Service providers need to ensure that these safeguarding adults procedures are rooted in the culture of the organisation. This means that the whole service needs to demonstrate a commitment to its principles and its framework in practice. This will also include having a whistleblowing policy in place and a means of identifying the training and development needs of the staff team with regard to all aspects of safeguarding adults.

Effective service management is a significant contributor to the prevention of abuse and neglect. This can include ensuring that effective employment and safer recruitment practices are in place and that staffing levels and the workers’ competence can meet the needs of the service users. Policies can also play a significant role in the prevention of abuse and neglect as they give workers clear frameworks against which they can evaluate their own and their colleagues’ performance.

This should include effective supervision and recording practices: performance management. Governance and audit arrangements; response to complaints and the promotion of effective links with other agencies and community networks.

Developing individual personal care plans, pre-discharge planning meetings and risk assessment/risk management strategies which are communicated effectively, can also contribute significantly to minimising the potential for abuse and neglect.

Commissioners of services should set out clear expectations of provider organisations through contractual arrangements, For example:

  • Managers and staff are clear about their role in complying with the Sunderland Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures
  • Managers and staff are clear about their role in complying with the statutory duties and responsibilities which apply to safeguarding adults such as the Prevent Duty for England and Wales (2015), and the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Mandatory Duty to Report
  • Recruitment of a workforce with the right skills to understand and implement Sunderland Safeguarding Adults Policies and Procedures.

Contractors and commissioners of services must ensure that people’s personal plans contain a properly documented needs analysis and that the personal plan records the exact care required for the service user. Also, that the provider can actually meet those needs and that this is monitored and reviewed regularly. It is important that the service user and families’ views about the service are listened to and that they are involved in the decision-making process.

Commissioners also have a responsibility for monitoring overall contract compliance to ensure statutory compliance and to be assured that any identified actions are undertaken and completed within agreed timescales.

Each contracted service in Sunderland is required to have in place their own Individual Agency Guidance, setting out how that provider will respond to Safeguarding Adults concerns, and ensuring a multi-agency contribution. This includes application of the safeguarding thresholds in accordance with the threshold guidance, referrals to appropriate agencies, responses to requests, including involvement in/attendance at Strategy Discussions/Strategy Meetings, making enquiries, provision of information and need for investigations. The Individual Agency Guidance must be in line with this Procedures Manual. There is an expectation that non-contracted services are also made aware of and comply with this requirement and this is being promoted to those services.

Any concerns, suspicions or allegations of abuse or neglect occurring within their organisation must be brought to the attention of the Responsible Person(s) identified within their own Individual Agency Guidance and the process followed as outlined in the Guidance.

It is the responsibility of the provider to manage the Safeguarding Adults Concern referral, and ensure implementation of safeguarding measures, on behalf of the agency when safeguarding issues are identified within their organisation, where appropriate. The provider’s Responsible Person and Safeguarding Adults Lead will be identified within the Individual Agency Guidance.

In those cases where staff misconduct is an issue, disciplinary procedures will also be instigated. The disciplinary and safeguarding processes can be followed simultaneously; one should not preclude the other.