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Review praises Sandwell's adult safeguarding work

Published 11th April 2018

Sandwell Council’s safeguarding work to protect and care for vulnerable adults has been praised in a report by top experts in the field.

A special team visited in January and met with more than 70 people as part of a ‘peer challenge’ review of the ways Sandwell deals with adult safeguarding issues.

The peer challenge highlighted many positive areas of good practice and policy which the team will now share with other authorities across the West Midlands.

The assessment was completed by the West Midlands Directors of Adult Social Services working with the Improvement and Efficiency West Midlands team, which works to improve services and promote good practice.

In their conclusions, they say they are very impressed with the focus and commitment on a high-risk area of work, pointing out this is critical to ensuring that the residents of Sandwell are safe.

They also highlight that the commitment is driven from a very senior level, and also due to having a Safeguarding Adults Board which is led so effectively and many talented operational leaders and managers. They said social workers were positive about working in Sandwell and felt well supported by managers.

The deprivation of liberty service – which protects vulnerable people who lack the capacity to decide on their care and treatment – was praised for providing “an excellent service to the residents in Sandwell”. And, with virtually no waiting list for assessments, “would appear to be outperforming just about everywhere in the county”.

The report letter adds: “Sandwell is in a good position to share and help the wider West Midlands develop their own safeguarding adults’ approaches but also build on its own strengths. We have really appreciated the opportunity to take away some good examples of care and support that we can share with councils across the West Midlands.”

The review also highlights a clear pride in the organisation and the borough – with officers, councillors and partners all wanting the best for Sandwell and its six towns.

The review team was also impressed with a strong new corporate vision for the future through its Vision 2030, and highlighted the well-respected and visible director with a focus on challenges facing adult social care services.  They noted the council’s strong financial management and a clear intention and track record of protecting frontline services.

The team also made a number of recommendations to help the council and Safeguarding Adults Board develop an action plan to keep improving services.

 These include ever closer working with local communities and service users, carers and families in safeguarding work and planning and the Safeguarding Adults Board developing a single view of priorities that are informed by local intelligence.