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This guidance supports the “Provider Enquiry Supporting Information” form which can be found at the bottom of the page.
This form will be sent by the Local Authority to appropriate people or organisations, for example housing support workers, health worker such as a community nurse, service providers. The purpose of the form is to assist with the enquiry of a statutory safeguarding adults enquiry under section 42 of the Care Act 2014.
The Local Authority’s instructions place a statutory duty to co-operate with the enquiry as required under the Care Act 2014.
Why have I got this form?
The Local Authority (LA) will take the lead in the enquiry, but it may require others to assist. The specific circumstances will determine which organisation or individual is most relevant to assist with an enquiry.
An LA professional will make initial contact with an appropriate person or organisation and explain the issue and what is required. They will then issue them with the form together with this guidance. The LA professional will have completed the top sections (sections 1 to 4) of the form (blue sections) giving details of the issue and stating what they are asking to be done with timescales for completion.
If you feel that you are not the right person to carry out the enquiry, please discuss this with your safeguarding lead within your organisation (N.B. where the organisation is the best placed to undertake the enquiry and its terms of reference are within the scope of its jurisdiction, the organisation has a legal duty under the Care Act 2014 to co-operate).
What do I need to do to carry out a thorough enquiry?
Ensure you understand what is required from you for the enquiry and it is within the remit of your organisation. If in doubt or you have any questions, contact the LA professional who sent you the form. Their contact details can be found on the form (see section 2).
Ensure you or the person tasked to carry out the enquiry has the necessary competency, authority and support. Make sure there is no conflict of interest in their undertaking this role.
The scope of that enquiry, who assists with it and its nature, and how long it takes, will depend on the circumstances of the case.
Ensure you can meet timescales for completing your enquiry. Timescales can be adjusted. However, the Care Act 2014 dictates that enquiries are completed within a reasonable timeframe. Information about timescales will be shared with you when the form is allocated to you.
Conduct the enquiry in line with the principles of Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP) by ensuring:
- If the adult’s outcomes have not been identified – the first action must be to ascertain the outcomes that the adult wishes to achieve.
- The enquiry reflects the outcomes that the adult wishes to achieve.
- If the adult does not have a representation from family/friends or an advocacy support but is having substantial difficulty in taking part in the enquiry you must liaise with the LA professional so that an advocate can be instructed.
- If a person has capacity, then it is good practice to liaise with them to see who would be best to support them if they wish. However, if it is felt that the person lacks capacity to engage in the safeguarding process then a mental capacity assessment must be completed, and a best interest decision made as to who is best placed to support them. The LA professional who sent the form should be able to advise you on this
- The adult (or their representative) is included throughout the process.
- The adult (or their representative) has sufficient information to know their rights and choices.
- That, if in the progress of the enquiry, the adult alters their view of their desired outcomes, this is reflected in the enquiry and that the LA professional is informed.
- The conclusion of the enquiry is shared and discussed with the adult (or their representative).
- Consider if the issues raised within the concern need to be communicated with other professionals to immediately safeguard the individual (and others that may be at risk)
- The adult’s outcomes are reviewed to ascertain whether they feel they have been met, partly met or not met. Pass these details to the LA professional, explaining the person’s thoughts, especially on those outcomes that were not or partially met.
- If the outcomes can’t be met, state why this is the case (e.g. unrealistic or inappropriate outcome wish).
- The adult is asked “Do they feel safer having been involved in the enquiry?”. If not, what would make them feel safer and/or what would they like to happen
Maintain contact with the LA professional and inform them of any changes or developments during the enquiry.
Ensure the form has answered the concerns and that there is sufficient information for the LA professional to determine what, if any, further action is needed to help and protect the adult. The completed form should be checked by the provider organisation safeguarding team/lead and then sent to the LA professional within the agreed timescale by secure email, by recorded delivery or hand delivered ONLY to ensure security of personal information
The LA professional will review your enquiry form and may need to contact you to clarify or ask for more information.
What else do I need to know?
Inform the LA professional if any additional issues are uncovered during your enquiry.
Include any appropriate supporting documentation when the form is sent to the LA professional.
The contents of the form are restricted and should only be reproduced or shared with the agreement of the author or the LA. You are responsible for the safe storage, transfer and disposal of this document.
If the Police are involved with the concern, they will be the lead agency. You and the LA must follow their instructions to ensure their investigations are not compromised. The Police’s investigations will take priority but primarily, health and social care will lead the safety actions. If in doubt consult the LA professional. The s42 can usually proceed as a parallel process but if the police become involved, please consult with the professional who tasked the provider enquiry to you for further guidance.
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Safeguarding Partnership Board website contains information and support on adult safeguarding. Here is a link to their website Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Safeguarding Partnership Board (safeguardingcambspeterborough.org.uk)
Who do I contact if I need help with my investigation?
Contact the LA professional who sent the form. Their details can be found in section 2 of the form you receive.