Agenda item

Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Adult Safeguarding Partnership Board (SSASPB) Annual Report 2022/2023

Report of the SSASPB


[John Wood, Independent Chairman of the SSASPB & Helen Jones, Adult Safeguarding Partnership Board Manager, and Ruth Martin, Principal Social Worker and Safeguarding Lead, in attendance for this item]


The Annual Report of the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Adult Safeguarding Partnership Board (SSASPB) covered the period 1st April 2020 to March 31st, 2021. The report provided an overview of the work of the Board and its sub-groups and illustrated, with case studies, how the focus on Making Safeguarding Personal was making a positive difference to ensuring that adults with care and support needs were supported to make choices in how they live their lives in a place where they feel safe, secure and free from abuse.


This was the first year the SSASPB reported on the priorities within its revised strategic plan. The Independent Chairman, Mr John Wood, informed Members that the SSASPB was in a mature position, with good engagement across a strong partnership.


There had been a drive to raise awareness and encourage reporting of safeguarding concerns. The number of safeguarding concerns had increased but this was seen as a positive reflection of the work to encourage reporting.


The Committee discussed in detail the issue of neglect, referencing the “Andrew” Adult Safeguarding Review (SAR). As a direct response to this SAR the Partnership Board had developed training around the issue of self-neglect, the response and engagement to this being very positive. This had included the impact of grief and loss on an individual. It was noted that during the last 18 months of Andrew’s life he was visited on 307 occasions by 11 service providers, highlighting again the importance of information sharing and effective communication. There was also an understanding that these issues took time to address and there was a need for senior leaders to enable this time to be available for front line staff.


Members noted a greater level of concerns reported for female than male individuals, with 63% of Section 42 enquiries being in relation to females. Further investigation had been undertaken around this. National figures showed that women were more likely to suffer abuse than men, and this was not a simple under-reporting of male concerns. Females were more likely to live longer and therefore proportionally more likely to be in residential care homes. However further work was being undertaken to look at comparisons with Staffordshire’s population, including ethnicity, and the number of Section 42 referrals, to establish whether there was underreporting from specific groups within our population.


The Committee were informed that a pilot was being introduced to seek feedback from adults with lived experience, as this was currently the missing piece of evidence in evaluating practice. Learning from this feedback would help focus learning and development training. Details were shared with the Committee of safeguarding learning events, including practitioner focused events, many of which offered an opportunity to discuss approaches to case examples from a multi-disciplinary perspective.


Members queried the percentage of Section 42 referrals where no action was taken. In many cases this would be because the referral should not have been made under Section 42. An explanation of this detail would be included in the next annual report. Members also discussed what constituted a Section 42 referral, noting that this was in relation to an adult who was unable to protect themselves from abuse or neglect. In these instances, there was a duty to make enquiries, however the individual had the right to refuse any support offered. Work was ongoing to provide training and on-line tools to support colleagues in understanding when Section 42 referrals were appropriate. An on-line referral form was also being developed which would further help direct appropriate referrals.


The Committee thanked the Independent Chairman, Mr John Wood, for his 8 years as chairman, understanding that this was his last year and congratulating him on his service and dedication to the work of the SSASPB.


Resolved: That the Annual Report 2022/23 of the SSASPB be welcomed and Mr John Wood, Independent Chairman be thanked for his 8 years’ service as SSASPB Chairman.

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