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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.

This page provides information useful to safeguarding practice in the West of Berkshire.

The West of Berkshire Safeguarding Adults Partnership Board (SAB), through its learning have identified that there have been missed opportunities in identifying and responding to concerns around the quality-of-service provision in health and social care services particularly: residential care, nursing home care, supported living and home care.

A learning brief has been devised to provide guidance on what may indicate issues in the quality-of-service delivery and how to respond to them if raising a safeguarding concern is not appropriate.

Advocacy People Berkshire SAB presentation June

In June 2023, the Advocacy presented to the Board their advocacy offer in the West of Berkshire, also highlighting the importance of advocacy in safeguarding.

DWP Presentation June 2023

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have introduced Advanced Customer Support Team, whose role is to offer more support vulnerable individuals which will sometimes overlap with safeguarding interventions.  In June 2023 the DWP delivered a presentation to the Board detailing the function of this new team.

Created by the Berkshire West Safeguarding Children’s Partnership, this short learning guide provides useful information on Trauma informed practice that is relevant in Safeguarding Adults.

For tech awareness month Reading Borough Council have produced a short video that demonstrates the use of simple tech to support someone to feel safe at home, after someone tried to break into their property. The video can be found here: Could you or someone you know benefit from care technology? – YouTube

Everyone’s Business is a safeguarding podcast which explores interesting and unique perspectives in respect of safeguarding children and adults at risk. The series is part of 39 Essex Chambers’ Public Law Podcast and features guests who can offer exceptional insight into the subject. This mini-series runs for ten episodes, the link to the first episode is, Episode 1: Is safeguarding trendy?

A new, free online course with learning outcomes and content developed by people with MS and health and social care professionals, and produced in partnership with Grey Matter Learning. The course explores the different types of MS, how it impacts the care people may need, and how to support people with MS. An accreditation is available from Grey Matter Learning – details are at the end of the course. Start the MS awareness course

Hourglass, a charity in the UK dedicated to ending the abuse of older people and promoting a safer ageing society for everyone, have have produced information on Predatory Marriage which can be found here.

This briefing provides an update of the ADASS Advice note ‘Carers and Safeguarding Adults’ produced in 2011 for frontline workers and brings it in line with the Care Act 2014. It is intended to be used as a practical tool and does not seek to amend or replace existing statutory guidance that may be in place. The briefing will support the improvement in practice regarding safeguarding adults as well as safeguarding their carers.

This briefing note is aimed at the voluntary care sector to support awareness around the Boards current priorities: self-neglect, pressure care management and organisational safeguarding. With information on what to look out for and how to respond to any concerns identified.

The week of 7th – 13th March 2022 is County Lines Awareness Week. The Children’s Society, National County Lines Co-ordination Centre and British Transport Police as part of their #LookCloser campaign are using the week to raise the profile of County Lines within the public domain as County Lines is a form of Child Criminal Exploitation.

This poster provides information on what County Lines is, some of the signs to spot for a child or an adult at risk who may be involved in County Lines and some of the signs to spot if a property may be being cuckooed for the purposes of criminal activity.

The Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) are due to come into force. As part of their work to support the social care sector to prepare and embed LPS within everyday practice, SCIE (social care institute for excellence) has produced a short video to encourage the sector to consider how LPS will seek to promote practice which aligns with human rights and the core principles and duties of the Care Act 2014.

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 presentation slides are already available and can be found here.

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.

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 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: along with other useful information such as: Financial scamming and Fraud, Cyber Fraud and Scamming. Other useful information can be found at:

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.

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..

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.

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

Kathryn McLean, Area Manager Bucks & MK – 07508 867061

Rachel Barr, Area Manager Oxon & Berks – 07957 311323

Click here for a referral form for Victims First.

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. A made up example of the form can be found here.