Agenda item

Brent Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report

To receive and consider the Brent Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report for the period of 2018 – 2019


Michael Preston-Shoot (Independent Chair, Brent Safeguarding Adults Board) introduced the annual report, which covered April 2018 to March 2019. He noted that there was concern across safeguarding adults in London regarding funding from the NHS and MOPAC, and in Brent the Council makes the substantial contribution towards the cost of the Board including the business manager and training officer. There were ongoing conversations with NHS England. Michael Preston-Shoot confirmed that Transitional Safeguarding would be a priority going forward, following the transitional Safeguarding workshop, and added that he would report on the progress made in the next annual report. He pointed out the 4 Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SARs) that were included in the annual report, and explained that learning from Adult C and D was being implemented, and Adult E’s SAR was ongoing. Adult B’s case had been scrutinised by the Community and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee on 11 June 2019.


Councillor Farah (Lead Member for Adult Social Care), in co-presenting the annual report, informed the committee that the formal notification of the outcome of the Coroner’s Inquest into Adult E’s case should be known in the following month. The council had written to the family to share an apology and reassure them that the whole Council had learned lessons from the inquest and would do everything they could to ensure it did not happen again. In concluding, Councillor Farah confirmed that once the formal notification was received the SAR could be concluded and they would be able to bring the full report back to scrutiny once received.


The Chair thanked the Presenting Officers for their introduction and invited members of the committee to comment. The following issues were raised:


·         In response to whether there was any relationship between the reported underspend and the case of Adult D, Michael Preston-Shoot highlighted that the reason for the underspend was that it was known the board would have 3 reviews to pay for, and it was prudent to assume they would be conducting at least 1 review each year. He confirmed that the accounts had been settled for adult C and D, and that he was in the early stages of commissioning a SAR for adults F and G. When a concern was received regarding a specific case that did not trigger the threshold for a section 44 SAR, the practice was to pass the information on to the Operational Director for Social Care, Helen Woodland, who was responsible under the Council’s duty of care.


·         Michael Preston-Shoot was of the opinion the Multiagency Safeguarding Partnership had been challenging with the reorganisation of the Metropolitan Police. He felt the reorganisation had impacted strategically on all Safeguarding Boards in London and predicted that the upcoming reorganisation of CCGs would also impact the arrangements.


·         In response to reassurance that learning was implemented, Michael Preston-Shoot informed the committee that information sharing and learning was done through exchange during SARs, workshops and training, dissemination events, lunch and learn seminars and other events. Michael Preston-Shoot was also undertaking audits to satisfy himself that learning was implemented. He felt he could see where the lessons had been learned through written records and implementation of changes, such as changes to the policy and procedure for commissioning arrangements as a response to adult B’s SAR. Further explaining his confidence that learning was happening, he explained that he had regular conversations with team members to reassure quality of practice, and where he was not reassured would ask for further reassurance.


·         In responding to the same question regarding reassurance of learning implementation, Councillor Farah added that he had confidence in the actions that were put in place following the Adult E case. He reassured himself with visits to commissioning partners and seeing case reviews with lead officers.


·         The committee queried how the safeguarding board felt about the percentage of section 42 enquiries received, and whether as a result of the lower numbers they felt they had done enough to publicise how to raise enquiries. Michael Preston-Shoot explained a multi-agency review has been commissioned nationally on section 42 enquiries because of wide variation across the country. The Board also wanted to reassure themselves that triage for section 42 was being done appropriately in Brent. Results showed that Brent was in the upper middle range across London for number of referrals. An audit took place in Brent earlier in the year and the independent auditor was positive about the quality of enquiries conducted and that triage undertaken by the adult team was appropriate, and gave recommendations for moving forward.  Georgina Diba (Head of Safeguarding and Transformation, Brent Council) would take the lead taking the recommendations forward. Michael Preston-Shoot added that they were using human stories to underpin the numbers, doing roadshows to raise awareness of how to raise enquiries and what to do in the event of a safeguarding concern.


·         Regarding queries concerning whether improvements to monitoring care providers had been made, Michael Preston-Shoot told the committee he felt reassured by the changes made to the commissioning arrangements within Adult Social Care, which allowed for a more rigorous scrutiny and challenge of how care providers were meeting their responsibilities. Phil Porter (Strategic Director Community and Wellbeing) expanded that there were now teams who focused on individual care markets, and members of each market team were now allocated to specific services, meaning those officers  were seeing individuals regularly in particular homes. He expressed that this allowed for stronger knowledge of individuals and the services, stronger quality assurance and stronger quality improvement.


·         Regarding the methods by which care providers were monitored, Helen Woodland (Operational Director Social Care) explained that the community and prevention commissioning team did home care checks on individuals, unannounced inspections, and observed care being delivered. She confirmed that the home care task group was recommissioning all home care to ensure care providers were within geographical patches. The procurement process was ongoing.


·         The committee queried awareness and training for care workers. Helen Woodland confirmed that they focussed training towards helping care workers identify different types of abuse, particularly financial abuse which she felt may not be as obvious, and that they were working on the quality of feedback to care workers to ensure they were kept informed on notifications of concern.


·         Michael Preston-Shoot confirmed that the Brent Safeguarding Adults Board had not yet given detailed consideration to the issue of online abuse, but highlighted that the board were pursuing the development of policy and procedures in relation to newer forms of abuse, including self-neglect, slavery and county lines. Michael Preston-Shoot recalled that Lewisham had considered online abuse and so Brent could import some learning from that.


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