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Self-neglect policy and practice: research messages for managers

Part of Self-neglect

This briefing highlights key findings for managers from research which looked policies and practices that have produced positive outcomes in self-neglect work. The original research drew on a survey 53 local authorities and a series of in-depth interviews with 20 managers, 42 practitioners in adult social care and in safeguarding, and 29 people who use services. It begins by defining self-neglect and then looks at specific aspects of strategy and governance, including the location of self-neglect within adult safeguarding, the commissioning of reviews, and the development of policies for self neglect. It then looks at operational aspects, focusing on building multi-agency cooperation, configuring effective referral pathways and supporting frontline practice through training and guidance. Four questions for managers to consider when reviewing their organisation's self-neglect policy and practice are also included. Self-neglect practice was found to be more successful where practitioners built good relationships; worked at the individuals pace; were honest about risks and options; made use of creative and flexible interventions; and engaged in effective multi-agency working. Organisational arrangements that best supported self-neglect work included: a clear location for strategic responsibility for self-neglect; a shared understanding between agencies; clear referral routes; training and development for staff working with adults who self-neglect.

Managing practice

This guide provides information and knowledge to support critical thinking and methods so that first line managers can apply, adapt and develop the material to their own particular work environment, current priorities and as an aid to their own continuing professional development.

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