Safeguarding Adults Board

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information Page

The West of Berkshire Safeguarding Adults Partnership Board have set up a dedicated webpage to cover information and guidance around the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  This is aimed at both the public and professionals and covers both national and local guidance.

Safeguarding Policies and Procedures still apply during this crisis and can be found here.

If you have any information that you think would be useful on this page please contact: Lynne.Mason@Reading.gov.uk

Raising Awareness

Social Isolation will mean that there will be less opportunity for professionals to identify Safeguarding Concerns, so they will be a reliance on communities and volunteers to identify and report concerns. There will be people who were managing prior to the Covid-19 crisis that are not known to services that may be now struggling.

  • Reading Borough Council the Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group Safeguarding Team have produced a video aimed at delivery drivers to raise awareness around signs to look out for to indicate a person may be struggling and encourages them to  'Be Brave, Speak up', please share this across your networks: https://youtu.be/DNI-boYT9Po 
  • Children Partnership have produced short film 'Be Brave, Speak up' to encourage communities to report concerns they may have about Children and Adults, you are asked to promote this across your networks. 
  • The Berkshire West Safeguarding Children Partnership website, has a dedicated page to provide information and advice for our children, parents, carers and practitioners covering a wide range of subjects, including domestic abuse, emotional health, financial help, coping strategies for new parents, home schooling, keeping children safe on-line etc..
  • The Ann Craft Trust has a dedicated Covid-19 Webpage with guides and resources to support communities, volunteers and professionals.  
  • Each Local Authority has a dedicated Safeguarding page: Reading, West Berkshire, Wokingham
  • Coronavirus Posters for people with disabilities People with a learning disability often have health issues that make them particularly vulnerable. The clear writing company, Photo symbols, have created a series of posters that can easily be printed out and put on notice boards. The three photo posters are free to download and use. The basic message of the information is about the symptoms, what to do and give simple advice to avoid spreading germs. The posters can be found here: https://www.photosymbols.com/blogs/news/coronavirus-poster-3

Safeguarding Practice Guides during the Covid-19 Crisis

  • Safeguarding Policies and Procedures still apply and can be found here.

  • The SAB has produced an, Escalation of safeguarding systems issues in services responding to safeguarding activity during the Covid-19 outbreak (March 2020).  The process sets out proposals for escalation of safeguarding systems issues to senior leaders in services across Berkshire West, during the Covid-19 crisis. It is not intended to replace the Berkshire West Safeguarding Adults Procedures1, more to ensure there is swift, smooth communication between partners to accommodate changes forced by the crisis, as they occur.

  • Advice for Social Care from SCIE (Social Care Institute for Excellence) one Safeguarding adults during the COVID-19 crisis can be found here.

  • Support with virtual Safeguarding Conversations. Here is a guide created by the Royal College of General Practitioners,  designed for GP's to support them in gathering information, in regards to Safeguarding, which may be off use to other professionals, having similar conversations.  

  • The Mental Capacity act 2005, including DoLs still applies. The Department of Health and Social Care have published guidance which offers temporary, proportionate measures to support DoLS decision-makers to provide the best possible care to those who need it whilst preventing transmission of the virus. This guidance is temporary and applies until withdrawn by the Department – it should not become the new-norm beyond the pandemic. This guidance can be found here.

  • Reading Borough Council safeguarding adults team have put together a protocol to be used when individual(s) refuse to cooperate with social distancing / social isolation procedures. This protocol can be found here.
  • The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have paused routine inspections for registered services however their role and core purpose of keeping people safe has not changed – safety is still their priority. The CQC have therefore developed an emergency support framework that they will follow during the pandemic. The framework can be found here.
  • The Local Government Association (LGA) and Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) have produced a FAQs document on Safeguarding in response to Covid-19. This can be found here.

 

Care Act Easements

  • The Covid-19 Bill has given flexibility around the Care Act enabling easements in some areas if and when capacity becomes an issue. It is important to note that there  has been no easements around Safeguarding, so it is the requirement of all agencies to continue with their Safeguarding processes, whilst ensuring rules around social distancing is maintained.   A government guide to Care Act easements can be found here.

Increased Risks

West of Berkshire Safeguarding Adults Board SAB have identified the following risks emerging during this crisis:

  • Domestic Abuse, people having to stay in their homes means that their is an increased risk and there is much less opportunity for victims to report. As well as people you support in your work, please also look out for your family, friends, neighbours and colleagues.
    • In an emergency victims of Domestic Abuse can call 999 and press 55, the call handler will then know that the victim is unable to talk and will use other methods to communicate with the person.  More information on how to report Domestic Abuse to the Police can be found here: www.thamesvalley.police.uk/domesticabuse
    • BWA, provide confidential support, information, outreach services and refuge accommodation for women and their children who are affected by domestic abuse and violence.  BWA work throughout Bracknell, Reading, West Berkshire and Wokingham, and are affiliated to the Women’s Aid Federation of England (WAFE).
    • Victims First operate across the Thames Valley and support victims of crime – www.victims-first.org.uk Please make a referral using their online referral form on the site rather than calling the Victims First Freephone number. Please provide the email address and contact number for the per-son needing support and a Victims First Officer will contact them within 5 working days (information correct as at 01/05/20).
    • FLAGDV working across the Thames Valley to provide free telephone legal advice 0800 731 0055 (Mon-Fri 10am – 7pm) www.flagdv.org.uk
    • Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000247www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk
    • Domestic abuse affects men too. Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327 www.mensadviceline.org.uk
    • Respect is a UK domestic abuse organisation leading the development of safe, effective work with perpetrators, male victims and young people using violence in their close relationships www.respect.uk.net
    • Galop: 0800 999 5428 (national helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people experiencing domestic abuse) www.galop.org.uk
    • The national Respect Phoneline provides information and advice, and can offer help for perpetrators, victims looking for information or help for their partner, friends and family looking for help for a perpetrator, or for frontline workers working with a perpetrator of Domestic Abuse. Their website is https://respectphoneline.org.uk/ and their number is 0808 8024040, open Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm. There are also options to use webchat and email access the site for more information.
    • The government has published advice and guidance for those who are experiencing or feel at risk of domestic abuse during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak  which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-and-domestic-abuse
  • Scams, criminals are exploiting peoples anxieties around this crisis,  vulnerable  people are more likely to be victims of scams.
  • Unknown’ vulnerable people; those people that are not known to services that have found themselves vulnerable due to the crisis.  Partners are using information to identify these people, however communities play an important role in alerting Local Authorities to these people.
  • Hoarding, people may struggle more in managing hoarding behaviours during this time, the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service are still accepting referrals for safe and well visits and will visit those assessed at the highest risk of fire. More information can be found here

Health and Wellbeing

The following link takes you to the  NHS Health and Wellbeing website which is now live. It has a significant amount or resources and availability of direct support for staff in relation their mental health and wellbeing. https://people.nhs.uk/

This page will be updated regularly please contact Lynne.Mason@Reading.gov.uk with any comments/input you may have.