How we manage safeguarding enquiries for a service when there are multiple commissioners

Somerset County Council has adopted the principles set out by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) in their guidance dated June 2016

Safeguarding referrals generated within Somerset for an adult placed from another authority will follow the same robust process and the principles of Making Safeguarding Personal as other safeguarding referrals, with the addition of the principles and processes set out below.

The following principles are within the guidance document above and all references to ‘host authority’ is taken to be Somerset County Council.

  • The host authority will have overall responsibility for co-ordinating the safeguarding adults enquiry and for ensuring clear communication with all placing authorities and other stakeholders, especially with regards to the scheduling of meetings and the planning of the enquiry.
  • The placing authority will have a continuing duty of care to the adult at risk of abuse or neglect that they have placed.
  • The placing authority will contribute to the enquiry as required, and maintain overall responsibility for the adult they have placed.
  • The placing authority should ensure, through contracting arrangements and in service specifications, that the provider has arrangements in place for protecting adults at risk of abuse or neglect and for managing concerns, which in turn link with local (host authority) multi-agency safeguarding adults policy and procedures/guidance.  This includes the requirement to inform the host authority of both adults and placing authorities affected by the safeguarding concerns.

Authorities may negotiate flexible arrangements, for example relating to another authority undertaking assessments, reviews, investigative activities or other supportive activities on behalf of a placing authority. In such cases, the placing authority would maintain overall responsibility for the person they have placed, and reimbursement would be required and agreed as part of such negotiations.

Providers of care and support services have rights and responsibilities, and may be required to undertake their own enquiries. The host authority must ensure effective and timely communication with the provider of care throughout the enquiry investigation.

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