Multi-agency working is key to safeguarding those most at risk within the community. Underpinning this must be strong multi-agency procedures to which all professionals are expected to work.
West Sussex, East Sussex and Brighton & Hove Safeguarding Adults Board have developed joint multi-agency Sussex Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures which set out how local agencies will work together.
Taking part in SARs
The SAB have a duty to undertake a Safeguarding Adult Review (SAR) whenever an adult has died (including death by suicide), and abuse or neglect is known or suspected to be a factor in their death, OR, an adult has experienced serious abuse or neglect which has resulted in: permanent harm, reduced capacity or quality of life (whether because of physical or psychological effects), or the individual would have been likely to have died but for an intervention AND there is concern that partner agencies could have worked more effectively to protect the adult. In cases that do not meet this criteria the Board may decide to undertake a local multi agency Learning Review to look at how practice in Brighton & Hove may be improved to keep adults with care and support needs safe.
The purpose of having a Safeguarding Adult Review is not to re-investigate or to apportion blame, it is to:
- establish whether there are any lessons to be learnt from the circumstances of the case, about the way in which local professionals and agencies work together to safeguard adults,
- review the effectiveness of procedures,
- inform and improve local inter-agency practice,
- improve practice by acting on learning, and,
- highlight good practice.
Safeguarding Adult Reviews are not disciplinary proceedings, and should be conducted in a manner which facilitates learning and appropriate arrangements must be made to support staff. Safeguarding Adult Reviews are not enquiries into why an adult has died (or been significantly injured), or who is culpable. These are matters for criminal courts and coroner’s courts.
Participation of front line staff and their managers is key to developing this in-depth understanding of the systems in place and how they relate to practice, so they may be asked to have individual or group conversations with reviewers, and will be invited to take part. To support staff asked to contribute we have written the following guidance: SARs Guidance for Staff
We also endeavour to involve family members whenever possible in these reviews to understand their perspective on the services provided to them. The information for families and friends can be viewed here: SARs FAQs