Representation in Safeguarding Meetings | Salford Safeguarding Adults Board

Representation in Safeguarding Meetings

Interviews carried out by the police as part of an investigation will be carried out under their code of practice (Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984). Staff interviewed under their local disciplinary codes will be given the usual right of representation that the local code allows. Individuals interviewed by enquiry officers of the Integrated Care Organisation do so voluntarily and decisions about representation or support will be made by the interviewing officers and the chair of the relevant safeguarding meeting. Representatives, when present, are there to support people being interviewed and should not speak for that person.

Meetings are recorded by a minute taker employed to record the key matters discussed and any recommendations. These are circulated to all parties. Documents used within the process will also need to be available in alternative formats, languages or other support offered. If anyone identifies an inaccuracy in the minutes they should inform the chair. If the chair agrees with their comments he/she will arrange for an amended version to be circulated.

Anyone accompanying an individual in a safeguarding meeting should not take a record of that meeting either in writing, or via electronic audio or video recording equipment. Any requests to tape the meeting or video record will be refused as this could potentially intimidate or otherwise inhibit other parties attending the meeting and require willing consent. The written record undertaken by the designated minute taker and checked by the chair should always be sufficient unless there are exceptional reasons and the chair is in agreement.

There is no right of appeal in respect of a decision made in an adult safeguarding meeting. Anyone having concerns for the outcome of an adult safeguarding meeting may make representation to the Chair of the particular process to clarify points of fact or to provide information that may not have been available to the meeting.

The Chair can decide to recall the meeting and in the light of further information either re-open the enquiry or alter the outcome decision. It must be remembered that the outcome is related to whether the safeguarding meeting believes that the evidence they have been presented with leads them to an outcome considered in the balance of probabilities. The allegation that someone has been abused is defined according to the following possibilities:

  • Substantiated
  • Not substantiated
  • Inconclusive

This is not a statement of guilty in respect of the alleged perpetrator of the abuse. If still unresolved after further discussion with the chair, the matter can be referred to the Adult Safeguarding Co-ordinator who will review the case from the point of view of adherence to procedure; the facts of the case and any new information.

The Co-ordinator will make a written response to the person making representation. The Adult Safeguarding Co-ordinator may seek joint support from the NHS Lead Nurse for Adult Safeguarding and guidance from the senior officers of Community, Health and Social Care and/or the Independent Chair of the Adult Safeguarding Board.

Adult Safeguarding relies a great deal on other processes to ensure the safety and wellbeing of individuals who have been abused or harmed. These processes normally include the right to be heard and the right to appeal in respect of decisions made. Cases taken through the criminal justice system by the Crown Prosecution Service or into disciplinary hearings by employers both have in-built procedures to hear the account of the person accused in respect of any allegation being investigated and permit a right of appeal.

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