Safeguarding Adults Board

Local Guidance

There are Berkshire Multi-agency Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures to ensure that staff respond consistently and appropriately to all concerns of abuse and neglect. Staff and managers should refer to these as well as to additional guidance documents produced by the Board and local partner agencies.

Raising a concern  

Practitioners, managers and providers should refer to the Berkshire Safeguarding Adult Policy and Procedures. Speak with your local Safeguarding Team for help and advice if you have a concern.

There is a form to help people raise a concern with the Safeguarding Team in the Council: Safeguarding Adults Concern Form

Safeguarding concerns can also be raised directly with each Local Authority using an online form.

To report concerns about adults living in Reading, use Reading Borough Council's web report form.

To report concerns about adults living in West Berkshire, use West Berkshire Council's web report form.

To report concerns about adults living in Wokingham, use Wokingham Borough Council's web report form.

South Central Ambulance have produced a helpful guide on remembering to use the S.A.F.E.G.U.A.R.D Acronym when completing a safeguarding concern.

Postural Management Service - added December 2021

Is a single point of access for West of Berkshire Care Home residents, who require support in Postural Management. The service is provided by the Berkshire Healthcare Integrated Care Home Service. For more information on what service is on offer and how to make a referral please see the following leaflet.

Legal decision-making powers and advocacy - Added December 2021

In November 21, the Board hosted a 90-minute virtual workshop on legal decision-making powers and advocacy. The session was held to support the partnership in regards to learning identified in the John SAR. Four presenters provided information on:

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and what are their decision making powers?

  • When and how to bring in advocate when there is an LPA
  • Managing challenging conversations with an LPA
  • Guidance on how to address concerns regarding an LPA

There was a question and answer session at the end which gave attendees the opportunity to ask specific questions around working with LPAs.

The session was a great success, there were over 200 attendees and feedback was positive.

The session was recorded, and we are currently looking into making this available online. The presentation slides are already available and can be found here.

Sharing Good Practice - Vulnerable Adults Form - Published October 21

The Flory Clinic, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust have created a vulnerable adults form to support clinicians to  assess vulnerable adult and record their vulnerabilities to inform the care moving forward and to highlight where signposting or Safeguarding may be needed , it does not replace the safeguarding process/pathways but helps to prompt the clinicians in their assessment of risk. An made up example of the form can be found here.

Allegation Management Framework/Person in a Position of Trust (PiPoT) - updated September 2021

The Care Act 2014 requires the local authority, its relevant partners and those providing universal care and support services, to have clear policies for dealing with allegations against people in positions of trust i.e. anyone working in either a paid or unpaid capacity with adults with care and support needs. The people in position of trusts (PIPOTS) may be people who are employed and work with or voluntarily undertake activity with adults or children (for example where an employee/worker/volunteer has been accused of the abuse or neglect of an adult with care and support needs. The Framework can be found on our Berkshire Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedure website here.

In September 2021 the partnership launched a PiPoT allegations notification form, which should be used to notify the relevant local authority of the allegations made against a PiPoT. The form can be found here.

Thames Valley Police, have created a video to assist professionals to be mindful of those rare cases of where members of TVP abuse their positions by forming improper relationships. The video can be found here.

On the 22nd October 2020, Thames Valley Police, Counter Corruption Unit, hosted a virtual event on Abuse of Position the presentation can be found here

Resolving Professional Disagreements In cases that meet the statutory criteria for Safeguarding Adults - Escalation Policy - added July 2021

Effective working together depends on an open and honest approach to relationships between agencies. Problem resolution is an integral part of professional co-operation in a multi-agency approach to safeguard adults. Occasionally situations arise when an agency feel that the actions, inaction or decisions of another agency do not adequately safeguard an adult at risk of abuse or neglect. Such situations have been highlighted in several Safeguarding Adult Reviews. This multi-agency guidance defines the process for resolving such professional differences, when a case meets the statutory criteria for safeguarding adults , and should be read alongside Berkshire Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures as well as relevant internal organisation  policies on escalating matters in dispute. Click here for the escalation policy. A word version of the stage 4 referral form can be found here.

Annual Health Checks during COVID - added June 21

Produced by Berkshire West CCG. It is recommended you take just 15 minutes to watch the Annual Health Checks during COVID and beyond  video, which amplifies the voice of people with learning disabilities on the value of annual health checks in achieving better health and wellbeing outcomes.  https://youtu.be/bIUTvHPIsXQ 

Best Practice Guide for Decision-making: Section 42 Safeguarding Adults Enquiries

The Pan Berkshire Policies and Procedures Subgroup have produced a best practice guide for the partnership outlining the role of the Enquiry Officer and the 'accountable person' in a S42 enquiry.  Please note that the ‘accountable person’ may be referred to as a Safeguarding Adults Manager or (SAM) Designated Safeguarding Managers (DSMs). The guide can be found here.

Domestic Violence and Abuse Prompt West Berkshire Health Services - added May 2021

The Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group have produced a tool to aid practitioners to understand/establish the level of concern they may have following discussions with an individual. The document can be found here.

