ANNUAL REPORT ON SAFEGUARDING ADULTS IN DENBIGHSHIRE 1ST APRIL 2022 - 31ST MARCH 2023
To consider a report (copy attached) by the Safeguarding Team Manager which presents the annual performance report for Safeguarding Adults in compliance with statutory guidance.
11.45 am - 12.25 pm
The Lead Member for Health and Social Care, Councillor Elen Heaton introduced the annual report on Safeguarding Adults in Denbighshire 2022/23 (previously circulated). The report provided members with data from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023. The Lead Member highlighted several achievements made by the team over the 12-month period. She stressed the team had maintained excellent performance levels with 99.1% of Section 126 enquiries being completed within the 7 day target period. Appendix 2 to the report demonstrated the complexity of some of the cases the team dealt with. It also highlighted the challenging nature of the work.
Listed in the report were the risks and areas of concern noted by officers, it was stressed the risks listed were not unique to Denbighshire. They were national trends observed by other local authorities.
The Service Manager, Adult Social Care & Homelessness Service provided further summary of the report’s contents. A slight increase had been observed in the number of alleged adults at risk reports that had been reported in the 12 month period. There had been a significant increase in the number of referrals made under Section 5 of the Wales Safeguarding procedures - Allegations/Concerns about Practitioners and Those in a Position of Trust. The previous year 25 referrals had been made under this process, this had increased to 46 referrals made the 2022/23 year. Officers were of the view that the increase had been due to a better understanding and knowledge of that section of the guidance. Officers when completing referrals under other sections considered if any other concerns under different sections should be raised.
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards had also seen an 11% increase in the number of applications received. Only two members of the team could authorise referrals for further investigation. It was hoped that further training and recruitment into roles would allow more team members to authorise applications in due course. A further 7 applications had been submitted to Court in relation to Deprivation in Domiciliary Settings. This was ongoing work that was incorporated within routine casework in Complex Disability team.
Members were guided through the key performances noted in the report including the high level of performance completing 99.1% of the Section 126 enquiries within 7 working days. Members heard quarterly random audits were carried out to ensure work remained at a high standard. Vacant posts within the team had been filled and the team was currently at its full capacity.
The Section 5 process still proved to be a challenge in many areas, but specifically in relation to the operational element of this process. The section 5 National Task and Finish Group had concluded its work and the team were awaiting to be consulted on the outcome. The initial feedback suggested that additional clarity may not be available and may now require further consideration from the regional boards prior to reviewing the principles to support joint working with partner agencies.
Court proceedings continued to increase and the impact of this work on the capacity of the Council’s operational teams as well as colleagues within the legal team could not be underestimated. Often this was further impacted by requests from the Court to lodge updated information. Updated information was requested where previous documentation had expired whilst awaiting judicial consideration. This was a situation experienced by all Local Authorities and not unique to Denbighshire.
The Chair thanked the Lead Member and officers for the detailed report and introduction. In response to further discussion the following points were discussed in greater detail:
- Members thanked officers for the figures along with the pie chart information. It was noted the number of referrals tended to be higher from care home settings due to every potential case being reported. All referrals were investigated to ascertain any wrongdoing. Very few reports proceeded to a criminal proceeding.
- The delay in the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) had been instigated by UK Government which the Welsh Government were having to follow. Officers awaited further information of the outcome of the consultation.
- Members congratulated the team on the continued hard work and performance levels during the last 12 months.
The Chair thanked the Lead Member and officers for answering members’’ questions. At the conclusion of the discussion the Committee:
Resolved: subject to the above observations to acknowledge –
(i) the work and efforts undertaken during 2022/23 in relation to safeguarding adults in Denbighshire; and
(ii) the importance of the Council’s corporate approach towards the safeguarding of adults at risk and its responsibility in viewing it as a key priority area.
- Annual Safeguarding Report 060723, item 7. PDF 246 KB
- Annual Safeguarding Report 060723 - Appendix 1, item 7. PDF 236 KB
- Annual Safeguarding Report 060723 - Appendix 2, item 7. PDF 273 KB