Sandwell wins national excellence award

Published 14th September 2017

An innovative scheme encouraging council staff in Sandwell to spot and report situations where people are vulnerable to risk has won a top national award.

The See Something Do Something programme provides specialist safeguarding training to frontline workers in the council’s neighbourhood services.

It won the Best Workforce category in the APSE (Association of Public Service Excellence) Service Awards 2017. The awards recognise excellence in local government frontline services across the UK.

Since 2015 more than 809 frontline employees like gas engineers and house repairs staff have had safeguarding training and thanks to it more than 894 safeguarding concerns have been reported and families helped because of observant workers.

In one case a gas fitter went to carry out a gas service at a house in Wednesbury and no one answered the door but he could hear an elderly lady calling out that she was unable to get to the door and her husband was ill and unable to get up.

The gas fitter immediately contacted a neighbourhood officer who found a number for the couple’s son and then arranged to meet him at the house.  

It emerged the lady was disabled and bed bound and her husband was her carer but was so unwell he couldn’t get up. The neighbourhood officer called an ambulance which took the man straight to hospital and care was organised for his wife.  

Councillor Elaine Costigan, cabinet member for public health and public protection said “Congratulations to everyone involved with this excellent initiative, See Something Do Something. It’s vital that council staff are using their eyes and ears to make sure the right people know about people who need help so that we can offer and provide support.

“This initiative means we are getting help to people who need it more quickly and preventing harm and abuse from continuing. The council is committed to getting everyone involved in ‘See Something Do Something’ because we believe that safeguarding really is everyone’s business."