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Responding to Hoarding Behaviour Framework

Hoarding behaviour was recognised in the Care Act 2014 as one of the manifestations of self-neglect. It is an increasingly prevalent issue and is a complex condition which can involve risk to life, is subject to more than one area of legislation, and involve the health and wellbeing of the person at risk as well as any others that may be in the household. It is key therefore that a collaborative, multi-agency approach is taken in identifying and responding to hoarding behaviour.

The Brighton & Hove and East Sussex Safeguarding Adults Boards have worked with a range of partner agencies across both the statutory and non-statutory sectors to develop an updated and expanded multi-agency Responding to Hoarding Behaviour Framework that replaces the previous multi-agency Hoarding Framework.

This updated framework is not intended to place requirements on organisations. It provides guidance that promotes a person-centred and strengths-based approach in responding to hoarding behaviour and ensuring the person’s views and preferred outcomes are central throughout. It encourages professionals to consider a range of potential steps and actions, along with useful resources, and includes key legislation and pan-Sussex SAB protocols.

The framework is in three separate parts.

  • Practitioner Guidance
  • Practitioner Resources
  • Contact Information, Further Reading and Legislation

The framework is not designed to be read or necessarily applied in its entirety, but to be referenced as required in providing guidance and further resources in a range of areas that relate to hoarding behaviour. You can access each part of the framework below.

The first part of the framework provides practitioners with general guidance around hoarding behaviour; recognising the different types of hoarding behaviour and the causes and nature behind it, key elements around working with hoarding behaviour, key points in relation to the relevant legislation and a flowchart. This section supports practitioners to have a consistent and joined up approach to assessing risk and supporting people, use best practice in engaging individuals in the process and support a preventative multi-agency approach that reduces the need for compulsory intervention.

Responding to Hoarding Behaviour Practitioner Guidance

The second part of the framework contains a range of practical resources for use to support professionals working with adults who are displaying hoarding behaviour. It includes suggested approaches, questions, and tools to promote a multi-agency approach that enables positive change whilst keeping the person’s rights and wishes at the centre of all interventions.

Responding to Hoarding Behaviour Practitioner Resources

The third part of the framework has a range of contact information for both pan-Sussex and national organisations, that can be contacted as part of a multi-agency approach or for advice and guidance when hoarding behaviour is identified. Following on from this are links to further reading and services regarding hoarding behaviour. In the final part is expanded details of the specific legislation referred to in Part 1 that may need to be considered when severe hoarding behaviour and significant risk is identified.

Responding to Hoarding Behaviour Contact Information, Further Reading, and Legislation

Hoarding Behaviour Presentation

As part of the NHS Sussex Safeguarding Fortnight for 2023 the Brighton & Hove SAB and East Sussex SAB delivered an online presentation on Working with self-neglect and focusing on hoarding behaviour. This session was designed to publicise the new Responding to Hoarding Framework and was based on the content contained in each of the three parts.

We were joined by colleagues from SPFT and the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service who presented specialist sections on ‘hoarding and mental health’ and ‘what hoarding behaviour looks like for the fire service’. These contained further expertise and additional resources that are available for professionals working with hoarding behaviour.  The session was very well received and you can watch it here.