Protecting adults at risk in London: Good practice resource

Cross-borough protocol

This section is based on the ADASS Draft guidance on out of area safeguarding adults of June 2012 (8).

There can be an increased vulnerability for adults at risk whose care arrangements are complicated by cross-boundary considerations. These may arise, for instance, where the funding/commissioning responsibility lies with one London local authority and concerns about potential abuse and/or exploitation subsequently arise in another London local authority. This would apply where the individual lives in another London local authority area to the one they receive services in.

These unique arrangements within the London area recognise that there are large populations across small geographical areas. Commissioning a service in a neighbouring borough is commonplace, and there are no geographical restrictions to a funding authority fulfilling its responsibility to review and monitor a placement in another borough. The key safeguarding principles of partnership and accountability are important to reflect upon in cross-borough working.

Where a London local authority commissions services outside London, or conversely a funding authority outside London has commissioned a service in London, you should refer to the ADASS Draft Guidance on Out of Area Safeguarding Adults of June 2012.

Overall responsibilities

The funding/placing authority has an overall responsibility to ensure that the placement meets the individual’s needs when an individual is placed out of their local authority area. This includes responsibility for reviewing the contract specification, monitoring the service provided and negotiating changes to the care plan in a robust and timely way. It is also the funding/placing authority’s responsibility to assess placed individuals for specific capacity assessments/decisions in relation to care planning and risk assessment.

The funding/placing authority should source and commission advocates or IMCAs for those individuals who do not have someone to advocate for them in relation to safeguarding proceedings.

During the safeguarding process, the funding/placing authority should inform the host authority of any changes in the individual’s needs or provision.

It is the funding/placing authority’s ongoing responsibility to ensure that during a safeguarding investigation the placement is appropriate to meet the person’s needs. It may become necessary to commission a new service provider if someone’s changing needs fall outside the current placement’s capacity to meet those needs and/or registration requirements.

When a safeguarding concern is raised the host authority has a responsibility to ensure that the concern/alert/referral is responded to in line with Protecting adults at risk: London multi-agency policy and procedures to safeguard adults from abuse (2).

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