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Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults: New and Updates

News and updates from today's Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults: Improving Adult Safeguarding Practice, Decision Making & Outcomes conference.

The Department of Health recently announced on March 11 2016 the new Safeguarding Statutory Guidance "Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the adult’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, having regard to their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action. This must recognise that adults sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships and may be ambivalent, unclear or unrealistic about their personal circumstances.” Care and support statutory guidance, Department of Health, 11th March 2016

This conference focused on safeguarding vulnerable adults – improving safeguarding practice, decision making and delivering a person centred outcome focused approach.  

Sessions focused on meeting the new statutory safeguarding guidance in March 2016 including national updates since the Care Act 2014 implementation, moving forward with making safeguarding personal, a legal session which will look at legal developments in safeguarding and decision making in safeguarding. The conference will continue with practical case studies on critical issues such as criteria for intervention, escalating concerns and complaints, undertaking a safeguarding enquiry under section 42, information sharing and working in partnership with the police on serious concerns and criminal offences and undertaking a safeguarding adults review.

The theme through the conference focused on delivering an outcome focused approach and developing skills in informed decision making to improve adult safeguarding practice. 

Elizabeth McGahey Regional Designated Nurse Adult Safeguarding NHS England delivered a keynote opening address on Improving Adult Safeguarding Practice and discussed:

  • what has been the impact of the Care Act 2014?
  • making safeguarding personal: improving adult safeguarding practice
  • professional judgement and decision making in safeguarding
  • developing guidance on managing self neglect
  • delivering culture change and implementing the practice guidance

Elizabeth McGahey Regional Designated Nurse Adult Safeguarding NHS England Full Presentation Click Here

In her presentation Elizabeth Stated: 

“The Care Act consolidated good practice in statute and introduced new reforms to support agencies to work in partnership. Key focuses on embedding personalisation in social care as well as increasing the focus on wellbeing and prevention.”

“The principals of the Act is to enable local authorities and partners to have a wider focus on the whole population in need of care, rather than just those with eligible needs and/or who are state-funded. Again I think that for those people that work with patients and health and social care there are always barriers and this care act should resolve those”

“Understanding the principle of well being and what services are required – for example most people what to stay in there own home and want to be successful in that – a lot of the time we want to take people out of there homes and put them in what feel is a safe environment we need to stop doing this and find a way to keep them at home”

Funding reforms - Local authorities should consider continuing to provide intermediate or re-ablement services free of charge beyond six weeks. – it can take longer than 6 weeks and sometimes they end up dipping into the benefits which has been a problem and now they are going to be able to defer this”

“Local authorities have a temporary duty to ensure needs are met where any business has failed  - for example care homes closing, we have got to make sure we are vigilant  and have systems in place to make sure we stop this happening.”

“Statutory Safeguarding – we have to establish Safeguarding Adults boards and has to lead a multi-agency local adult safeguarding system, arrange for an independent advocate, carry out Safeguarding Adult Reviews and make enquiries or request others to make them. They also have to have in place a statutory safeguarding plan”

“The duty of candour requires all health and adult social care providers registered with CQC to be open with people when things go wrong - this Care Act – very much focuses on learning from what we have done and what we can do better”

“Lets stop asking the patient what’s wrong a hundred times and reassessing 100 times – lets start  looking at the patients journey”

Adult Safeguarding is shaped by 6 principles:

  • Principle 1 – Empowerment Personalisation and the presumption of person-led decisions and informed consent
  • Principle 2 – Prevention - It is better to take action before harm occurs
  • Principle 3 – Proportionality - Proportionate and least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented.
  • Principle 4 – Protection Support and representation for those in greatest need
  • Principle 5 – Partnerships – Local solutions through services working with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse
  • Principle 6 – Accountability - Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding


Paul Sibun Director Backstay Consulting followed with a presentation on Making safeguarding personal: delivering an outcome focused approach and discussed:

  • making safeguarding personal: delivering an outcome based approach to safeguarding
  • increasing involvement of service users
  • how do you know you are making a difference: our experience

Paul Sibun Director Backstay Consulting Full Presentation Click Here

In his presentation Paul discussed: 

“Making safeguarding personal – legal frame work. The Care Act does not state safeguarding should be personal… but under section 27 states you must be involved with the adult the plan relates to and any carer that the adult has and any person whom the adult asks the authority to involve or, where the adult lacks capacity to ask the authority to do that, any person who appears to the authority to be interested in the adult’s welfare.”

“DOH Guidance (2016) States 14.15 Making safeguarding personal means it should be person-led and outcome-focused. It engages the person in a conversation about how best to respond to their safeguarding situation in a way that enhances involvement, choice and control as well as improving quality of life, wellbeing and safety.”

"The three main questions to ask at the outset of a concern being raised are (1) What outcome(s) is/are wanted or desired? (2) How will you work with the adult at risk to enable that to happen? and (3) How will you measure the result?"

The conference continued with presentations on:

  • Criteria for Intervention: Adult safeguarding thresholds
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults: Legal Update
  • Section 42 Enquiries - Making Defensible Decision
  • Information Sharing and working in partnership with the police on serious safeguarding concerns and criminal offences
  • Safeguarding Alerts: Escalating safeguarding concerns and complaints
  • Undertaking a Safeguarding Adults Review (Serious Case Review)

Future events of interest:

Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults in Hospitals: Improving Safeguarding Practice & Outcomes
Monday 4 July 2016
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Self Neglect and Adult Safeguarding
Monday 4 July 2016
Hallam Conference Centre, London

17 May 2016


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    The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation TrustInPracticeClinical Audit Support CentrePlayoutJust For Nurses
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