Safeguarding

The purpose of the Dudley Adult Safeguarding team is to safeguard adults particularly those with care and support needs. This is done by making sure that local safeguarding arrangements are effective and in place. Making sure that safeguarding practice is person centred, that the voice of the person and their wants and needs are at the heart of any investigation and that the right intervention happens at the right time to support the person. We also work collaboratively with partners such as the police, fire service, NHS etc to prevent abuse and neglect wherever possible and have developed excellent working relationships these partners.

To find out more about safeguarding or to REPORT any concerns that someone is being abused, harmed or neglected visit http://safeguarding.dudley.gov.uk

What have we done over the last year?

The safeguarding team has been rolling out a wide range of interventions aimed at improving safeguarding practice, raising the profile of safeguarding for local people and ensuring that all staff are trained to spot signs and symptoms of people who may be being abused or neglected.

 

There has been extensive promotion of information and training regarding the warning signs of modern slavery to ensure that people living and working in Dudley Borough are able to identify where this could be happening.

 

We have continued to promote staying safe online, making sure people are aware of the risks of phishing attacks and other behaviour online that may put you at risk.

 

Our praised financial abuse team are continuing to develop their service and are exploring a range of options to widen and improve their service.

 

We asked our customers what you want from a safeguarding service. Detailed below are things local people have said are important to them and the work we have done to try and meet these expectations.

YOU SAID

 

We want to feel safe in our home and see swift responses to all instances of abuse 

 

WE DID

We have been making a number of changes to help people feel safe in their own homes and also to ensure that cases of abuse are deal with quickly.  Our finance abuse unit is helping people tackle financial abuse and supporting people to reduce the chance of them being at risk of financial abuse.

 

Our very successful Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is undergoing additional improvements to increase timeliness and quality of our processes and we are also working to improve communication between the adult's MASH and children’s MASH.

 

In order to make sure that we can respond swiftly to abuse concerns we are making additional improvements by standardising our processes. This will standardise safeguarding decisions across adult social care and ensure a consistent threshold for decision making, timeliness, quality and management of risk.

YOU SAID

 

If safeguarding is to remain personal it needs to shaped by the experiences of ‘real people’ 

 

WE DID

We have ensured agencies continue to make safeguarding personal through sharing information, training staff and auditing agency case records. We continue to aim for over 95% satisfaction levels in order to properly deliver our ‘Making Safeguarding Personal’ ethos, which is basically ensuring that the person is at the very heart of every safeguarding investigation.

 

We have also continued to develop a shared understanding and clarity of approaches around self-neglect, domestic violence and loneliness and isolation.

YOU SAID

 

People should be supported to state their hopes and expectations when getting support  

 

WE DID

We want to develop the best service possible that is successful in safeguarding local people and delivers the things that people want. For every person we want to know their hopes and expectations from the safeguarding process are in order to ensure that we can support them in the most appropriate way. 
A series of key principles have been adopted by the Dudley Safeguarding Board:

  • Empowerment – of the person at the heart of the safeguarding process - “I am asked what I want as the outcomes from the safeguarding process and these directly inform what happens”.

  • Prevention – It is better to take action before harm occurs -”I receive clear and simple information about what abuse is, how to recognise the signs and what I can do to seek help”.

  • Protection – support for those in greatest need: “I get help and support to report abuse. I get help to take part in the safeguarding process to the extent to which I want and to which I am able”

  • Proportionality – proportionate and least intrusive response - “I am sure that the professionals will work for my best interests (as I see them) and they will only get involved as much as needed”.

  • Partnership – services working closely with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse. “I know that staff treat any personal and sensitive information in confidence, only sharing what is helpful and necessary. I am confident that professionals will work together to get the best result for me”.

  • Accountability – accountability and transparency in safeguarding processes -  “I understand the role of everyone involved in my life”.
     

3,941

adult safeguarding concerns reported

752

of these concerns progressed as safeguarding enquiries

51.4%

enquiries were concerns that occurred at victims own home

341

people had their safeguarding outcomes fully achieved

Case studies

Case study - Betty

 

Betty is an 87 year old lady who had been diagnosed with dementia. She lives alone and had been taking daily trips to visiting Merry Hill Shopping Centre near Dudley.

 

Here she was repeatedly making inappropriate comments to security guards and staff at the mall.  Merry Hill Police team and the centre’ s security team staff alerted this as a safeguarding concern. This was progressed to an enquiry with safeguarding and as a result a whole range of interventions have been introduced to support Betty and keep her safe. She now attends one of the council Dementia Gateways for day care and support, has a door monitor system installed, telecare and other supportive equipment in her home. She has also been allocated a Vulnerability Officer, who keeps in regular contact with allocated Bettys Social worker as well as adult social care.

