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Safeguarding Adult Reviews

In some situations, Safeguarding Adults Boards are required to conduct Safeguarding Adult Reviews. This is normally where an adult with care and support needs is seriously harmed or has died as a result of abuse or neglect and there are concerns about how local organisations have worked together to protect the adult.

What is a Safeguarding Adults Review (also known as a 'SAR')?

A Safeguarding Adults Review (SAR) looks at how local organisations worked together to look after the adult at risk at the centre of the review. It may also look at how they are working with other adults at risk in the immediate family or care settings. The review considers what was done, what worked well, what lessons can be learned for the future and what changes may need to be made.

A Safeguarding Adult Review (SAR) is not an enquiry into the cause of an individual death or injury. It does not look for someone to blame and it is completely separate from any investigation being undertaken by the police or a coroner. The SAR concentrates instead on whether care professionals and organisations can learn anything from what happened.

The purpose of a learning review is;

  • To establish whether there are lessons to be learned about the way in which local professionals or organisations work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of adults at risk
  • To identify clearly what those lessons are, how they will be acted upon and what changes might be necessary
  • To improve how agencies work together and better safeguard adults at risk
  • To identify any areas of good practice and what worked well

Salford Safeguarding Adults Board will carry out a SAR whenever an adult at risk has been seriously harmed or has died in circumstances where abuse or neglect is suspected or confirmed and there are concerns that agencies could have worked better to protect that individual.

This is a statutory requirement of the Safeguarding Adults Board set out in Section 44 of the Care Act 2014.

There are different ways in which a Safeguarding Adult Review (SAR) can be done, but they all involve gathering as much information from as many sources as possible. There may be occasions when an independent person will be commissioned to produce a report and make recommendations what actions and learning is required. Regardless how the review is undertaken there is a review team which is a panel of professionals from Adult Social Care, the Health Service, the Police, Mental Health Services and other organisations that may be involved in the case who will oversee the review and will try to work out exactly what happened, and why. They will consider whether things could or should have been done differently, and ask questions to improve how things could be done better in the future

The review panel will meet to review reports from each organisation or agency which has worked with or provided services to the adult at risk or their family. The Lead Reviewer or Author will prepare a report. This report will say what lessons have been learnt and make recommendations for Salford Safeguarding Adults Board.

Salford Safeguarding Adults Board will write an action plan to make sure improvements are made to the way organisations work together to keep adults at risk safe. Sometimes an individual organisation involved in the review will also write their own action plan which will work alongside the action plan created by the review panel.  

The final report and action plan will then be presented to the Salford Safeguarding Adult Board for the members of the Board to have an opportunity to read the report, ask questions of the author and provide authorisation for the report to be published.

Salford Safeguarding Adults Board will make sure the actions are completed and improvements are made.  

You do not have to do anything. However, you will have the opportunity to give your views if you would like to. We will make sure that there is someone who can help you to do this (see contact details of the Business Manager below).

Before the report is presented to the Salford Safeguarding Board, the  full report will be kept confidential to those people who represent their organisations at Salford Safeguarding Adults Board and the staff within those organisations who worked with the adult at risk and their family or contributed to the review until it is published. The Executive Summary sets out the key findings and recommendations of the review. It does not give any personal details or information which would identify the adult at risk, family or anyone else involved.

The Business Manager of the Board will meet with you and discuss the findings of the report before it’s published on the website. If this meeting takes place before the report has been seen by the Salford Safeguarding Board you will need to sign a confidentiality agreement to confirm to a number of conditions including that the report will not be shared prior to publication.

Once published it is available to anyone who wants to read it and will be on our website. This is to ensure that the learning is shared as widely as possible.

The review will be undertaken as quickly as possible. However, in some cases it can take around six to nine months from the start of the review to publication of the report.

In this information leaflet we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions families have about Safeguarding Adults Reviews. Of course, each case is different and you may have other questions you would like to ask. If so, you can contact the person named in your attached letter or you can contact Jane Bowmer, the Safeguarding Adults Board Manager.

Additional support

We understand being involved with a Safeguarding Adult Review can be very upsetting because you have to re-live or be reminded of challenging and difficult times especially if you have lost someone close to you.

If you feel you need additional support, please see our separate page on bereavement support.

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