Topic outline

  • 2.2 Role and Involvement of Agencies



    • 1. Introduction

      Safeguarding Adults is every agency's responsibility and requires a multi-agency response to ensure the best possible outcome for the Adult At Risk. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the organisation, agency or service where the abuse or neglect is alleged to have occurred to manage the safeguarding process, where appropriate.

      It is important that each agency ensures that they have their own Individual Agency Guidance identifying roles and responsibilities linked to the Safeguarding Adults Procedures and outlining the process to be followed. It is the responsibility of all staff within their respective agencies to ensure that they are familiar with this Guidance (see Individual Agency Guidance).

      It is important that each agency takes responsibility for managing the safeguarding process and keeping safe the people to whom they are supporting or delivering a service to, and to whom they have a Duty of Care.


      • 2. Role of SSAB Members

        SSAB members are expected to conduct themselves in line with the role, responsibilities and principles as described in the SSAB Multi-Agency Agreement & Memorandum of Understanding, SSAB Strategic Delivery Plan and SSAB New Members Induction Pack. This is a strategic role involving sitting on the SSAB, Safeguarding Adults Partnership Group and Sub Committees. Some SSAB members will also be involved with individual safeguarding adults’ cases due to their involvement in Safeguarding Adult Reviews (Scoping and Panel meetings), or the role they have in their own organisation.

        • 3. Role of Multi-Agency Staff

          Where a safeguarding adults concern has been raised about an individual or group of individuals, staff from organisations that are involved with them (either by supporting them or directly delivering care) will participate in Safeguarding Adults Strategy Discussions/Strategy Meetings where it is deemed appropriate that they are involved. These Strategy Discussions/Strategy Meetings will be coordinated by the Safeguarding Adults Team. Examples of organisations who may be involved include: adult social care, local NHS providers, private, voluntary and independent sector providers, and housing providers (this list is not exhaustive).

          In those cases where staff misconduct is an issue, Disciplinary Procedures will also be instigated. The disciplinary and safeguarding processes can be followed simultaneously; one should not preclude the other.


          • 4. Safeguarding Adults Team and Integrated Commissioning Team

            The operational safeguarding function (includes financial safeguarding) involves coordination of the safeguarding process. All Safeguarding Adult Concern Forms received by the Safeguarding Adults Team are received centrally and are reviewed by the team in the context of the safeguarding thresholds and the specific situation.  In line with Making Safeguarding Personal this includes what the person themselves wants as an outcome - at the stage when a concern is raised, this information should be identified and included by partner agencies. The appropriate process for the circumstances is determined for each Safeguarding Adult Concern including convening and coordinating Strategy Discussions/Strategy Meetings, causing other organisations to make enquiries about an individual in relation to the safeguarding issue (as per the requirements of the Safeguarding section of the Care Act 2014), requesting that providers investigate, and/or advising on other actions or processes.

            The role of the Integrated Commissioning Team involves quality monitoring of services that the people of Sunderland access. Involvement linked to safeguarding is varied. Where Safeguarding Adult Concerns are linked to the quality of a service, the Local Authority Integrated Commissioning Team would contribute to the safeguarding process by:

            • investigating service/quality issues 
            • communication with regulatory bodies
            • communication with service providers and the Clinical Commissioning Group

            Reasons for involvement will consider the need to work in partnership and support services to improve, as well as the role the regulatory body the Care Quality Commission have in respect of regulatory matters.


            • 5. The Complaints and Feedback Team

              The Complaints and Feedback Team receive complaints and concerns raised by service users, their relatives or members of the public about various matters and issues.

              If the complaint is considered to be one that may involve abuse or neglect, or the risk of abuse or neglect, the Complaints Manager – Adult Services will immediately pass the complaint to the Safeguarding Adults Team. The Safeguarding Adults Team will consider the complaint and make a decision on whether or not it is appropriate for it to be considered under the Safeguarding Adults Procedures. If it is not appropriate, the Safeguarding Adults Team will ask the Complaints Manager – Adult Services to proceed in dealing with the matter through the Complaints Procedure.

              In those cases where the Safeguarding Adults Procedure is invoked the Complaints Manager – Adult Services, will notify the complainant that the complaint will be managed under the Safeguarding Adults Procedures. Once the safeguarding process is concluded, any outstanding elements of the complaint will be considered for progression through the Safeguarding Adults Complaints Procedure.


              • 6. Private and Independent Providers

                Each contracted service in Sunderland is required to have in place their own Individual Agency Guidance, setting out how that provider will respond to Safeguarding Adults concerns, and ensuring a multi-agency contribution. This includes application of the safeguarding thresholds in accordance with the threshold guidance, referrals to appropriate agencies, responses to requests, including involvement in/attendance at Strategy Discussions/Strategy Meetings, making enquiries, provision of information and need for investigations. The Individual Agency Guidance must be in line with this Procedures Manual. There is an expectation that non-contracted services are also made aware of and comply with this requirement and this is being promoted to those services.

                Any concerns, suspicions or allegations of abuse or neglect occurring within their organisation must be brought to the attention of the Responsible Person(s) identified within their own Individual Agency Guidance and the process followed as outlined in the Guidance.

                It is the responsibility of the provider to manage the Safeguarding Adults Concern referral, and ensure implementation of safeguarding measures, on behalf of the agency when safeguarding issues are identified within their organisation, where appropriate. The provider’s Responsible Person and Safeguarding Adults Lead will be identified within the Individual Agency Guidance.

                In those cases where staff misconduct is an issue, disciplinary procedures will also be instigated. The disciplinary and safeguarding processes can be followed simultaneously; one should not preclude the other.

                • 7. Voluntary Agencies

                  Staff or volunteers within a voluntary agency should raise their concerns in accordance with their own Individual Agency Guidance, linked to the overall Procedures. If appropriate, safeguarding measures should be put in place and a Safeguarding Adult Concern form completed and forwarded to the Safeguarding Adults Team.

                  Where there is anyone in the agency equipped or qualified to apply the Safeguarding Threshold Risk Assessment Guidance to inform decision making in respect of the level of harm this should be included on the Safeguarding Adult Concern form. This will be clear within Individual Agency Guidance. Any advice can be obtained by contacting the Safeguarding Adults Team.

                  Where a Strategy Discussion/Strategy Meeting is to be convened, this will be coordinated by the Safeguarding Adults Team. Representatives from the voluntary agency will be asked to contribute as a partner agency in the process.

                  Discussion may need to take place regarding who is the appropriate person/agency to manage the safeguarding process (depending upon the nature of the concern and where the abuse or neglect is alleged to have taken place). In some instances it may be that the Safeguarding Manager within the Safeguarding Adults Team will manage the process, particularly for smaller voluntary agencies.

                  In those cases where staff misconduct is an issue, disciplinary procedures will also be instigated. The disciplinary and safeguarding processes can be followed simultaneously; one should not preclude the other.