Agenda item

Agenda item


To consider the annual performance report by the Team Manager, Safeguarding Adults Service (copy attached) on the impact of Local Safeguarding arrangements and practice and to review progress made during the last twelve months.


11.55 a.m – 12.40 p.m.



Councillor Elen Heaton, Lead Member for Health and Social Care introduced to members the Annual Report on Safeguarding Adults in Denbighshire (previously circulated). The report covered the period from April 2021 – March 2022. In her opinion the report reflected the hard work that had been invested in maintaining the improvement of the quality and consistency of safeguarding work in Denbighshire. She commended the staff for the work and their achievements. 


The Service Manager- Specialist Service, guided members through the report. It provided an overview of the performance of the team over the previous year. The report detailed the activities conducted by the Team with a focus on maintaining the improvement in the consistency of the quality of the safeguarding work including the performance against the Welsh Government performance indicator to complete enquires within 7 working days. Officers were pleased to inform the Committee, that Denbighshire’s performance against this indicator remained high at 99.7% over the last year.


The report also showed how the team had been fully implementing the Wales Safeguarding procedures which included reports or referrals relating to individuals in a position of trust. Members were guided to appendix 2 to the report which provided further detail in the form of a case study of a Person in a Position of Trust referral received. Appendix 3 provided the Committee with details on ‘Section 5: Safeguarding Allegations/Concerns about Practitioners and Those in a Position of Trust Practice Guide’. It was stressed the implantation of this area of safeguarding was relatively new within the Wales procedures and had at times been challenging for the safeguarding team.


The report provided members with data including the number of referrals received over the last 3 years. It was noted the number of referrals had decreased since the COVID pandemic but did not cause officers concern, similar patterns had been observed in neighbouring authorities. The Team had received a number of calls from provider services and other professionals seeking advice and guidance.

Information was provided on the Deprivation of Liberties Safeguards. Providing members with statistics demonstrating an increase in the number of calls received in this area. The applications were mainly received from care homes and nursing homes and mainly regarding individuals who did not have the capacity to make a decision to live in a care home. Therefore, an assessment was required to ensure that the placement was in the individual’s best interest.  Members were guided through the key achievements during the 12 months as detailed in the report.


During the debate, the following points were discussed in greater detail:

·         The figures on referrals of abuse reported in care homes was high as the individuals in these establishments were vulnerable. Staff had a duty to report any sign of suspected abuse. The number of referrals did not mean the level of abuse was higher than other establishments. The data was regarding the number of referrals it did not always mean abuse had taken place.

·         Officers confirmed there was a waiting list for applications under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards applications received. The demand was high, the waiting list was reviewed regularly and managed by the safeguarding team.

·         Confirmation that two Best Interest Assessors (BIA) had been temporary recruited in an attempt to reduce the waiting list in preparation for the implementation of Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) in 2023.

·         A review and remodel of the Team was currently taking place. Part of that review would include looking at what future resource the team would require.

·         Recruitment and retention of appropriately qualified staff across all aspects of social care was very challenging at the current time. Corporate officers were aware of the challenges and discussed any actions to support and improve the service on a regular basis. The challenges faced where seen across the whole of the UK.

·         Local authorities were the responsible lead organisation for assessing adult safeguarding concerns. The report was solely based on the safeguarding of adults. If a report was received by a third party, it would have to be sent to the Denbighshire’s Safeguarding Department for investigation, regardless of where the alleged incident occurred.  The Council would then work alongside all partner agencies in undertaking the investigation. This model of reporting was in place across all other authorities in Wales.

·         The Conwy and Denbighshire Delivery Group is a monthly meeting of partner agencies where safeguarding data and any trends are shared and discussed and benchmarked against Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) national statistics where appropriate. The Delivery Group feeds through to the North Wales Safeguarding Board.



Members offered congratulations to the Service Manager- Specialist Service on her Caring in Welsh award received earlier in the year.




Resolved:  subject to the above observations to –


(i)           receive and endorse the contents of the report;

(ii)   acknowledge the importance of adopting a corporate approach to the safeguarding of adults at risk; and

(iii)  the responsibility of the Council to view this as a key priority area.


Supporting documents: