To consider the joint North Tyneside and Northumberland Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report.
The Sub-committee considered the Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) Annual Report 2021-21.
It was noted that the report was the annual report of the joint Northumberland and North Tyneside Safeguarding Board for the period April 2020- March 2021. It was also noted that the report covered a very challenging period for the Board and partner agencies due to the pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the Board acting quickly to put new arrangements in place to manage new risks and demands.
The Sub-committee was advised that, despite the impact of Covid-19, the Board has delivered on a number of its promises. The following were highlighted in the report:
• Contribution to a national project about how to safeguard vulnerable drinkers with the development and delivery of multi-agency workshops
• Developed and monitored a comprehensive and robust SAB Risk Register to identify and monitor Covid related risks and themes.
• Completed and published a Safeguarding Adults Review – Leigh
• Launched virtual multi agency training across the partnership including criminal and sexual exploitation
• Shared information with the public to promote awareness about safeguarding and domestic abuse
• Worked in conjunction with the police on Operation Momentum
• Reviewed independently the joint SAB arrangements
The Sub-committee noted the intention going forward was to separate the Board into two boards for Northumberland and North Tyneside, while maintaining joint sub-groups. This was reported in more detail to the last meeting of the Sub-committee.
A member asked a question about impact on data sharing of having different computer systems across different local authorities and whether this had an impact on the service provided. It was noted that it would be impractical to try to have the same computer system across all local authorities and partner agencies, and instead the focus was improving information sharing across partners and flagging any issues that arise and need to be addressed.
Members commended officers on the work of the Board during the pandemic and asked about impacts in terms of backlogs or priority areas that had been unable to be progressed. It was noted that the Board had taken a risk-based approach to prioritise action and there had been some efficiencies achieved through this approach. In particular, it was highlighted that there had been some positives with increased participation in Board meetings as a result of the move to on-line meetings. However, the work has been relentless on staff who are now feeling the effects through burn out and tiredness. Although safeguarding has been prioritised, some lesser priority cases may have seen delays and longer waits.
There was some discussion about the work undertaken around treatment resistant dependent drinkers. It was noted that some of the education work around this had been targeted at professionals and focussed on issues around legal powers in the context of varied capacity. It was agreed that a briefing on this work would be circulated to members for information.
There was some discussion about the role of carers in identifying any safeguarding issues. It was noted that providers would be responsible for ensuring that carers are trained in safeguarding issues and providers are monitored in relation to this. It was also noted that during the pandemic it had been more difficult for professionals to undertake visits, but there had been an increase in whistleblowing reports from care staff.
There was some discussion about differences between Northumberland and North Tyneside in relation to the data that was included in the report. It was noted that it wasn’t really possible to compare data across the two areas as different authorities use different definitions and work in different ways. The Board had agreed that the data was not comparable across the two authorities.
The Chair welcomed the report and thanked the officer for the presentation.
To circulate briefing information on the Safeguarding Vulnerable Dependent Drinkers Project.