Meeting documents

SCC Somerset Health and Wellbeing Board & Integrated Care Partnership
Monday, 17th January, 2022 11.00 am

  • Meeting of Somerset Health and Wellbeing Board & Integrated Care Partnership, Monday 17th January 2022 11.00 am (Item 14.)

To receive the report.


The Chair invited Stephen Miles, the Service Manager-Team Manager for Safeguarding from the AHY SSAB Business Unit, to make the report; he presented the slides and handed over to the Independent Chair of SSAB to present the report.


He began with the statutory duties of Safeguarding Adults Board, noting that the overarching purpose is to work with local boards and partners to develop safeguarding arrangements for adults with care and support needs and to seek assurance of these arrangements.  There are three core duties:


·        To develop and publish a strategic plan for meeting their objectives and setting out how member and partner agencies will contribute

·        To publish an annual report detailing the effectiveness of their work

·        To commission Safeguarding Adults Reviews (SARs) for those cases meeting the criteria


He noted two recent important pieces of work:  The South West Audit Partnership, from which the recommendations have now been completed; and the 2020-21 self audit, which is different for adult safeguarding from that for children in that it is consensual and voluntary for adults.  The significant point picked up from the audit was the increase and improvement in the number of agencies that responded to the audit, which included the topic of leadership and the effects of Covid (which has led to an increase in the complexity of cases requiring a higher level of managerial support).  Also due to Covid, there had necessarily been greater engagement and support between agencies, which they now needed to learn from as a partnership moving forward over the next three years.  Covid also presented challenges due to staff redeployment, increased workloads, and recruiting problems.  He noted that the audit brought out the question of whether safeguarding was embedded in corporate and service strategies, such as contract management, tender documentation, and safe recruitment, which also will be looked at in the next plan.  With respect to Safeguarding Adults Reviews, he stated that there were two SARs commissioned and published in 2020-21, while four of them are anticipated for this year, and they are seeing an increase in referrals for SARs.  One area that they will need to focus on will be embedding learning and recommendations, of number of which are in progress.  He noted some positive news from the CCG, where the Quality Improvement post has been filled, which will bring more joint learning.


They are now in the last year of the current three-year plan, and work has been grouped into four priority areas, including listening and learning, enabling people to keep themselves safe, working together to safeguard people those who can’t keep themselves safe, and Board governance.


The key work highlighted in their annual report included:


·        The South West Audit Partnership audit of SSAB’s work

·        Support to the system during the pandemic and monitoring of the system response

·        Publication of two Safeguarding Adults Reviews

·        Publication of guidance on medication management, organisational abuse and a series of public leaflets

·        Learning from frontline staff about their experiences

·        Collaboration with other boards in the region on the annual Stop Adult Abuse Week


Highlights of their progress made this year included:


·        Leading the development of a new self-audit process, which has been shared with other regional boards

·        Development of new public information on "Mate Crime"

·        Development of a new performance dashboard

·        Supporting national work and taking forward findings from a national analysis of Safeguarding Adult Reviews from April 2017 to March 2019 for local safeguarding adults boards

·        Working with other regional boards to provide a series of webinars during National Safeguarding Adults Week (15-19 November 2021)

·        Publication of the Safeguarding Adults Review for ‘Matthew’


He noted that Somerset has an effective partner arrangement for protecting adults with care and support needs and reiterated that SSAB has begun work on their next three-year plan, which will build on their work over the previous three years and will focus on adults with learning disabilities, transitional safeguarding, and people who neglect their own wellbeing (self-neglect).   The new plan will be taken to the Board next month.  If any members of the Health and Wellbeing Board would like to see the draft plan, the Independent Chairman can provide it.


The Board then discussed the presentation.  James Rimmer, Chief Executive, NHS Somerset CCG, stated that he was very pleased with the assurance and quality improvement, as well as the close way of working.  He enquired if this would be built into future plans.  It was responded that there is rigor behind the recommendations and that the SSAB have briefings, webinars and newsletters for sharing learning, but they do need to ensure that moving forward this learning—and not just the recommendations—is utilised, especially virtually.

Trudi Grant, the Director of Public Health, asked that the SSAB please give the Board an update on the next three-year plan when decided. 

She noted that the pandemic has meant that there has been huge learning, and she would like assurance that specific pandemic learning will be embedded in the system.  She expressed the need to tie in self-neglect—which has not yet been explored very well—with addressing inequalities, as there is often poverty next to affluence in Somerset, and individual self-neglect could be found in either situation.  The Independent Chair replied that he would be happy to speak further with the Director of Public Health on these matters, while these issues would also be examined at a regional and national level.  He will be happy to send the draft three-year plan to the Health and Wellbeing Board after their Board’s upcoming meeting.


The Chair stated that recovery from Covid is obviously wanted but that things will be different; those working in health and care will have many new issues to face.  It was replied that, from the SSAB perspective, prior to the pandemic their Board had only people with safeguarding experience speaking to them; after the onset of covid they had to adapt and they invited responders to come speak to the Board, and more support was given to them.  This needs to be looked at in the new plan, and it must be asked, what is the new normal?


Lou Woolway, the Deputy Director for Public Health, said that it was great to see a link with domestic homicide reviews; she added that there is a need to separate out the impact on older people in all learning information and exercises.  It was replied that SARs tend to be done with older people; it was also noted that there had been a joint revie with the Community Safety Partnership, which will be repeated more often in future.


A Member noted that her biggest concern about older people was their loneliness due to covid, as they are often less able to get out and about than they were in the past and can feel more vulnerable.  It was responded that Somerset is fortunate to have a well-established network of community agents, and there is guidance on the website that focuses not only on safeguarding but also on preventative measures for those who are lonely and for hoarders.


Another Member raised the issue of hospital discharges and asked if SSAB will be looking at preventing admissions in the first place, as this often occurs because of loneliness and hoarding.  It was replied that this had not yet been considered, but the Independent Chair will take it away and raise it, as it could be part of the partnership preventative agenda.


There was a query whether the growth of supportive neighbourhoods and communities from the beginning of the first lockdown forward could be harnessed to assist with safeguarding generally, albeit this was a difficult concept to define.

It was replied that this goes back to the preventative agenda; it was agreed that it is difficult to define what is safeguarding and what isn’t, but the Independent Chair will discuss the issue with the police representative at the next executive meeting.


Julian Wooster, Director of Children’s Services, opined with respect to the Health and Wellbeing strategy that there may be duplication of effort if SSAB loses its focus on safeguarding; it was responded that this will be discussed, and it will be decided how the two boards work together.  He noted that as regards older people, SSAB has a statutory duty around care and support, which is a key responsibility, but by working closely with other boards, they can also take care of other needs which may fall into a grey area.  The Deputy Director for Public Health observed that this is similar to their work on how the Health and Wellbeing Board and the new Integrated Care Board will be brought together, which will include Fit for my Future and the Improving Lives strategy.


The Chair thanked the presenters for the report and noted the information; and she mentioned that the national panel has just set up a library which includes Somerset.


The Somerset Health and Wellbeing Board received, considered, and discussed the presentation and noted the progress made by the SSAB.


Supporting documents: