Safeguarding Adults

If you feel that you need to raise a safeguarding concern then please contact either Shropshire Council or Telford and Wrekin Council.

Please see the section below: 'How to raise an adult safeguarding concern in Shropshire or Telford and Wrekin'.

Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is committed to safeguarding the wellbeing of adults in receipt of services that it commissions. As a member of the local Safeguarding Partnerships, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin CCG seeks to ensure that staff have appropriate policies, procedures, training and access to expert advice to ensure that adults at risk are identified and, where necessary, in receipt of appropriate protection. All staff within health services have a responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of patients and colleagues.

There is a lot more information about safeguarding available from:

Within the West Midlands, there are 14 Local Authorities and Safeguarding Partnerships working together to introduce a consistent approach and practice within the adult safeguarding environment. They have produced one comprehensive policy to cover adult safeguarding across the region as well as other related policies and procedures.

To download please go to West Midlands policies and procedures.

What is Adult Safeguarding?

'Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the adult’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, having regard to their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action. This must recognise that adults sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships and may be ambivalent, unclear or unrealistic about their personal circumstances.'

Who do Adult Safeguarding duties apply to?

The safeguarding duties apply to an adult who:

  • Has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs);
  • Is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect;
  • As a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect.

What are the aims of Adult Safeguarding?

  • Prevent harm and reduce the risk of abuse or neglect to adults with care and support needs;
  • Stop abuse or neglect wherever possible;
  • Safeguard adults in a way that supports them in making choices and having control about how they want to live;
  • Promote an approach that concentrates on improving life for the adults concerned;
  • Raise public awareness so that communities as a whole, alongside professionals, play their part in preventing, identifying and responding to abuse and neglect;
  • Provide information and support in accessible ways to help people understand the different types of abuse, how to stay safe and what to do to raise a concern about the safety or wellbeing of an adult;
  • Address what has caused the abuse or neglect.

The 6 Key Principles that underpin all Adult Safeguarding work

Empowerment

People being supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and informed consent;

I am asked what I want as the outcomes from the safeguarding process and these directly inform what happens.

Prevention

It is better to take action before harm occurs;

I receive clear and simple information about what abuse is, how to recognise the signs and what I can do to seek help.

Proportionality

The least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented;

I am sure that the professionals will work in my interest, as I see them and they will only get involved as much as needed.

Protection

Support and representation for those in greatest need;

I get help and support to report abuse and neglect; I get help so that I am able to take part in the safeguarding process to the extent to which I want.

Partnership

Local solutions through services working with their communities; communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse.

I know that staff treat any personal and sensitive information in confidence, only sharing what is helpful and necessary. I am confident that professionals will work together and with me to get the best result for me.

Accountability

Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding;

I understand the role of everyone involved in my life and so do they.

Making Safeguarding personal

'Making Safeguarding Personal' is about putting the adult at the centre from the beginning to the end of every safeguarding concern. MSP is having a conversation led by the adult or their representative to find out what happened and what outcomes they want.

  • If it is safe to do so (i.e. it will not put you or the adult at risk) you will share your safeguarding concerns with the adult and ask what outcomes they wish;
  • Discuss risk and what needs to be done now to make them safer;
  • Ask who they want told or seek the views of family/friends (as appropriate) if they lack capacity;
  • If they have no support and have substantial difficulty think about an advocate (ask the Local Authority to arrange this);
  • Keep the adult involved.

How to raise an Adult Safeguarding concern in Shropshire or Telford and Wrekin

If you are worried that an adult person with care and support needs is being abused or neglected, please say something.

Telford and Wrekin

Please note if it is a serious matter or an emergency, always ring 999.

  • Family Connect

Telephone: 01952 385385 (when prompted please select option 3)

Monday to Friday from 9am - 5pm

  • Emergency Duty team

Telephone: 01952 676500 Monday to Sunday after 5pm

  • West Mercia Police

Telephone: 0300 333 3000 or 101

Sometimes people are afraid to speak up and report abuse. This maybe because they will get someone into trouble, might have got it wrong or cause more distress. All safeguarding concerns are responded to sensitively and focus on safeguarding and getting it right for the person concerned.

If you report abuse Telford and Wrekin Council will:

  • Find out more about what is going on with the person at risk and what they want;
  • Work together with the person themselves and with other professional colleagues in the police and health service to try to reduce the level of risk;
  • Make every effort using all available legal means to find ways of reducing risk and increasing people’s safety.

Learn from everything that happens to make our work and our processes more effective in the future.

Shropshire

How can I report abuse?

In an emergency dial 999, but for other calls to the police please ring 101.

To report a safeguarding concern by phone ring our First Point of Contact team on 0345 678 9044 Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm, and Friday 9am to 4pm.

If you have urgent adult safeguarding concerns outside of these hours, please phone the Emergency Social Work Duty Team on 0345 678 9040.

Domestic Violence and Abuse

Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin CCG recognises the impact domestic abuse can have upon a person and their family. If a child is living in an environment where they are exposed to domestic abuse, involving the adults in their life, this is considered to be a form of child abuse and a referral to to the appropriate Local Authority must be made.

In Telford and Wrekin:

Family Connect:

In Shropshire

You can report your concerns by calling 0345 678 9021.

You can also speak to:

  • Public Protection Unit (West Mercia Police): 0300 333 3000
  • NSPCC: 0800 800 5000
  • Childline: 0800 1111

If a child is in immediate danger call the emergency services on 999.

Domestic abuse is also an adult safeguarding matter in cases where the person in question has care and support needs (Care Act 2014). Please see the information above 'How to Raise an Adult safeguarding concern in Shropshire or Telford and Wrekin'.

