This report introduces the Kent and Medway Safeguarding Adults Board’s (KMSAB) Annual Report for April 2020–March 2021. The Annual Report sets out the responsibilities and structure of the Board and details how the multi-agency partnership delivered against its priorities for the year. The report also provides information pertaining to Safeguarding Adults Reviews, funding arrangements and safeguarding activity information.
The Independent Chair (IC) of the Kent and Medway Safeguarding Adults Board (KMSAB) introduced the Board’s Annual Report for April 2020 - March 2021, and detailed its responsibilities including developing and publishing a Strategic Plan, assuring continual improvement of safeguarding practice, promoting multi-agency training, holding KMSAB partners to account, producing multi-agency policies and procedures, undertaking Safeguarding Adults Reviews (SARs), producing Annual Report, and setting the strategic direction to protect and empower adults at risk across Kent and Medway. He outlined the membership of KMSAB, its engagement with other organisations and groups across Kent and Medway, and the close collaboration with colleagues in Medway. He pointed out that multi-agency partnerships had encouraged increased referrals and support for residents in need.
The IC detailed the learning gained from ongoing SARs through identified common themes, and their sharing through webinars with a view to arousing “professional curiosity”. He commended the work of Medway Task Force which helped vulnerable residents with safeguarding issues. The person-centred approach of Medway had brought about a high satisfaction rating.
The following issues were discussed:
of a ‘citizen’s panel’ to help improve how we communicate with lay people.
Marketing- there was a suggestion about the need to engage marketing professionals in social media, The IC highlighted that the hit rate of KMSAB’s website between April and October 2021 was 0.5 million high. This was probably as a result of the newsletters posted to some 300 individuals who might have shared them among their circles. It was also likely more people had engaged as a result of material in the marketing bags handed out at KMSAB’s partners’ open days.
Safeguarding concerns and enquiries- there was discussion regarding the number of safeguarding concerns in Kent (741) and Medway (733). It was felt this level of enquiry struck a good balance between caseloads and levels of reporting. The IC explained that Medway had been reviewing its process of reporting and brought down the conversion rate (i.e. the proportion of safeguarding concerns that progressed to enquiries) in 2020/2021.
Way forward- a concern was raised about the need to sustain the trust and confidence of people suffering from long COVID or mental health issues, in relation to the existing support system. The IC highlighted that self-neglect and hoarding were major factors in many SARs, which required the intervention of adults’ social care. He envisaged that these issues would be brought together and dealt with by the transformed Integrated Care System in the next few years.
Noting that in September 2020, Kent and Medway received additional funding from the Home Office for local prevent resources, a Board member sought information on measures devised to tackle online abuse. The IC stated he was disappointed to note the inadequacy of investigation work in relation to online fraud. In his opinion, this should be dealt with centrally.
A Board member observed that with the increasing safeguarding support provided to victims of domestic abuse, there were fewer court cases not progressing through the court prosecution process due to victims withdrawing.
The Health and Wellbeing Board noted the report and thanked the IC of KMSAB for their presentation.