This chapter provides information for multi-agency practitioners about the roles and responsibilities of the Trafford Strategic Safeguarding Board, which is the local strategic decision-making body for all matters relating to adults experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect.
RELEVANT LOCAL WEBSITES
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Core Duties
- 3. TSSB Arrangements
- 4. Membership
- 5. Supply of Information
- 6. Training
The Trafford Strategic Safeguarding Board (TSSB) is a multi-agency forum for strategic discussions and decision making related to issues for adults experiencing or at risk of abuse or neglect, their carers, practitioners and managers, as well as local communities. These are often complex and challenging issues.
Under the Care Act 2014, Trafford local authority must establish a Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB). The main objective of a SAB is to assure itself that local safeguarding arrangements and partners act to help and protect adults who:
- have needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs);
- are experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect;
- as a result of those care and support needs are unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect.
The TSSB has a strategic role that is greater than the sum of the operational duties of the core partners. It oversees and leads adult safeguarding across the locality and will be interested in a range of matters that contribute to the prevention of abuse and neglect. These include the safety of patients in its local health services, the quality of local care and support services, the effectiveness of prisons and approved premises in safeguarding offenders and awareness and responsiveness of further education services.
The TSSB needs intelligence on safeguarding in all providers of health and social care in its locality (not just those with whom its members commission or contract). It is important that TSSB partners feel able to challenge each other and other organisations where it believes that their actions or inactions are increasing the risk of abuse or neglect. This includes commissioners, as well as providers of services.
The TSSB can be an important source of advice and assistance, for example in helping others improve their safeguarding mechanisms. It is important that the TSSB has effective links with other key partnerships in the locality and that they share relevant information and work plans. The board should consciously cooperate to reduce any duplication and maximise efficiency, particularly as objectives and membership are likely to overlap.
2. Core Duties
A SAB has three core duties:
- It must publish a strategic plan for each financial year;
- It must publish an annual report;
- It must conduct any Safeguarding Adults Review (SAR) in accordance with Section 44 of the Care Act.
2.1 Role of the Strategic Board
The role of the TSSB is to:
- track the delivery of the strategic plan and outcomes;
- receive reports against new developments;
- receive progress reports against strategic workstreams, which will report by exception;
- test and challenge what comes to the Board;
- ensure that activities and developments that the Board are responsible for are resourced and supported;
- meet on other specific duties and requirements of the Board.
2.2 TSSB strategic plans
The TSSB must publish its strategic plan each financial year.
The TSSB will identify a range of strategic objectives. The goals highlighted in the strategy will be incorporated into the TSSB Business Plan. Responsibilities will be aligned to appropriate work stream and the chair of each work stream will report quarterly to the TSSB on implementation, progress and or barriers. This will enable the TSSB to focus on longer term goals whilst monitoring, reviewing and evaluating performance.
This plan should address both short and longer-term actions and it must set out how it will help adults in its area and what actions each member of the TSSB will take to deliver the strategic plan and better protect adults in its area. This plan could cover 3-5 years in order to enable the Board to plan ahead as long as it is reviewed and updated annually.
When it is preparing the plan, the TSSB must consult the local Healthwatch and involve the local community. The local community has a role to play in the recognition and prevention of abuse and neglect but active and on-going work with the community is needed to tap into this source of support.
The TSSB must understand the many and potentially different concerns of the various groups that make up its local community. These might include such things as scams targeted at older householders, bullying and harassment of disabled people, hate crime directed at those with mental health problems, cyber bullying and the sexual exploitation of people who may lack the capacity to understand that they have the right to say no.
In order to make the plan understood as widely as possible, it should be free from jargon and written in plain English with an easy read version available.
2.3 TSSB annual reports
After the end of each financial year, the TSSB must publish an annual report that clearly states what both the TSSB and its members have done to carry out and deliver the objectives and other content of its strategic plan. The reports should have prominence on each core member’s website and be made available to other agencies.
Specifically, the annual report must provide information about any Safeguarding Adults Reviews (SARs) that the TSSB has arranged which are ongoing or have reported in the year (regardless whether they commenced in that year). The report must state what the TSSB has done to act on the findings of completed SARs or, where it has decided not to act on a finding, why not. (See 2.6 SAB Responsibilities).
