Healthwatch Cornwall publishes review of adult safeguarding in Cornwall and the UK

This comprehensive year-long project delivered by Healthwatch Cornwall approaches safeguarding from the perspective of people’s experiences
Safeguarding adults in Cornwall & the UK

Following a peer review of adult safeguarding in Cornwall, it was agreed there was an opportunity to modernise and improve the way that adult safeguarding services were delivered in the county. 

Healthwatch Cornwall were commissioned to conduct a review of adult safeguarding in Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly and the report ‘People’s experiences of adult safeguarding services; a review of services in Cornwall and the UK’ is the culmination of that piece of work.

The research was conducted by speaking with 29 adults who had gone through the safeguarding process. This allowed us to understand and appreciate the intricate sensitivities of that experience from a service users perspective, during what would have been an incredibly difficult and distressing time for them. The results of the research and ensuing report demonstrates that there is extensive good practise in place, but that it is not always standardised and experienced by all.

The report makes 16 key recommendations with themes emerging in areas like relationship building and creating rapport, to the provision of information in relation to communication about the process with the adults being safeguarded. 

Below are a few selected points of significant importance to action going forwards, the full list of recommendations can be read in the full report that can be downloaded at the end of this article.

  • A service user group should be formed to assist in the development of service user resources and adult safeguarding practices
  • It should become standardised practice that all service users are informed that a safeguarding enquiry is being undertaken and that they are asked what their wishes are relating to the enquiry
  • There should be the development of a standardised set of information to be provided to service users
  • Professional awareness should be developed on the importance of relationships and rapport to the delivery of MSP and achievement of outcomes that positively affect people’s lives
Listening to people’s experience of health and social care services is at the heart of what we do at Healthwatch Cornwall. This made us an ideal partner for the Safeguarding Adults Board who commissioned us to research adult safeguarding services in Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly. This report is the culmination of a year’s work by Healthwatch Cornwall and highlights the importance of creating strong user satisfaction through high quality relationships, organisations building rapport and focusing on a person-centred approach to those going through the adult safeguarding process. We look forward to the recommendations being taken on board by the organisations that have a responsibility to protect vulnerable members of society.
— Mario Dunn, CEO Healthwatch Cornwall
"Safeguarding is everyone’s business” is often used as a headline for adult safeguarding. This report proves why - the person who has experienced the safeguarding process needs to be at the heart of how the system is designed. The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Safeguarding Adults Board and Healthwatch Cornwall have worked in partnership to ensure their voices are heard.
— Jon McLeavy, Chair of Safeguarding Adults Board
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Safeguarding Adults Board were delighted to work with Healthwatch Cornwall to find out about local people’s experiences of adult safeguarding. The report describes many people’s experiences, some very good and others not good enough - these highlight how things need to change to improve the experience of safeguarding processes . It is really important that vulnerable people feel fully involved in their safeguarding experience and that they are kept at the centre of the care. The Board have accepted the report’s recommendations in full and will now be working on the improvements identified in the report. I would like to thank all the individuals who contributed their time and safeguarding experiences across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. We have an excellent report that gives us very clear messages about what to improve and why. There will be a follow up piece of work later this year to check that services have improved and that the experience of safeguarding is consistently personal to individuals.
— Fiona Field, Independent Chair of Safeguarding Adults Board for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
As one of the first local authorities to undertake a detailed piece of work aimed at listening to and learning from the lived experiences of people who have been safeguarded, we welcome this report which highlights how we are supporting people through extremely difficult and challenging times in their lives. Our adult social care indicators have improved this year and a number of actions have already been taken to address the findings in the report to ensure people’s experience of safeguarding is improved. We thank Healthwatch Cornwall for their report.
— Suzanne Wixey, Cornwall Council Director of Social Services

People’s experiences of adult safeguarding services; a review of services in Cornwall and the UK

Cornwall & UK Full Report
Interim report
UK Findings Review

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