Council meetings

Agenda item

Adult Safeguarding Board introduction


Resolved: the Committee noted the information presented.


Professor Michael Preston-Shoot (Independent Chair, Lewisham Safeguarding Adults Board) introduced the report. The following key points were noted:

5.1 It is a statutory requirement of the Care Act 2014 for Lewisham to have a Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB). Other key provisions of the Care Act include, the duty to carry out safeguarding adults reviews (SARs), the duty to share information, to publish an annual report, and to have a strategic plan.

5.2 The SAB must also establish effective links with the Health & Wellbeing Board, Healthwatch, the Lewisham Safeguarding Children Board, and the Safer Lewisham Partnership. Other local agencies will be involved as the system evolves.

5.3 Task and finish groups can be established to address key “hot topics”, including, for example, adults who self-neglect. The membership of task and finish groups is drawn from all partner agencies, and is targeted at those with expertise in the area being explored.

5.4 The Lewisham Safeguarding Adults Board is intending to reach out to as many different groups of service users and carers as it can over the next six months. Each quarterly board meeting will include a presentation from a different group. The Board needs to hear people’s stories and address key messages – life stories are an important sources of qualitative data.

5.5 The Board’s annual report will be published and shared with Healthwatch, Scrutiny, the CCG, the Chief Executive of the Local Authority, and the Metropolitan Police Borough Commander.

5.6 A “lifestyle choice” becomes self-neglect when an individual’s lack of self-care results in a significant risk to their own or others’ health and wellbeing. It is often coupled with a refusal to engage with help and support. It is important that the situation is fully explored, rather than assuming that someone has made a lifestyle choice. What may appear as a choice may be the result of an individual’s life journey. It is also important to work with individuals to identify what outcomes they want for themselves, and for practitioners to not be afraid to make informed suggestions.

5.7 Self-neglect was previously excluded from the remit of Safeguarding Adult Boards. Lewisham is aiming to have a self-neglect policy in place by the end of the year.

5.8 A regular theme of Safeguarding Adults Reviews (SARs) is poor careers assessments, either not being offered, not being done thoroughly, or not being reviewed. The Lewisham Board is working on improving it’s understanding of safeguarding performance across the borough, including with carers assessments.

5.9 The most challenging safeguarding issues for Lewisham over the next twelve months include: supporting practitioners to help those who self-neglect; engaging with newer types of abuse and neglect, such as modern slavery; prevention and early intervention and how to spot individuals at risk; making

safeguarding personal, asking users what they want to achieve; and organisational abuse and neglect in care homes and hospitals.

5.10 The Board will need to make literature about Care Act advocates, who can help people with no one else to turn to, available as widely as possible.


Resolved: the Committee noted the information presented.

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