Case study - Kate

 

A safeguarding concern was instigated regarding Kate a young woman. She was deemed to be vulnerable and allegations were made of her being financially, psychologically and emotionally abused by an overseas organisation. It was alleged that she was the victim of scamming. There were also concerns she may be a victim of ‘mate crime’ involving one of her neighbours. She had become a frequent attender to the hospital’s Emergency Department as and when things became too much for her.
 
During the course of the safeguarding enquiry several case conferences were held to share any new information / concerns or risks and to plan a way forward to enable protection and lower the risks for the victim. This ensured a robust and co-ordinated response across the key partnership to plan the interventions required. A robust multi-agency risk assessment was completed. As a result Kate, with consent was rehoused.  She was encouraged to block the scammer’s number with support from Trading Standards. In addition Integrated Plus worked with her to support her and try and decrease the number of visits to hospital. A flag was put on her hospital records to contact her support worker when she attended hospital so she could attend and once again provide support to Kate.

Case study - Sheila

 

The council’s Enabling Community Support team began visiting Sheila to provide some ‘light touch’ support at home. It was clear from the first few visits that there was an issue with self-neglect as she was living and sleeping on the sofa, refusing prompts from family to change clothes and was not taking her medication. There was also an issue with mice in the property that Sheila refused to address, in addition she was hoarding magazines and papers.  A safeguarding alert was completed and sent to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).


As a result support workers continued to visit Sheila and to try and encourage her to improve things at home. A referral was made to the Fire Service for Safe and Well Check and council contractors and the Housing Manager were contacted as Sheila had no access to bathing facilities, could not get upstairs or turn on hot water supply, plus the council had been trying to gain access to do both gas and electrical checks. Occupational Therapy also made contact to supply suitable equipment. Whilst not accepting all offers of help and support Sheila did agree to help with cleaning and housework and things are slowly improving.

Case study - Brian

 

Brian was referred to safeguarding by the National Scams Unit as a priority referral. When visited, he told staff that he had recently lost £200 to a scam involving a DIY product, where the company had repeatedly called him and convinced him to enter into fictitious prize draws and lotteries that required minimum orders and on occasion added unwanted items to his order. Despite being told repeatedly by family that he was being scammed he wouldn’t hear of it and admitted he did not appreciate relatives interfering with how she chose to spend his money.

 

He was grateful for the information provided by the scams officer and mentioned the benefit of hearing it from someone other than family. Brian eventually disclosed that his losses which spanned over 20 years amounted to some £60,000. He agreed to sign up as a scam marshal in order to help himself and others by sending off his scam mail to be analysed and assisting further scams prevention work.

Future working for Adult Safeguarding

 

Safeguarding have identified four key priority areas they want to focus on in 2019/20:

  1. Working even more closely with police and health commissioners through new safeguarding board arrangement’s ensuring strategies and plans reflect and reinforce ‘Working Together’ aspirations.

  2. Develop a shared understanding and clarity of approaches around self-neglect, loneliness and isolation 

  3. Training professionals to support people to look after themselves

  4. Continue to develop pro-active approach to tackle instances of financial abuse

Work even more closely with our partners, the police and health commissioners

Close working arrangements between partners are essential if we are going to safeguard local people. Potentially vulnerable people may be known to the police, health services, council services and other organisations but without connecting the dots the information that any one organisation has, may not ring the alarm bells. By working closely with our partners in a safe and secure way we can better protect people and prevent serious harm happening. We already have a close working relationship but are seeking innovative ways to improve our relationships and the coordination of our safeguarding efforts.

 

Develop a shared understanding and clarity of approaches around self-neglect, loneliness and isolation

Reducing loneliness and isolation is a priority for Dudley’s health and wellbeing board. People who are lonely and isolated are much more vulnerable to abuse and are often targeted by abusers. By developing a shared understanding of self-neglect, loneliness and isolation between Dudley Council and our partners we will be able to develop a strategic approach to tackle this issue and reduce the number of people who are vulnerable to abuse.

 

Training professionals to support people to look after themselves

We want people to be as independent as possible and to able to look after themselves rather than feeling that they are dependent on others. Training professionals to support people to look after themselves and maintain their independence will help remove a cycle of dependence that can also make people more vulnerable to abuse.

 

Continue to develop capacity to tackle instances of financial abuse

In Dudley we have made huge strides in tackling financial abuse and there have been several high profile cases in the media. The successes that have been achieved need to be built on so that we can be confident that people can live without the risk being financially abused. The success and profile of the cases demonstrate our determination to crack down on people found to be taking advantage of vulnerable people but we want to go further and pro-actively develop the capacity to tackle this abuse at the earliest opportunity rather than when significant harm has already been caused.

Contact

To contact our adult social care team with any queries or concerns regarding adult social care

0300 555 0055

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