the individual. Safeguarding partners need to work jointly to provide advice, support and protection to the individual in order to minimise the possibility of worsening the relationship or triggering retribution from the abuser.
What if a safeguarding partner is reluctant to share information?
There are only a limited number of circumstances where it would be acceptable not to share information pertinent to safeguarding with relevant safeguarding partners. Safeguarding adults boards set clear policies for dealing with conflict on information sharing. If there is continued reluctance from one partner to share information on a safeguarding concern the matter would be referred to the board. It can then consider whether the concern warrants a request, under Clause 45 of the Care Act, for the ‘supply of information’. Then the reluctant party would only have grounds for refusal if it would be ‘incompatible with their own duties or have an adverse effect on the exercise of their functions’.
Safeguarding Adult Reviews
Lewisham Safeguarding Adults Board (LSAB) will arrange a Safeguarding Adult Review (SAR) when an adult in Lewisham 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.
We will also arrange a SAR if an adult in Lewisham has not died, but the LSAB knows or suspects that the adult has experienced serious abuse or neglect. In the context of Safeguarding Adult Review's (SAR's), something can be considered serious abuse or neglect where, for example the individual would have been likely to have died but for an intervention, or has suffered permanent harm or has reduced capacity or quality of life (whether because of physical or psychological effects) as a result of the abuse or neglect. We are also free to arrange for a SAR in any other situations involving an adult in Lewisham with needs for care and support.
Below you can find the Department of Health's Safeguarding Care and Support Statutory Guidance that guides the reviews we carry out.
Safeguarding Care and Support Statutory Guidance
Should the LSAB carry out a review we have a Safeguarding Adults Review Framework that we work to, which explains in detail what you can expect us to undertake for the Lewisham Community.
If you would like to refer a case to us for the boards consideration for a Safeguarding Adult Review to be commissioned please use our dedicated SAR referral platform.
Agencies using the dedicated SAR referral platform (ECR) will find this user guide helpful.
During 2018 Lewisham Safeguarding Adults Board has published two safeguarding adult reviews. The full reports and accompanying documents are available to read and download below.
Mr Michael Thompson - Safeguarding Adult Review - Full Report
Statement of the board in relation to the Safeguarding Adult Review - Mr Michael Thompson
Safeguarding Adult Review, Reflection and Development Briefing - Personalising Care and Improving Outcomes
Mr CS - Safeguarding Adult Review - Full Report (Includes board statement)
Mr CS - Safeguarding Adult Review - Practice Briefing
Guidelines On Risk Assessment for Smoking in Care Homes