23.1. The Board considered the Safeguarding Adult’s Board (SAB) annual report.
23.2. The Board asked whether the SAB has sufficient resource to meet its legal duties.
23.3. Graham Bartlett, Independent Chair of the SAB, said that there were sufficient resources in the SAB budget to meet its statutory requirements and run the SAB reviews. The SAB would like to do more, however, such as replicate the LSCB’s multi-agency workforce training and development programme; and carry out more engagement with service users and frontline delivery professionals.
23.4. The SAB is asking for greater contributions this from partner organisations this year. The SAB is largely funded by East Sussex County Council. It is also in negotiation with other strategic partners (the police and CCGs), NHS provider trusts, and district and borough councils about their contribution rates.
23.5. The Board asked for comment about the reduction in safeguarding contacts and the number of enquiries completed.
23.6. Keith Hinkley said that there is no target for the number of initial safeguarding contacts, and a similar fall in numbers has been seen nationally. The reduced numbers reflect a change in the practice of making initial safeguarding contacts and better triaging of contacts to the enquiries stage. The Adult Social Care Department carries out audits of its own case files and those of other agencies to ensure that decisions around safeguarding are appropriate. There has recently been further guidance issued by the Association of Adult Social Care Directors about how best to manage the process of raising safeguarding contacts and decision making around what to do with safeguarding concerns, which will be looked at and implemented in East Sussex.
23.7. Graham Bartlett added that the data does not show what happens between an initial safeguarding contact and the start of an enquiry, which has to meet a three-point threshold. After a safeguarding contact is made, a lot of work is undertaken at a multiagency level that is not reflected in the data. This is because it never reaches the point of becoming an enquiry. This work in the middle needs to be better understood rather than just the number of enquiries.
23.8. The Board asked whether the SAB is looking into the issue of cuckooing.
23.9. Keith Hinkley stressed the importance of understanding what other partners are doing, following protocols in place to encourage multi-agency working, and developing a single response to tackle issues such as cuckooing. There also needs to be co-ordination between the SAB, CDOP and domestic homicide boards to ensure there is no duplication of effort and key learning and intelligence is not being missed between partnerships.
23.10. The Board asked whether comparative data in the SAB annual report should cover a number of years, rather than be just year on year.
23.11. Keith Hinkley said the development of a broader data set now means that data can be better compared over time, and this could be reflected in future reports. Graham Bartlett agreed figures should be compared over time, or against figures from other SABs. This would give a better indication whether changes are statistically significant, or the result of changes to very small numbers.
23.12. The Board RESOLVED to note the report.