Keeping people safe
Trends in number/volume of cases
2014/15 saw a 23 percent increase in the number of adult safeguarding incidents in South Gloucestershire, totalling 1,614 compared with 1,315 in 2013/14.
In terms of neglect (43 percent) and physical abuse (27 percent) remain the most prevalent incidents reported. Financial abuse (12 percent) increased only slightly, whilst psychological abuse (11 percent) increased by a third compared with 2013/14. Sexual abuse (4 percent) remains one of the smallest categories, although low in number of cases it showed a significant six-fold increase in 2014/15 compared with 2013/14.
How safeguarding work is carried out
The South Gloucestershire Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) oversees all of the multiagency safeguarding activity within South Gloucestershire. The SAB meets quarterly with representation from a wide range of partner agencies and groups.
There are a number of sub-groups focusing on different areas, including:
- The Quality Monitoring sub-group that monitors and reviews the data on safeguarding and looks at a smaller number of cases in depth, auditing for both process and quality
- The Training sub-group that manages training for the SAB and the groups it represents including alerter training which is available for all staff (some agencies prefer to undertake this in-house). This group has recently audited all the contracted agencies about safeguarding training
- The Communications sub-group that works to raise awareness and recognition of adult safeguarding. South Gloucestershire has been part of a national pilot this year called ‘making safeguarding personal’ the aim of which is to ensure that people are kept at the heart of any safeguarding processes
- Policy – there is currently work in progress to develop an Adult Safeguarding Policy across South Gloucestershire, Bristol, North Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset with a view to giving greater consistency
How do we know the quality and safety of local services?
There are close links with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) both at a strategic level as they are members of the Safeguarding Adults Board and through daily contact with inspectors.
We have a range of processes in place for monitoring quality and safety including CQC inspections, individual care management reviews and the monitoring of individual alerts to see if there are particular areas of concerns about a service. There is also ongoing contact between the institutional safeguarding team, the council’s contracting department and the Clinical Commissioning Group to share information and any concerns.
The Care Act 2014
The Care Act 2014 has put adult safeguarding on a statutory footing. This has formalised the role of the multi-agency Safeguarding Adults Board. In 2014 an adult safeguarding policy was agreed across South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and Somerset. This policy has been updated following the Care Act and is in the process of being ratified by each Safeguarding Adults Board. The following are planned for the coming year based on a strategic plan which is currently in the process of final agreement:
- Review of the Board, its membership, terms of reference and its sub-groups
- Developing a process for managing Safeguarding Adults Reviews (these replace Serious Case Reviews)
- Work to ensure the voice and experience of users are central to the work of the Board
- Work with providers including the development of Designated Adult Safeguarding Managers
- Reviewing the performance reporting framework
- Developing a framework to improve practice including looking at emerging themes such as self-neglect, difficult to reach groups