Report to:

East Sussex Health and Wellbeing Board


Date of meeting:


28 September 2023


Seona Douglas Interim Independent Chair East Sussex Safeguarding Adults Board



East Sussex Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report 2022-23



To present the annual report detailing how effective the work of the Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) has been as required by The Care Act 2014.



·         East Sussex Health and Wellbeing Board are recommended to consider and comment on the report.



1.   Background Information



1.1.          The Care Act 2014 requires each Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) to:


·         Develop and publish a strategic plan setting out how they will meet their objectives and how their member and partner agencies will contribute.

·         Publish an annual report detailing how effective their work has been.

·         Commission safeguarding adult’s reviews (SARs) for any cases which meet the criteria for these.


2.   Supporting Information

2.1The format of the SAB Annual Report 2022-23 is structured against the SAB priorities as set out in the Strategic Plan 2021–24 (see appendix 2 – SAB Strategic Plan 2021-24). The data section includes contributions from a number of partner agencies in addition to the core data from the local authority ( see Appendix 1 – SAB Annual Report 2022-23).

2.2Seona Douglas was appointed as the Interim SAB Independent Chair in June 2023 following the resignation of Deborah Stuart-Angus in January 2023. A number of staff changes have also taken place within the SAB business support area in 2022/23 including the addition of an interim safeguarding coordinator, funded by Adult Social Care (ASC), to support the increased safeguarding adult review (SAR) activity.

The jointly SAB funded post of the SAB Quality Assurance and Learning Development Officer (with Brighton and Hove SAB) ended in November 2022 when the seconded post holder returned to their substantive role in ESCC; this role has now been combined with the role of Safeguarding Coordinator (which ceased end of June 23) into a new permanent post of SAB Board Support Coordinator for 2023/24 (jointly funded between the SAB and ASC).


2.3 Safeguarding Adult Review (SAR) referral activity during 2022/23 increased by 100%.


·         4 SARs were commissioned: SAR Eve, SAR Hannah, SAR Finley and SAR Gwen and Ian.

·         Three SARs were published in 2022/23: A Thematic SAR, SAR Charlie, and SAR Anna.

·         SAR Donna is awaiting publication and SAR Eve is currently on pause



2.4Highlights in the report, under the SAB five strategic themes, are as follows:


Strategic Theme 1: Accountability and leadership

·         Recommendations from  the Thematic Safeguarding Adult Review (SAR) and SAR Charlie  ( both published in 2022/23) required assurances that transitional safeguarding processes are meeting the needs of people who have had adverse childhood experiences but may be struggling to engage with services, are met after they reach the age of 18 years old.

A transitions task and finish group was established in January 2023 by the SAB and East Sussex Children’s Safeguarding Partnership (ESSCP) and is chaired by the Head of Safeguarding for the Sussex NHS Integrated Care Board.  A scoping activity has been undertaken to identify current pathways for children who reach eighteen in East Sussex. This will identify any potential gaps and map the current provision for adolescents and what further work needs to be developed across agencies in East Sussex. The work of the task and finish group will continue this year with the aim of developing an identified multi-agency transition to adulthood protocol for East Sussex.


·         A SAB strategic objective for accountability and leadership is to develop arrangements with other Boards to be responsive to specific safeguarding themes: Learning from Partnership Reviews was a local partnership collaboration to compare current action plans/emerging themes and current learning around Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) Drug and Alcohol Related Deaths (DARDs) Local Children’s Safeguarding Practice Reviews (LCSPRs) and SARs This was presented to the Safer Communities Board in September and as part of the NHS Sussex Safeguarding Fortnight with SAB partners in November 2022. Agreed outcomes following this collaboration included:


Ø  Bi-monthly meetings for review managers, which includes sharing review recommendations to contribute to ‘smarter’ action planning to avoid duplication and support a more systematic approach.

Ø  Regular learning briefings developed to themes across reviews and shared briefings to be developed where appropriate.


Strategic Theme 2: Performance, Quality and Audit, and Organisational Learning

·         A SAR Quality Assurance Code of Practice was developed in 2022. This quality assurance process is aligned with the Social Care Institute of Excellence (SCIE) considerations, which assumes the principles of Making Safeguarding Personal, as well as the Six Principles of Safeguarding that should underpin all adult safeguarding work (Empowerment; Prevention; Proportionate; Protection; Partnership; Accountability).

