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Keeping People Safe in Solihull

Solihull Council and its partners are committed to protecting the most vulnerable adults in our community from harm and abuse and welcomed the Care Act 2014 which for the first time placed Adult Safeguarding within a legal framework.  From 1 April 2015 we have a legal duty to make enquiries when we reasonably suspect an adult with needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs) is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect.

Adult safeguarding seeks to keep adults independent, maintain individual’s well-being, offer choices and incorporate the Government’s following 6 principles so that they can access their right to a life free from abuse or neglect:

  • Empowerment – Adults are consulted about the outcomes they want from the safeguarding process and these directly inform what happens.
  • Protection – Adults are provided with help and support to report abuse, are supported to take part in the safeguarding process to the extent to which they want and to which they are able.
  • Prevention – Adults are provided with easily understood information about what abuse is, how to recognise the signs and what they can do to seek help.
  • Proportionality – Adults are confident that the responses to risk will take into account their preferred outcomes or best interests.
  • Partnership – Adults are confident that information will be appropriately shared in a way that takes into account its personal and sensitive nature.  They can be confident that agencies will work together to find the most effective responses to their own situation.
  • Accountability – Adults are clear about the roles and responsibilities of all those involved in the solution to the problem.

What we did in 2015:

  • Worked with other Local Authorities in the West Midlands region to review the policies and procedures we use to ensure they are compliant with the Care Act 2014
  • Continued with the Local Government Association ‘Making Safeguarding Personal’ project, where we ask people what outcome they want and this directly informs how we support and safeguard them
  • Continued to receive a high number of alerts to the new concerns at Solihull Connect, a single place where people can call to discuss safeguarding concerns, indicating that people know how to raise concerns
  • Have been co-producing information for people going through the adult safeguarding procedures
  • Have launched ‘Friend or Foe’ training sessions for service users who have learning and physical disabilities. The focus of these sessions is to promote personal safety at home and in the wider community
  • We set up a service user forum to ensure we hear the views of adults who have experienced abuse and can improve the ways that partner agencies work to prevent abuse
  • Have delivered multi-agency training on new types of abuse highlighted in the Care Act
  • Have presented our progress on making safeguarding personal to neighbouring safeguarding adult boards

Tel: Solihull Connect: 0121 704 8007

For more information:

Solihull Safeguarding Adult Board’s priorities for 2015-16

  • Service user and carer involvement and engagement in the Safeguarding Adults process and in the work of the Board – building on work already started
  • Quality Assurance – Continue to develop the quality assurance framework to support the Board to have confidence in the information that is being presented
  • Embedding and implementing the Care Act/Making Safeguarding Personal – to ensure a coherent and complete understanding of the Care Act and Making Safeguarding Personal across all partner agencies
  • Prevention/Early Intervention Strategy – to ensure that adults with care and support needs in Solihull have the information, advice and support they need to have the best possible quality of life without the risk of harm and abuse

Case Studies: Safeguarding working at its best – Two Good News stories!

In order to help them hide their identity, rogue traders will require their victims to pay them in cash; in some cases they will even be especially ‘helpful’ by giving their victim a lift to the bank.  Most people have reasonably consistent spending patterns, so when a person breaks their regular habits and attempts to draw out large sums of cash, it could be a warning that they are being targeted by a rogue trader.  The efforts of this awareness campaign has reaped rewards in two recent  cases.

Safeguarding and Solihull Council Trading Standards

In 2015, Solihull Council  Trading Standards Officers have been visiting banks and building societies to raise staff awareness  about the problem of rogue traders and the role the banks can play in protecting vulnerable people.

Case One

Within a week of being visited by Trading Standards, the staff in one bank were approached by an elderly and confused gentleman who was trying to withdraw £3000 in cash.  The bank manager quickly recognised the signs of a rogue trader victim, dashed outside the bank and confronted the ‘builder’ who had given the elderly man a lift to the bank.  Not satisfied with the response he got from the builder he took photos of the builder and the van on his phone.  Calls to both Trading Standards and the Police followed and although the Police attended the gentleman’s home address and the bank, the traders had left both premises. Through the smart and quick actions of the Bank, the gentleman concerned was saved from losing his money to rogue traders.

Case Two

A lady attended her bank on four separate occasions, withdrawing several hundred pounds each time.   When bank staff queried with her the reasons for withdrawing such a large amount of cash, she appeared confused but said that it was to pay the gardener.  Not satisfied with this response the bank raised their concerns with the Police.  Police and Trading Standards carried out a joint home visit to the lady concerned.  During the course of the visit it became clear that the lady was not able to look after herself in complete safety and via West Midlands Ambulance Service she was admitted to hospital.  A safeguarding referral has been made and the lady will remain in hospital until a package of care and support is in place for her.