The annual report must set out how the TSSB is monitoring progress against its policies and intentions to deliver its strategic plan. The TSSB should consider the following in coming to its conclusions:
- evidence of community awareness of adult abuse and neglect and how to respond;
- analysis of safeguarding data to better understand the reasons that lie behind local data returns and use the information to improve the strategic plan and operational arrangements;
- what adults who have experienced the process say and the extent to which the outcomes they wanted (their wishes) have been realised;
- what front line practitioners say about outcomes for adults and about their ability to work in a personalised way with those adults;
- better reporting of abuse and neglect;
- evidence of success of strategies to prevent abuse or neglect;
- feedback from local Healthwatch, adults who use care and support services and carers, community groups, advocates, service providers and other partners;
- how successful adult safeguarding is at linking with other parts of the system, for example children’s safeguarding, domestic violence, community safety;
- the impact of training carried out in this area and analysis of future need; and
- how well agencies are cooperating and collaborating.
The annual report will contain a business plan, which will detail its continuous work programme. This will included information about how identified priorities will be taken forward during 2016/17. Strategic links and key shared work streams have been identified and included as relevant into the TSSB’s strategic and business plan.
The annual report should be a document that can be read and understood by anyone, which may include an easy read version. It is likely the TSSB will publish the report via its website. It should actively publicise the report and seek feedback regarding the report from local communities.
The TSSB must send a copy of its report to:
- the Chief Executive and leader of Trafford local authority;
- the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable;
- the local Healthwatch; and
- the Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board.
It is expected that the above organisations will fully consider the contents of the report and how they can improve their contributions to both safeguarding throughout their own organisation and to the joint work of the Board.
2.4 Policy development and training
As part of the TSSB’s strategic objectives, it will ensure there is a full range of policy, procedures and guidance in place that provides a framework within which organisations can work together effectively to respond to abuse and neglect, and reflects developments in national guidance and legislation, as well as national, regional, local learning and new approaches to safeguarding. The sub-group for policy and training will be responsible for developing policies that provide a structured framework to guide staff, agencies and the community in delivering or accessing consistent and effective services that keep people safe. Policies will be concise, easy to follow and accessible. The sub-group will ensure that policies are regularly reviewed to ensure they continue to be responsive to the changing needs of our community. The training strategy will incorporate local / regional and national policy, procedures and learning and meet the needs of stakeholders involved in the safeguarding process throughout Trafford ensuring that:
- multi-agency working;
- community awareness;
- appropriate skills and competencies;
- capturing best practice, including learning from SARs.
2.5 Quality assurance and information
Also as part of the strategic objectives, TSSB will evaluate data that captures the outcomes of safeguarding adults work. This activity will enable the organisation to evaluate levels of safety, improved sense of wellbeing, reduced levels of risk and successful achievement of outcomes desired by adults. TSSB will access systems and resources have been developed that raise public awareness and understanding of safeguarding adults work. All stakeholders who experience the safeguarding process will have opportunities to inform and influence the development and improvement of that process. Additionally adults who have experienced, or are at risk of abuse and neglect, may be consulted in order to influence the development of safeguarding practice. TSSB will consider multi-agency safeguarding models of operational practice. TSSB will ensure appropriate representation; membership and links to wider networks / boards are embedded.
2.6 TSSB responsibilities
See also Section 3.1 Infrastructure
The Safeguarding Adults Board should:
- identify the role, responsibility, authority and accountability with regard to the action each agency and professional group should take to ensure the protection of adults (see also Other Roles and Responsibilities of All Partner Agencies);
- establish ways of analysing and interrogating data on safeguarding notifications that increase the TSSB’s understanding of prevalence of abuse and neglect locally that builds up a picture over time (see also Safeguarding Adults Data Returns);
- establish how it will hold partners to account and gain assurance of the effectiveness of its arrangements;
- determine its arrangements for peer review and self-audit;
- establish mechanisms for developing policies and strategies for protecting adults which should be formulated, not only in collaboration and consultation with all relevant agencies but also take account of the views of adults who have needs for care and support, their families, advocates and carer representatives;
- develop preventative strategies that aim to reduce instances of abuse and neglect in its area (see Preventing Abuse and Neglect);
- identify types of circumstances giving grounds for concern and when they should be considered as a referral to the local authority as an enquiry; (see Safeguarding Enquiries);
- formulate guidance about the arrangements for managing adult safeguarding, and dealing with complaints, grievances and professional and administrative malpractice in relation to safeguarding adults (see Complaints or Appeals in relation to the Safeguarding Adult Process);
- develop strategies to deal with the impact of issues of race, ethnicity, religion, gender and gender orientation, sexual orientation, age, disadvantage and disability on abuse and neglect;
- balance the requirements of confidentiality with the consideration that, to protect adults, it may be necessary to share information on a ‘need-to-know basis’ (see Information Sharing);
- identify mechanisms for monitoring and reviewing the implementation and impact of policy and training;
- evidence how TSSB members have challenged one another and held other boards to account; and,
- promote multi-agency training and consider any specialist training that may be required. Consider any scope to jointly commission training with other partnerships, such as the Community Safety Partnership (see Section 7, Training).
