Agenda item

Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report 2022/23

This item presents the Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report 2022/23 for review and comment.


At the start of the item the Chair noted that a video had been circulated for members to watch prior to the meeting, summarising learning from the Alison review:


Mike Howard (Safeguarding Adults Board Chair) addressed the Committee and introduced the Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report 2022/23. He was joined by Ceri Gordon (Safeguarding Adults Board Manager).


Mike Howard presented the report and highlighted the following points:

  • The importance of multi-agency working and the contributions from all partners, including the Council.
  • The improving understanding of fire risk and response.
  • The new guidance produced on Safeguarding Adults Reviews for family, friends, carers, and professionals.
  • The work done by the Board and partners to ensure people felt safe in their homes.


Keith Mallinson noted the housing issues in the report and asked what the Board could do, particularly with regard to the private rented sector. Mike Howard said there was a serious case of mould where the coroner wrote to the Minister of State for Housing, Planning and Building Safety. The Board had discussed the issue and had received updates on repairs from Housing colleagues at the Council. Linda Jackson (Strategic Director of Independent Living) added that the Council had an improvement programme for its own housing stock and a licensing scheme for private sector housing. Members suggested the Board ask for a progress update from housing providers. Mike Howard agreed. Linda Jackson suggested an update on damp and mould in public and private housing be added to the agenda for Safety Advisory Board.


ACTION: Mike Howard / Linda Jackson


Dr Nicola Lang (Director of Public Health) noted that an easy read guide to housing for professionals had been published in February 2022. The guide explained the role of the new housing safety team and what they could do in response to issues with private sector or social landlords.


Jim Grealy noted the issues of self-neglect and isolation highlighted in the report and asked how services could ensure continuity through one point of contact to help build trust and confidence.


Linda Jackson said the Health and Social Care Partnership Board had agreed for partners to work together in neighbourhood teams and discuss who should be the lead professional for each case.


Councillor Emma Apthorp asked if frontline staff were trained in fire safety. Linda Jackson said all Adult Social Care staff were offered training to do fire safety risk assessments, in partnership with the fire service. The Housing team were also doing training around fire risk assessment. But she added that there were challenges when it came to choices made by residents and how to mitigate those risks.


The Chair asked if the safeguarding information leaflet for families and carers was available in languages other than English. Ceri Gordon (Safeguarding Adults Board Manager) said it hadn’t been translated yet, but officers were looking at making all resources accessible.


Councillor Apthorp asked if officers had considered making domestic abuse training available to the Council’s third sector partners. Mike Howard said the Board worked closely with ‘Standing Together’, a national charity working with communities to end domestic abuse.


Councillor Amanda Lloyd-Harris proposed a joint meeting with the Housing and Homelessness Policy and Accountability Committee to look at the damp and mould problem in housing in both Council housing and social housing from other providers. She was also interested in the standards for social housing and whether they were the same for all providers. Linda Jackson said all providers were judged against the ‘Decent Homes Standard’, a technical standard for public housing that set out the minimum conditions for social rented housing in the United Kingdom. She added that the Council had weekly operational meetings looking at housing safeguards including damp and mould.


Councillor Lloyd-Harris asked where the Council stood legally if a vulnerable resident didn’t take advice or support and made risky decisions that led to their injury or death. Linda Jackson said if there were serious concerns about a person’s ability to make decisions about their care, there were procedures that could be undertaken under the Mental Capacity Act. She noted it was very rare though, and subject to numerous safeguards.


Councillor Genevieve Nwaogbe asked how the Board could ensure all organisations complied with consistent training standards. Ceri Gordon said they sent an assurance template to track compliance and would follow-up if there were any gaps. Mike Howard added that they also would be asking senior representatives about training.


Councillor Nwaogbe asked how young adults with learning difficulties were effectively transitioned between Children’s Services and Adult Social Care.


Jo Baty (Director of Independent Living, Strategy, Standards and Regulation) said the Council had a robust transition process and Adult Social Care worked closely with Children’s Services and other local partners to identify issues as early as possible and plan for the future. The Chair suggested transitions as a future area of work for the Committee.


ACTION: David Abbott


Councillor Lloyd-Harris asked that the easy-to-read housing guides be sent to the Committee for information.


ACTION: Dr Nicola Lang


Lucia Boddington asked about the reported increases in vulnerable people in the borough. Linda Jackson said there had been additional pressures since the Covid pandemic. Demand had increased, though she said it was manageable across the Health and Social Care sector. She added that while referrals had increased, the number of referrals that resulted in safeguarding investigations was relatively low. Work was ongoing to ensure partners were aligned on risk management and referrals.


Councillor Apthorp asked how referrals worked when residents moved in or out of the borough. Linda Jackson said if there were concerns about a resident who was moving, officers would speak with their counterparts in other local authorities.


The Chair asked if there were any updates on the reviews since the report was written. Ceri Gordon said officers were now working on an action plan to implement the recommendations. The key areas of learning were around mental capacity, multi-agency communication, neglect, and people with challenging behaviour and the impact on staff.


The Chair noted the decision by the Metropolitan Police to not respond to mental health calls from September 2023 and asked what the impact had been. Mike Howard said the Board had discussed the concerns with police representatives and noted they had given a reasoned explanation for what they were going to do, and there was an escalation procedure and appeals procedure in place. They had agreed to monitor the impact and raise any issues with the police as part of their evaluation in the Spring of 2024.


Linda Jackson thanked Mike Howard for his leadership of the Board, and Ceri Gordon, for her hard work throughout the year. The Chair also thanked Mike Howard and Ceri Gordon for the report and their work during the year.




  1. That the Committee note and comment on the Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report 2022/23.

Supporting documents: