ANNUAL REPORT ON SAFEGUARDING ADULTS IN DENBIGHSHIRE 1ST APRIL 2020 - 31ST MARCH 2021
To consider a report by the Team Manager Safeguarding Operational Services (copy attached) which seeks the Committee to review the Council’s progress in relation to local safeguarding arrangements and practices during the above period, and their impact on vulnerable adults in the county.
11:15am – 12:00pm
The Lead Member for Well-being and Independence and the Head of Community Support Services, presented the report (previously circulated) which aimed to provide members with an overview of the impact of Local Safeguarding arrangements and practice. The report also sought the Committee to review progress in this key area of work over the last twelve months through examination of the data submitted by the Local Authority to the Welsh Government Data Unit.
Despite the pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions placed upon individuals and organisations by the crisis the Council’s performance in relation to safeguarding adults had remained strong, with improvements being realised in a number of areas, such as performance against the Welsh Government performance indicator on enquiries completed within 7 working days.
Overall there has been a significant reduction (40%) in numbers of safeguarding reports received in comparison to the same period the previous year. However there has been an increase in the number of telephone calls to the Safeguarding team to discuss safeguarding issues. This provided some reassurance that it remained very much in focus for providers and other agencies despite the reduction in the number of reports
Although fewer reports have been received during the 2020-21 year, the Council had not seen an increase in cases needing to progress to strategy meetings, which appeared to be following the trends of recent years. Section 126 enquiries had become more embedded in safeguarding practice across all agencies and the Council continued to see only those more serious allegations of abuse or neglect progressing through to strategy meetings. The preventative actions towards reducing further risk of harm continued to be at the forefront of the enquiry stage, with the emphasis on the individual’s personal outcomes being at the centre of the safeguarding process.
The Council had continued to maintain its performance in relation The to the Welsh Government performance indicator, with 99% of enquires completed within the 7 working day timescale for 2020/2021.
The Committee discussed the following points in more detail –
· whether data was available for the number of proven safeguarding complaints, as it was only the number of alleged incidents that were referenced within the report. Due to technical connection issues, officers agreed to provide the data to members in writing, they also confirmed that the data on the number of substantiated allegations would be included in future Safeguarding reports.
· Confirmation was provided that there had been a 40% reduction in people choosing to reside in care homes during the Coronavirus pandemic. However, there had been a significant increase in the number of enquiries received by the Single Point of Access (SPoA) Service during the same period.
· Installation of CCTV equipment in residents’ care home bedrooms would be a matter of personal choice for the individual or his/her family. The Council could not install CCTV surveillance equipment in people’s private rooms.
· Quality of care and safeguarding were two separate matters. Whilst there may be concerns regarding the quality of care in an establishment that in itself may not meet the criteria or statutory threshold to instigate a Safeguarding investigation.
· Any individual had the right to raise safeguarding issues and these could be raised with a number of different individuals or organisations. They would all eventually be examined by the Council’s Corporate Safeguarding Panel.
· The provision of an Annual Safeguarding Adults Report was a statutory requirement for all local authorities in Wales. It was a way of providing assurances to residents that the safety of the county’s vulnerable residents was regarded as a priority and to provide assurances that all allegations or concerns were thoroughly investigated.
At the conclusion of the discussion the Committee:
Resolved: - subject to the above observations and the provision of the additional information and data requested during the course of the discussion, to acknowledge the importance of a corporate approach to the safeguarding of adults at risk and the responsibility of the Council to view this as a key priority area.
- Annual Report on Adult Safeguarding 2020-21 080721, item 6. PDF 230 KB
- Annual Report on Adult Safeguarding 2020-21 Apps 080721, item 6. PDF 559 KB