Strategies for the prevention of abuse and neglect is a core responsibility of the TSSB and it should have an overview of how this is taking place in the area and how this work ties in with the health and wellbeing board’s, quality surveillance group’s (QSG), community safety partnership’s and Care Quality Commission’s stated approaches and practices (see also Preventing Abuse and Neglect).
The TSSB must develop clear policies and processes that have been agreed with other interested parties, and that reflect the local service arrangements, roles and responsibilities. Policies will state what agencies and individuals are expected to do where they suspect abuse or neglect.
2.7 Safeguarding Adults Reviews (SARs)
See also Safeguarding Adults Reviews.
The TSSB must arrange a Safeguarding Adults Review (SAR) – previously known as a Serious Case Review – when an adult in its area dies as a result of abuse or neglect, whether known or suspected, and there is concern that partner agencies could have worked more effectively to protect the adult.
The TSSB must also arrange a SAR if an adult in its area has not died, but the TSSB knows or suspects that the adult has experienced serious abuse or neglect. In the context of SARs, something can be considered serious abuse or neglect where:
- the individual would have been likely to have died but for an intervention, or;
- has suffered permanent harm or;
- has reduced capacity or quality of life (whether because of physical or psychological effects) as a result of the abuse or neglect.
The TSSB is free to arrange for a SAR in any other situations involving an adult in its area with needs for care and support.
The adult who is the subject of any SAR need not have been in receipt of care and support services for the TSSB to arrange a review in relation to them.
2.6 Collaboration and cooperation
Safeguarding requires collaboration between partners in order to create a framework of inter-agency arrangements.
Local authorities and their relevant partners must collaborate and work together as set out in the cooperation duties in the Care Act and, in doing so must, where appropriate, also consider the wishes and feelings of the adult on whose behalf they are working.
Local authorities may cooperate with any other body they consider appropriate where it is relevant to their care and support functions. The lead agency with responsibility for coordinating adult safeguarding arrangements is the Trafford local authority, but all the members of the TSSB should designate a lead officer. Other agencies should also consider the benefits of having a lead for adult safeguarding.
3. TSSB Arrangements
The TSSB decides how it operates but it must ensure that its arrangements will be able to deliver the duties and functions as set out in the Care Act. The arrangements it needs to create include, for example:
- how often it meets;
- the appointment of a chair;
- any sub-groups to it; and
- any other practical arrangements such as minute taking, distribution of minutes etc.
It also needs to be clear about how it will seek feedback from the local community, particularly those adults who have been involved in a safeguarding enquiry.
Although it is not a requirement, Trafford local authority should consider appointing an independent chair to the TSSB who is not an employee or a member of an agency that is a member of the TSSB. The chair has a critical role to lead collaboratively, give advice, support and encouragement but also to offer constructive challenge and hold main partner agencies to account. An independent chair can provide additional reassurance that the Board has some independence from the local authority and other partners. The chair will be accountable to the Chief Executive of Trafford local authority as the lead body responsible for establishing the TSSB but should be appointed by Trafford in the name of the TSSB having consulted all its statutory partners. There is a clear expectation that chairs will keep up to date with, and promote, good practice, developments in case law and research and any other relevant material.
Two or more local authorities may establish a SAB for their combined geographical area of responsibility.
Information about how the TSSB works should be easily accessible to partner agencies and to the general public: see TSSB website.
The Board will run a series of sub-groups as depicted below that will focus on delivering specific areas of activity. The sub-groups will operate on the basis that:
- the subgroups will be led by members of the Strategic Board (TSSB), who will be responsible for the establishment, operating and delivery of the groups;
- the subgroups will report on a regular basis to the Board, providing progress reports;
- all Board members will be responsible for providing appropriate staff and resources to the sub-groups as required. All sub-group members will be clear on their role, committed to the work of the sub-group, and able to take on tasks and activities in support of the work group;
- if a sub-group is unable to deliver on its outcomes, the Strategic Board members will report to the Board on the issues involved, along with proposals for resolving any barriers to progress.
