Effective Adult Safeguarding enables a person to retain independence, well-being and choice and be able to live a life that is free from abuse and neglect. It is about preventing abuse, as well as promoting good practice for identifying and responding to concerns on a multi-agency basis.

Safeguarding is everybody’s business. It includes the involvement of a broad range of organisations, service areas and workers, all of whom need to be aware of their roles and responsibilities on both an internal and multi-agency basis.

In 2013/14 a total of 104,050 Safeguarding Referrals were made for individuals in England. The most common Referral was made for cases of Neglect/Acts of Omission. In almost half (49%) of the allegations, these were made against someone known to the victim.

Compared to the England average of 246 per 100,000 population, the rate of Referrals in Knowsley in 2013/14 was over twice that of England, and far higher than the North West average of 306 Referrals per 100,000 population.

In 2014/15, there were 1345 Alerts compared to 977 in 2013/14 – an increase of 27%. Whilst an increase in Referrals year on year is expected, this level of increase would seem disproportionate. Thresholds Guidance has been developed but needs to embedded across all organisations to address this issue.

In spite of the 27% increase in Alerts, we have seen a reduction in the percentage of Alerts that progress to Referrals from 78% in 2013/14 to 62% in 2014/15. This may reflect the improved decision-making when Alerts are received in the MASH and the appropriate application of the new guidance on thresholds.

Of the 856* Referrals received 211 were Re-Referrals from 132 people; this equates to 15% compared with 12% in the previous year. Referrals are classed as Repeat Referrals when they involve a separate matter about the same adult during the same collection period. The reasons for the increase in these Repeat Referrals is not yet known but a sample audit of some of these cases is due to take place in the coming year.

The full JSNA can be accessed here: Adult Safeguarding