There are some circumstances that would warrant a more immediate response, if a serious crime has been committed or if someone needs urgent or immediate help. In these cases, ringing the emergency services on 999 may be the right response.

West Mercia Women's Aid is available across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, and Herefordshire. It offers confidential support, information, advice and access to refuge or emergency accommodation where necessary for men and women. It is a free-phone number and is staffed 24 hours a day by trained workers. If you are calling from a mobile you can request that they call you back.

Support with Domestic Violence

For information and advice about domestic violence and abuse please visit:

Contact details:

  • West Mercia Women’s Aid - 0800 783 1359
  • National Domestic Abuse Helpline - 0808 2000 247
  • Shropshire Domestic Abuse Service - 0300 303 1191 email: sdas@shropsdas.org.uk

What is the Mental Capacity Act?

The Mental Capacity Act provides a statutory, structured framework for personal welfare, healthcare and financial decisions. This enables people to make as many decisions for them as possible and set out their wishes in advance.

The Act applies whenever a decision needs to be made on behalf of a person who lacks capacity, including any assessment of the need for treatment, services or support.

Why do you need to know about the Mental Capacity Act?

The Act clarifies:

  • The process for caring for someone who may, at some time, lack capacity;
  • How decisions should be made for that person;
  • When family, relatives or carers should be consulted about decisions being made for that person;
  • How that person is protected when others are making decisions for them.

What is Mental Capacity?

The legal definition states that a person lacks capacity if they have an impairment or disorder of the mind or brain, and cannot do one or more of the four things listed below:

  1. Understand the information given to them;
  2. Retain the information long enough to be able to make a decision;
  3. Weigh up the information available to make the decision;
  4. Communicate their decision.

The 5 Key Principles are:

  1. A presumption of capacity;
  2. The right for individuals to be supported to make their own decisions;
  3. Individuals retain the right to make eccentric or unwise decisions;
  4. All decisions should be made in the best interests of the individual;
  5. Anything done on behalf of an individual without capacity should be done with the least restriction to their basic rights and freedom.

What do you do if someone lacks capacity to make the decision?

  • Try and find out the person’s past and present wishes and feelings;
  • Check to see if they may regain capacity;
  • Ask advice from carers or family;
  • Consider any valid Advance Decisions;
  • Find out if they have appointed a Lasting Power of Attorney;
  • Decide what is in their best interest.

Best Interests

  • Help people to make as much of the decision as they can;
  • Support people through the decision;
  • With life sustaining treatment, no decisions should be motivated by a desire to bring about the person’s death;
  • If lack of capacity is temporary, consider if the decision can be made at a later time or date;
  • Consult those important to the person and other professionals.
  • See if there are other options that may be less restrictive

Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (IMCA)

If someone lacking capacity is facing decisions about medical treatment or changes in accommodation and is 'unbefriended', there is support available. An IMCA can help them and offer guidance to the decision maker. In Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin this is provided by Pohwer who can be contacted as below:

Pohwer - Shropshire

Pohwer - Telford and Wrekin 

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)

The DoLS legislation came into force in April 2009 and originally applied to any person who lacks capacity and is currently being cared for in a care home or hospital setting. Hospital and care home managers would need to seek an authorisation from the relevant local authority.

These arrangements were extended to cover people in other situations following decisions made by the Supreme Court in 2014 known as the Cheshire West case. This means that for those who live in settings such as a supported tenancy or their own home they can still be subject to a deprivation of liberty dependent upon the “acid test” being applied i.e. is the person subject to continuous supervision and control? And are they free to leave? – with the focus being not on whether a person seems to be wanting to leave, but on how those who support them would react if they did want to leave. If the answer is yes to these questions and the person lacks capacity to consent to the arrangements then an application will need to be made to the Court of Protection by those funding the care (either the Council or CCG).

These safeguards protect people who are unable to make decisions for them. This may be because of conditions such as:

  • Brain injury
  • Dementia
  • Learning disability
  • Mental disorder.

If you are concerned about somebody and think there should be an authorisation in place, please make a referral to the Local Authority or speak to the person’s nurse or social worker.

If you have any queries about making a DOLs application to the Council they can be contacted by:

Introducing the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS)

The Government have decided to replace the current DOLS scheme with the Liberty Protection Safeguards. This will come into force on 1 April, 2022. The new scheme will seek to improve ways to ensure that the wishes and feelings of the person are a part of the process and that LPS planning starts a lot sooner when best interest decisions are needed. Further information can be found here.

Prevent

The Prevent Duty was introduced through the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 and it requires health bodies, local authorities, schools, colleges, higher education institutions, prisons and probation and the police to consider the need to safeguard people from being drawn into terrorism. It sits alongside long-established existing duties on professionals to safeguard vulnerable people from exploitation from a range of other harms such as knife crime drugs, and sexual exploitation.

Often vulnerable individuals can become exploited by others to support causes and take part in activities that can lead to criminal behaviours. Prevent seeks to help identify individuals who may be exposed to such exploitation and find ways to support them via a Channel Panel referral in what is called the pre-criminal space before any illegal activity has taken place. Professionals working in health and social care need to complete Prevent to help them understand how they can assist people in these circumstances and for details about how to make a referral or for general advice including how to make a referral into Channel they should contact their organisation’s Safeguarding/Prevent lead or the CCG lead for Adult Safeguarding.

Contact Details for Adult Safeguarding Lead:

Paul Cooper (Designated Professional Adult Safeguarding)
Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin CCG
paulcooper2@nhs.net

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Page last updated 7 April 2021