Agenda item

Teeswide Safeguarding Adults Board - Annual Report 2019/2020 and Strategic Plan 2020/2021

A representative from the Teeswide Safeguarding Adults Board and the Director of Adult Social Care and Health Integration will be in attendance to update Members on the Board’s Annual Report 2019/2020 and its Strategic Business Plan 2020/2021.


The Independent Chair of the Teeswide Safeguarding Adults Board (TSAB), and the Director of Adult Social Care and Health Integration were in attendance at the meeting to present information regarding TSAB’s annual report 2019/2020 and strategic plan 2020/2021.


The Director of Adult Social Care and Health Integration provided an introductory overview of the TSAB, providing details in relation to structure and functioning.  It was explained that this had been a particularly challenging year for TSAB in light of COVID-19, but work had continued remotely, with face-to-face visits being undertaken where risk assessments allowed.  It was felt that this continued delivery was testament to the dedication and flexibility of the staff involved.


The Independent Chair introduced himself to the Board and outlined details of his professional background and experience.  Members were appraised of the Chair’s intentions for the TSAB over the coming year, which would focus on the examination of cross-cutting issues, such as health, community safety and safeguarding, and consider how these could be progressed to further the Board’s efficiency and effectiveness.  The report to be presented today was retrospective rather than forward-looking, but feedback from Members in respect of the Board’s priorities for 2021/2022 would be welcomed.


The Director of Adult Social Care and Health Integration explained that there was a statutory requirement within Adult Social Care to have a Safeguarding Adults Board; TSAB comprised six statutory partners (i.e. Cleveland Police; Hartlepool Borough Council; Middlesbrough Council; Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council; Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council; and South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group and Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group), as well as 18 non-statutory partners.


Reference was made to the range of sub-groups that operated under the main Board.  These were: Communication and Engagement; Learning, Training and Development; Operational Leads; Performance, Audit and Quality; and Policy, Practice and Procedure.  The Audit and Quality sub-group was chaired by the Director of Adult Social Care and Health Integration.  It was acknowledged that although there was one shared over-arching group of policies and procedures, safeguarding was undertaken slightly differently across Tees, and therefore there was merit in the partners committing to work in a more consistent way to achieve a greater utility from the data available.


Members heard that in terms of investigative work and adult safeguarding, statutory investigations entitled Section 42 Enquiries were carried out.  There had been a 66% increase in the number of Section 42 Enquiries for adults aged 18-24 in the last year.


There had been a decrease across the locality in respect of Safeguarding Concerns received from care homes.  Although this was welcomed, it also raised some questions as to why this was the case.  Consideration was given to COVID-19 and related restrictions that had resulted in fewer staff entering care homes/settings.  Work was currently taking place to determine reasoning around this.


There had been a 70% increase in Safeguarding Concerns received from NHS secondary care settings, and more cases identified from Social Care itself.  It had been a busy year, and it was indicated that the numbers would stand out as being anomalous when the year was looked back on in the future.


The report detailed a variety of statistics in relation to the type of abuse being reported, including neglect; acts of commission; physical abuse; financial abuse; and modern slavery.  A Breakdown of the number of Safeguarding Concerns raised in each Local Authority area was also provided.


A business plan was included in the report, which detailed aims around protection, prevention, partnership and professional accountability.  The TSAB documents were public and available on the TSAB website.


It was highlighted that the purpose of the Board was to educate and raise awareness around adult safeguarding.  A Quality Assurance Framework operated on an annual cycle, which provided opportunity to assess whether a satisfactory safeguarding service was being delivered; a key aspect of the Independent Chair’s role was to hold the statutory partners to account.  It was indicated that there had been an improvement in Middlesbrough’s Quality Framework returns this year.


The Independent Chair referred to the TSAB website and highlighted the array of information available for people to access.  Mention was also made to the live consultation activity currently taking place, which was concerned with TSAB’s 2021/2022 priorities.  It was felt that, in particular, large change would relate to COVID-19 and how the Board responded to that.


In response to an enquiry regarding the discharge of individuals with COVID-19 from hospitals into care homes, the Director of Adult Social Care and Health Integration advised that in the early stages of the pandemic, there had been some individuals discharged from hospital without clarity on their COVID-19 status.  This had been in response to direction from Government, which was concerned with getting people out of hospital, and was at a time when adherence to normal barriers and PPE was a sufficient response.  This had changed over the course of the pandemic.  It was explained that the instruction from the Department of Health and Social Care prior to Christmas was that anyone being discharged with a positive COVID-19 status was to be transferred to a designated setting, which was a care home that had particularly been assessed by the CQC as being safe to accept individuals who were COVID-19 positive.  These had been set-up in Middlesbrough, and still operated, although they had not been widely used.  It was felt that the reasoning for this was that if individuals had been COVID-19 positive and released to a care home, in most instances they had been quite unwell, and by the time they were fit enough to be released from hospital, the isolation period would have passed.  The situation was far more stable now than it was previously.


Following an enquiry raised in relation to restrictions around care home visits, consideration was given to the impact that this had had on residents, their families and care home staff.  A number of elements were noted, including: the need for care home staff to balance individuals’ rights against collective safety; infection prevention control and associated provisions; and focus upon the vaccination programme in moving forwards. 


The Chair thanked the Director of Adult Social Care and Health Integration and the Independent Chair of TSAB for their attendance and contributions to the meeting.



Supporting documents: