The Hampshire Safeguarding Adult Board’s (HSAB) Annual Report shows that despite the overall number of concerns reported by the public and professionals remaining broadly static at around 4,000, significant early intervention work by the County Council and partners, reduced the number of concerns that needed escalating from 70 per cent to 30 per cent.
Commenting on the report, Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry, said: “It is important to note the significant work undertaken during the past year and how this has led to a growing number of safeguarding alerts being resolved at an earlier stage, negating the need for further processes. This not only saves time and resources, but ensures confidence in the system – providing reassurance to the public that Hampshire will act quickly and decisively in response to allegations of abuse.”
He continued: “Cabinet is also pleased to note some excellent examples of Hampshire adult safeguarding practice. These include the national commendation of the County Council’s Client Affairs Service, who manage the property and financial affairs for people who lack the mental capacity to do so for themselves, as well as the roll-out of Modern Slavery training to the county’s social work workforce to improve the identification of victims, ensuring effective action is taken.”
“While there will always be more to do, the positive progress outlined in the report is a reflection of improved county wide collaboration between partners, and the high standard of care provided in Hampshire – and I was pleased to see the latter cited in the recent Care Quality Commission report into the quality of regulated health and social care services nationally. Hampshire was noted as performing well above the national average with 86 per cent of all its social care registered provision rated good or outstanding.”
In 2014 the Government’s Care Act broadened the scope of Local Authority and partners’ safeguarding duties to include prevention, rather than just responses to allegations of abuse or neglect.
This means that the work of the Board and members agencies has increased, most notably in support of PREVENT – the duty to help people avoid being drawn into terrorism, the lead responsibility for which rests with the County Council. To support this work, a dedicated partnership board and community forum have been established, and an action plan and engagement strategy produced.
The annual report also highlighted the continuing need to improve the experiences of those people with a learning disability who require admission to an acute hospital for diagnosis, care and/or treatment. Work in the coming year will focus on a range of actions including access to advocacy support, better involvement of families and carers in treatment planning and improved hospital discharge processes.
Through the HSAB, the partner agencies will continue their positive collaboration with Children’s Safeguarding to ensure systems are joined up wherever possible for the benefit of young people and their families.