·         The Adult C Safeguarding Adult Review (SAR) published in December 2020 set out important learning in relation to the barriers and challenges faced by women with a combination of needs in relation to chronic trauma, drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness, and domestic abuse . An audit was undertaken in 2022 to establish the extent to which a multi-agency approach is effective in supporting women with multiple disadvantage who experience domestic abuse, in managing risk and enabling them to achieve sustained positive outcomes. Some of the overall strengths and examples of good practice from the audit are listed below:


§  The Probation service showed a recognition of gaining the adult’s voice and wishes and including these in planning with clear recordings showing the opportunities taken to gain the information around the adult’s previous trauma and how this may be impacting on her presentation and behaviour at the time.

§  There were examples of Adult Social Care (ASC) practitioners using funding to support more appropriate temporary housing to prevent risk escalating and providing support to access refuges and the transportation of belongings.

§  Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) recordings were clear showing planning to manage risk and safety. A particular good example of consideration of previous trauma was considered included the specific assignment to avoid using male workers with an adult.


Strategic Theme 3: Policies and Procedures 

·         To raise awareness of safeguarding policies and procedures relating to specific local themes and challenges the SAB have produced a number of learning briefings, revised documents, and resources this year. They include :


§  Reviewing and refreshing the Sussex Adult Death Protocol, the SAR Protocol, the Information Sharing Protocol, and the Sussex Safeguarding Adults Thresholds Guidance* (*which has now been adopted by Rotherham SAB)

§  Publishing a Court of Protection Learning Briefing

§  Adding a new Advocacy Information section to the SAB website

§  Publishing The Importance of Multi-Agency Meetings Learning Briefing

§  Including the Mental Capacity Toolkit on the SAB website

§  Developing and publishing Recognising and Responding to Child Protection and Adult Safeguarding Concerns : Safeguarding Guidance for Homes for Ukraine Host Families in East Sussex.


·         The Sussex Policies and Procedures Review Group has responsibility for the Sussex Safeguarding Adult Policy and Procedures  (which are held by the three local authorities as the statutory leads for adult safeguarding) and the development and implementation of changes to these. The Policy and Procedures site was refreshed in 2022 with the aim of providing a more accessible version, with possible alternative hosting options being explored in 2023-24.


Strategic Theme 4: Prevention, Engagement and Making Safeguarding Personal

·         Through the SAB Safeguarding Community Network, focussed discussions were introduced in 2022/23 on particular safeguarding themes that community groups wished to be more aware of and which would improve their confidence in recognising and responding to concerns. We are grateful to the Safeguarding Development Team and the East Sussex Domestic Abuse ,Sexual Violence/ Abuse & Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Team who supported these sessions. Topics covered this year which have been requested by the Network have included:

§  Coercion and control

§  Modern Slavery

§  Reporting a safeguarding concern


·         In collaboration with West Sussex and Brighton SABs we produced new information, posters, and leaflets, for our communities which are accessible and raise awareness of adult safeguarding with the aim of increasing confidence in raising concerns. The images used in the new publications ensures our communication and engagement strategies consider the diversity of local communities and reflect changing demographics.


Strategic Theme 5: Integration, and Training and workforce development

·         Two learning events were delivered in March which 82 professionals attended. The event focused on SAR Anna which identified areas of learning which were the focus of the event.


§  At the end of the session 81% of attendees reported their knowledge of SARs had improved compared to 41% at the start of the session

§  88% of attendees reported that the workshop had provided them with further knowledge and understanding to enhance their practice

§  90% of attendees who had received SAR information, training or learning briefings reported that this had impacted on their operational practice and knowledge in a good way


·         Supporting the work of partners raising awareness of Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking the SAB supported in the delivery of awareness raising events for community volunteers and community development staff who were supporting the Homes for Ukraine scheme and local refugee/asylum seeker support services. A Modern Slavery Podcast was developed in collaboration with Discovery – the East Sussex multi-agency partnership which aims to expose and tackle Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking.


3.   Next steps

3.1 The key priority areas identified for the SAB in 2022 – 23; embedding the Mental Capacity Act into practice, safeguarding transitions for young people at risk and supporting adults who face multiple disadvantages continue to be priority areas of development and require further embedding within safeguarding practice for 2023/24 whilst including the additional areas of self-neglect, homelessness and safeguarding the increasing migrant population.

3.2 The SAB will progress work in relation to the newly commissioned SARs in 2023/24 and seek assurance to ensure that the learning and recommendations from previous SARs continue to be embedded in practice.


4.   Conclusion and Recommendations


4.1 East Sussex Health and Wellbeing Board are recommended to consider and comment

      on the report.







Interim Independent Chair East Safeguarding Adults Board

Officer Contact: Lucy Spencer – SAB Development Manager





Appendix 1  SAB Annual Report 2022-23

Appendix 2  East Sussex SAB Strategic Plan 2021-24