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Ensure effective leadership, roles and responsibilities within the Safeguarding Board

What has been achieved

The multi-agency safeguarding policy written jointly with Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and Somerset has been agreed and published. Our own local safeguarding procedures and the organisational abuse procedures have also been agreed.

The purpose of these procedures is to provide professionals and members of the public with a clear understanding of what constitutes abuse, as well as when and how to report concerns, and what will happen once concerns are reported. This has enabled us to develop a more consistent approach to our safeguarding responsibilities.

The subgroup chairs meet together quarterly to agree the Safeguarding Board work planning and agree agenda items.

Agency representation at the Board is good, and the right people attend to represent their organisations.

Areas of weakness

There has been some feedback that the procedures around reporting lower level concerns is not clear enough. This has led to some agencies over reporting matters that do not need to be notified.

The majority of subgroups are well established, however the Safeguarding Adults Review (SAR) subgroup has not yet been firmly established with agreed terms of reference. There have been a number of changes of chair which has added to the drift experienced by this group.

2017-18 priorities

  • the multi-agency safeguarding policy and procedures and the organisational abuse procedures will need to be reviewed to ensure that they remain fit for purpose. Particular attention will be paid to the wording around reporting lower level concerns, to make this message clearer
  • SAR subgroup to establish quarterly meetings and be flexible to convene extraordinary meetings when required
  • SAR subgroup to review terms of reference, and ensure partners are clear about when and how to refer.