The following organisations must be represented on the Board:
- Trafford local authority, which set it up;
- the clinical commissioning group in the Trafford area; and
- the chief officer of police in the Trafford area.
The TSSB may also include other organisations and individuals as the establishing local authority considers appropriate having consulted its TSSB partners from the clinical commissioning group and police.
The TSSB may wish to invite additional partners to some meetings depending on the specific focus or to participate in its work more generally. Examples include:
- ambulance and fire services;
- representatives of providers of health and social care services, including independent providers;
- Department for Work and Pensions;
- representatives of housing providers, housing support providers, probation and prison services;
- general practitioners;
- representatives of further education colleges;
- members of user, advocacy and carer groups;
- local Healthwatch;
- Care Quality Commission;
- representatives of Trafford Strategic Safeguarding Board (children); and
- Trading Standards.
This is not a definitive list, but the TSSB should assure itself that it has the involvement of all partners necessary to effectively carry out its duties.
4.1 Related partnerships
Additionally there may also be effective links that can be made with related partnerships to maximise impact and minimise duplication and which would reflect the reality and interconnectivities of local partnerships. There are strong synergies between the work of many of these bodies, particularly when looking at the broader family agenda as well as opportunities for efficiencies in taking forward work.
Partnerships may include the:
- community safety partnership;
- local safeguarding children board;
- health and wellbeing board;
- quality surveillance group;
- clinical commissioning group; and
- health overview and scrutiny committee.
4.2 Members skills and experience
Trafford local authority must ensure that between them, all members of the TSSB have the requisite skills and experience necessary for it to act effectively and efficiently to safeguard adults in its area.
Members who attend in a professional and managerial capacity should be:
- able to present issues clearly in writing and in person;
- experienced in the work of their organisation;
- knowledgeable about the local area and population;
- able to explain their organisation’s priorities;
- able to promote the aims of the TSSB;
- able to commit their organisation to agreed actions;
- have a thorough understanding of abuse and neglect and its impact; and
- understand the pressures facing front line practitioners.
The role of TSSB members will be maintain a strategic focus, which includes:
- evaluating and validating what is received by the Board, including the use of challenge;
- to offer broader knowledge and experience to help improve plans and proposals;
- to make decisions and solve problems where required;
- to ensure that actions and developments are delivered;
- to take specific leads for areas of activity and development;
- to contribute to all areas of activity and development as required;
- to represent the organisation, and be prepared to make decisions and commit resources on behalf of their organisation.
Members of the TSSB are expected to consider what assistance they can provide in supporting the Board in its work. This might be through payment to Trafford local authority or to a joint fund established by Trafford local authority to provide, for example, secretariat functions for the Board.
Members might also support the work of the TSSB by providing administrative help, premises for meetings or holding training sessions. It is in all core partners’ interests to have an effective TSSB that is resourced adequately to carry out its functions.
5. Supply of Information
See also Information Sharing and Confidentiality.
In order to carry out its functions, the TSSB will need access to information that a wide number of people or other agencies may hold. Some of these may be TSSB members, such as the NHS and the police. Others will not be, such as private health and care providers or housing providers / housing support providers or education providers.
In the past, there have been instances where the withholding of information has prevented agencies being fully able to understand what ‘went wrong’ and so has hindered them identifying, to the best of their ability, the lessons to be applied to prevent or reduce the risks of such cases reoccurring. If someone knows that abuse or neglect is happening they must act upon that knowledge, not wait to be asked for information.
A TSSB may request a person to supply information to it or to another person. The person who receives the request must provide the information provided to the TSSB if:
- the request is made in order to enable or assist the TSSB to do its job;
- the request is made of a person who is likely to have relevant information and then either:
- the information requested relates to the person to whom the request is made and their functions or activities or;
- the information requested has already been supplied to another person subject to a TSSB request for information.
The TSSB should ensure that the relevant partners provide training for staff and volunteers on the policy, procedures and professional practices, including awareness, recognition of abuse, roles and responsibilities, undertaking enquiries and post qualifying advanced training for those working with complex enquiries and responses.
Training is a continuing responsibility and should be provided as a rolling programme.
Whilst training may be undertaken on a joint basis and the TSSB has an overview of standards and content, it is the responsibility of each organisation to train its own staff.