April 2020: Coronavirus Act 2020
Safeguarding adults remains the duty of the local authority, to keep the most vulnerable safe from abuse or neglect. The Coronavirus Act 2020 does not affect that duty. It is vital that the local authority continues to offer the same level of safeguarding oversight and application of Section 42 of the Care Act, even though the number of safeguarding concerns may increase.
However, it is also important that safeguarding teams are proportionate in their responses and aware of the pressure social care providers are likely to be under. See Annex D, Safeguarding Guidance, Care Act easements: guidance for local authorities (Department of Health and Social Care) and also Safeguarding adults during the COVID-19 crisis (SCIE).
CARE ACT 2014
The Care Act 2014 set out a legal framework for adult safeguarding based on local authorities existing responsibilities and practice, and placed the Safeguarding Adult Board on a statutory footing. It is a change in practice with a move away from a process led culture to a person centred approach. Under the Act local authorities have a duty to promote individual wellbeing, to make safeguarding personal by ensuring that safeguarding work is done with and not to the person concerned. This means the person should be asked what they want as the outcome from the safeguarding process and this directly informs what happens. Local authorities must arrange for independent advocacy when it is needed, with the advocate’s role to facilitate the persons involvement not merely just be consulted. The Act sets out a duty for partners to cooperate and respond to safeguarding concerns and empowers local authorities to make safeguarding enquiries or cause others to make safeguarding enquiries.
BEDFORD SPECIFIC INFORMATION
November 2019: This chapter has been amended to add a link, as above, to Making Decisions on the Duty to carry out Safeguarding Adults Enquiries: Resources published by the Local Government Association.