‘No Secrets’ (2000) issued by the Department of Health and the Home Office, issued guidance on developing and implementing multi-agency policies and procedure to protect Adults at Risk from abuse. From 1st April 2015, No Secrets was repealed and replaced by the Care Act 2014.
The document Safeguarding Adults published by the Association of Directors of Social Services (ADSS) October 2005 provides a National Framework of Standards of good practice and outcomes in adult protection work (now referred to as adult safeguarding). Standards 1.22 and 1.23 stipulated that, as good practice, Safeguarding Adults Boards should have a Serious Case Review Protocol in place. These are now called Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SARs), in line with the Care Act 2014 changes. Sunderland has a Safeguarding Adult Review Protocol
Standard 1 of the 'Safeguarding Adults: A National Framework of Standards for good practice and outcomes in adult protection work' recommends that:
"There is a 'Safeguarding Adults' serious case review protocol. This is agreed, on a multi-agency basis and endorsed by the Coroner's Office, and details the circumstances in which a serious case review will be undertaken. For example: when an adult experiencing abuse or neglect dies, or when there has been a serious incident, or in circumstances involving the abuse or neglect of one or more adults. The links between this protocol and a domestic violence homicide review should be clear" (Safeguarding Adults: A National Framework of Standards for good practice and outcomes in adult protection work, ADSS, 2005).
‘There is a clear process for commissioning and carrying out of a Serious Case Review by the partnership'.
The Care Act 2014 includes a requirement for Local Authorities to hold Safeguarding Adult Reviews in certain circumstances and for partners on the Safeguarding Adults Board to co-operate in the process. Following the implementation of this Act ‘Safeguarding Adult Review’ replaces the term ‘Serious Case Review’.When an Adult at Risk dies, and abuse or neglect are known or suspected in the death, local agencies need to consider immediately whether there are any other Adults at Risk at risk of harm who may need safeguarding. Thereafter, agencies need to consider whether there are any lessons to be learned from the circumstances of the case about the ways in which they work together to safeguard adults. Consequently, when an Adult at Risk dies in such circumstances, the Safeguarding Adults Board should always conduct a Safeguarding Adults Review into the involvement of agencies and professionals. Additionally, the Safeguarding Adults Board should also consider whether a Safeguarding Adult Review should be conducted where an Adult at Risk sustains a potentially life-threatening injury or serious or permanent damage to their health or wellbeing.