West of Berkshire Adult Safeguarding Threshold Guidance - Published April 2021

Is a document that has been developed by Reading Borough Council, West Berkshire Council and Wokingham Borough Council, to support a shared understanding of thresholds for adult safeguarding. It supports decision-making around when the threshold for raising a safeguarding concern is met. The document can be found here.

Joint Working

Good practice guide - checklist and links to support practitioners in working together.

Mental Health Crisis Interagency Joint Working Protocol

This protocol sets out the recognition that when people present, or are presented, to the Police in a mental ill health crisis state, working together with health and social care partners is both a necessity and a priority. All professionals agree to ensure that the welfare and dignity of the patient is at the heart of any negotiation. The Protocol can be found here.

Information Sharing Protocol

The Information Sharing Protocol covers all of the agencies that form the West of Berkshire Safeguarding Adults Board in the three local authority areas of Reading, West Berkshire and Wokingham. It provides a framework for making decisions about sharing information in order to help protect vulnerable adults who may be at risk of abuse or neglect. The Protocol offers guidance to front-line staff in assessing possible risk to adults, and in balancing the risk against the rights to confidentiality and privacy. 

Out of Area Review Procedure

The aim of this document is to provide clarity and guidance to staff when they are carrying out reviews for people who are placed in out of area supported living, residential or nursing home care. This is to ensure that the quality of the service is of a safe and satisfactory standard and is fully addressing all of the individual’s needs. The Out of Area Review Procedure can be found here.

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service - Safe and Well visits

You can refer vulnerable people for a safe and well visit by a representative from the Fire and Rescue Service. Their home will be assessed for fire risk, with a view to fitting free smoke detector alarms if required. The Fire and Rescue Service will also discuss home escape plans and provide advice to lower fire risk.  Not sure who to refer for a Safe and Well visit? Go to the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service's website.

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service are providing free  information sessions on the  Adults at Risk Programme, you can book into a session by using the following link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/royal-berkshire-fire-and-rescue-service-13364803300 RBFRS will also visit locations to deliver sessions on the programme for larger groups.

Please click here for a list of the prevention equipment Royal Berkshire Fire Rescue Services offer. 

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service - Threat of Arson Referral Procedure

If you have concerns about someone that has had a Threat of Arson made against them or their property or are at risk of arson please complete and return this form.

RBFRS will endeavour to attend the property (with consent of the occupant/victim, so please contact them first) within 48 hours. A Threat of Arson/Risk of Arson Safe and Well Visit will involve our Safe and Well Technicians or Crews attending the property to fit arson proof letter boxes, fire retardant sprays and as many smoke alarms as required.

Further information is provided in this guidance document.

Self-Neglect and Hoarding Threshold Tool

Guidance and templates to help staff safeguard individuals who may be at risk from hoarding and self-neglect: Self-Neglect and Hoarding Threshold Tool. Here is a short film about hoarding, Keith's story.

In December 2020 the Board produced a 5 minute briefing on self-neglect which can be found here.

Pressure Ulcer Pathway

Guidance to help staff decide whether to refer to the safeguarding adults procedures is provided in the Berkshire Policy and Procedures, Appendix 5. This is a downloadable version of the safeguarding decision guide for pressure ulcers, Appendix 4.3 See also these leaflets: What happens if you don't move around enough? and React to Red, includes simple steps to reduce pressure ulcers.

Postural Management Awareness Video

Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group and Berkshire Health Care Foundation Trust would like to share with you a short video raising awareness of postural management and a local pilot within our elderly and nursing care homes.

This video has been produced to improve access to support and safeguard individuals following multi –agency learning from case reviews. 

We would like to thank South Central Ambulance Trust for supporting the filming and production of the video.

Please share the link below with health and social care staff to help raise awareness within our local partnership https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2K1t2pTDTs

Modern Slavery

Thames Valley Adult Modern Slavery Pathway can be found here.

A Local Authorities' Referral Pathway for Adult Victims of Modern Slavery can be found here.

Audit Tool Templates

Templates and guidance for staff to use when carrying out audits: Multi-agency Audit Framework Strategy, Audit Tool and Audit Outcomes Template.

Care Governance Frameworks

Wokingham Borough Council's Care Governance Framework can be found here.

Financial Scams

Financial Fraud and online crime is believed to cost the UK Economy £2 Million each day and the allegations are increasing. Vulnerable People are at high risk of being targeted and once someone is a victim of fraud they are more likely to be targeted again. There is lots of useful information on Scams in the Little Book of Big Scams – 4th Edition which can be found here.

The COVID-19 outbreak is being used by criminals as an opportunity to harness panic and fear and exploit the desire of individuals to do what they can to protect themselves and others. An example of this is scammers sending texts regarding Covid vaccinations asking victims to pay for a vaccination that never arrives.

