To inform this report, we worked with Independent Lives who facilitated conversations capturing the experiences of local people living in West Sussex who shared their own safeguarding journeys.
As a result of the independent discussions we had with people who have experienced the safeguarding process Healthwatch West Sussex makes the following recommendations to help statutory and other investigating bodies to make the safeguarding process better and more personal for the people at risk and their families.
- Professionals involved in a safeguarding enquiry should have a short biography of the person concerned, to help them humanise the process, to enable them to obtain and retain a sense of who the person was or is. Where a person offers a photo of the adult at the centre of the concern, this should be included as a visual prompt. This section of the safeguarding enquiry should include the person’s desired outcome(s) and wishes.
- The safeguarding process should include time for Enquiry Officers or Managers to explain the process and procedures and what people can expect, which should be backed-up with a simple information leaflet explaining how people can choose to be involved (including an easy read version.)
- Enquiry Officers or Managers should be given/or make time to check their written communications to make sure peoples’ names are right, and to have time to read casefiles, so they are able to give assurances to people that their story is known and understood, and that the enquiry conclusions are robust.
- West Sussex County Council to ensure that systems are in place to monitor that Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP) forms an integral part of the enquiry process (enquiries under section 42 of the Care Act), and forms part of the Council’s annual safeguarding reporting process.
- All future Safeguarding Adult Board audits should start with a review of how the process has put the person at the centre of the enquiry by asking:
- how the person’s wishes were obtained and considered throughout the process
- how the process sought to offer access to people being involved
- how the person was communicated with and the quality of this communication.