The National Centre for Post-Qualifying Social Work and Professional Practice (NCPQSW) have published ‘Scams: the power of persuasive language’ a guide for community health and social care workers, to help identify and prevent scams in society. With the restrictions due to the pandemic meaning that people are more isolated than ever health and social care workers are vital in identifying potential scams in the community. Some of the advice offered by the guide is how to ask questions to help identify if a person is at risk of a scam or has been scammed. Such as:

  • Start a conversation about the contact they have had with people that week.
  • If they have been contacted by someone they do not know, they should talk to you or other members of their support network before making any decisions.
  • Encourage them to never make any decisions on the same day they receive information.
  • Tell them to keep communicating openly and sharing information with you, and their friends and family.
  • Talk to them about the reality of scams.

The publication can be found here: https://ncpqsw.com/publications/the-language-of-scams/ along with other useful information such as: Financial scamming and Fraud, Cyber Fraud and Scamming. Other useful information can be found at: https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/, https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/

Did not attend appointments/ Was not brought

The Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust have produced a informative video on the possible reasons why vulnerable adults may not attend appointments, encouraging that the term did not attend is replaced with 'was not brought. The video can be found here.

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Homeless Reduction Act - duty to refer

The Homeless Reduction Act (2017) introduced a legal duty on specified public authorities to refer service users who they think may be homeless or “threatened with homelessness within 56 days” to local authority homelessness/housing options teams. These organisations include:

  • Criminal justice institutions/services
  • Jobcentres Plus
  • Social services authorities
  • Members of the regular armed forces
  • Emergency departments
  • Urgent treatment centres
  • Hospitals –providing inpatient services

This legal requirement is less well known or understood amongst healthcare staff. As a result, the South East Team organised a webinar for health care commissioners and providers to remind them of the legal framework, signpost to training material on the e-Learning for Health platform and share practical examples from the Vulnerable Adult Support Team (VAST) at University Hospital Southampton. The slides for the webinar can be found here.

ASK FOR ANI

From the 14th January 21, victims of domestic abuse are able to access support from thousands of pharmacies across the country with the government backed Asked for Ani scheme. The scheme allows those at risk or suffering abuse to discreetly signal that they need help and access support, by asking for ANI. A trained pharmacist will offer a private space where they can understand if the person needs to speak to the police or would like help to access support services. Participating pharmacies will display the ASK FOR ANI Poster on their shop front.

The scheme will work alongside the Safe Spaces scheme that some pharmacies are already operating, and those pharmacies will have a poster incorporating both schemes.

The Home Office are working with the police and national pharmacy bodies to ensure all pharmacies are aware of the scheme so that staff working in non-participating pharmacies know the codeword and understand that a safeguarding response is required if someone uses the codeword in their pharmacy.

Victims First Specialist Service

Under Thames Valley Partnership, and working in partnership with Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre (OSARCC) and Trust House Reading, the Victims First Specialist Service provides much needed specialist support for victims and witnesses of serious crime including Rape & Sexual Abuse and Exploitation & Modern Slavery.  Commissioned by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, the service is available to those living in the Thames Valley area of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire (inc Milton Keynes) and Oxfordshire.

Offering a holistic approach, this service helps those with longer term or more complex needs.  The service provides crisis intervention and ongoing support to help those with multiple and/or historical experiences of crime, and those who have had a traumatic response to a single recent crime.  When appropriate, our service will provide, family-oriented support when several members of the same family (or a couple) have been directly or indirectly affected by crime.

Our support is person centred and focuses on the individual and the impact to them.  We encourage activities that are designed to increase confidence, build resilience and improve future safety; and we promote improvement in physical and mental health & wellbeing, including developing coping strategies and daily living skills.  We do this through:

  • A timely response.
  • A well utilised delivery network.
  • Delivering appropriate interventions.
  • Having specialist knowledge and skills within the team (Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs), experts in Exploitation & Modern Slavery and experienced Restorative Justice Practitioners.
  • Comprehensive assessment and management needs and risks.
  • Client led action plans.
  • Regular contact through a variety of means as preferred by client.
  • Specialist support through the criminal justice system.
  • Integrated pathways across the voluntary and statutory sector.
  • Family work, group work and peer support.
  • Restorative approaches.
  • Practical help and advocacy (ranging from help with housing, benefits, immigration status, education & employment, hospital visits, food or clothes parcels).

Our support service has no time limits and can range from a single incident of support to long term support.  Long term support enables us to build relationships of trust with our clients which can help empower people to break the cycle of the impact of crime.

We believe that our experience and expertise, coupled with our passion and heart for victims and the vulnerable, ensures the people we support have compassionate support in a professional and caring way.

If you wish to speak to anyone for further information about the new service please contact any of the following:

Nicola Bell, Service Manager - 07780 433683   nicolavfss@thamesvalleypartnership.org.uk

Kathryn McLean, Area Manager Bucks & MK - 07508 867061   kathrynvfss@thamesvalleypartnership.org.uk

Rachel Barr, Area Manager Oxon & Berks – 07957 311323          rachelvfss@thamsevalleyparternship.org.uk

Click here for a referral form for Victims First.