Overview of the SARs Library project

The sector has long demanded a library of Safeguarding Adults Review (SAR) reports. The Department of Health has commissioned SCIE and RiPfA to develop this resource. The aim is to maximise the value of individual SARs through two different kinds of resource. One will support the quality of individual SARs and the other will enable more widespread and effective use of the learning from SARs. This will support a virtuous circle whereby as the quality of individual SARs goes up, it also supports their being used to better effect.

What are we doing?

Preliminary resources

Join the SARs Library to access:

Supporting quality

Sharing learning

Sharing analysis

Staged process for creating the Library

Starting to populate the Library

The resources we have developed are future-oriented. They will enable SARs to be routinely added to the Library allowing details to be easily collated. This includes:

  1. SAR data:
    • administrative data about the SAR
    • details about the SAR process as well
    • details of the people on whom SARs have been conducted and their cases
  2. The learning from SARs
    • systemic learning to inform organisational improvements

At this stage, the collated data will be pulled together into two master spreadsheets for the SAR data and the learning respectively. We plan to update the master spreadsheets quarterly. For the SAR data, we will share a simple dashboard that shows key details of the reviews submitted to that point.

For the learning from SARs, we plan to give all network members access to the master spreadsheet allowing you to do your own searching, filtering and analysis. Uniquely, the master spreadsheet for the learning will allow people to find specific learning points from within other people’s SAR reports.

Doing anything further, however, requires your support in starting to populate the Library – see What you can do section. Feedback from business managers suggested completing the cover sheet progressively over the timespan of a SAR would create minimal extra work.

Retrospective coding

Our project has focused on setting up processes for the future, so SARs sent to us have been stored in an accessible repository with a reference list but they are not yet coded further. The more retrospective coding you can find capacity to conduct, using the cover sheet, the more we will collectively be able to benefit from past learning.

Achieving proof of concept and seeking further funding

Using excel spreadsheet formats has significant limitations and challenges. Our goal is to use this format to demonstrate ‘proof of concept’ of how direct access to ‘real time’ collated data about reviews, as well as overarching summaries, can enable wider insight about SAR activity, and allow better sharing and impact of the learning gained.

Further stages of development are needed to identify more sophisticated digital and web-based solutions to aid data collection, storage and presentation, which makes an accessible and ‘real time’ overview of SAR activity and learning possible.

Who is involved?

The library is being developed jointly by Research in Practice for Adults (RiPfA) and Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), working closely with colleagues from the sector.

RiPfA and SCIE are pleased to be working with the Social Care Workforce Research Unit (SCWRU) at King's College London on this project. The work of the SCWRU on SARs and SCRs is funded by the Department of Health's Policy Research Programme.

The SARs Library project is designed to bring together, build on and add value to relevant SAR activity that colleagues are already undertaking. Resource development is involving SAB chairs, SAB managers and agency safeguarding leads.

Frequently asked questions


How can I get involved?


Governance and reporting

This project is reporting progress to:

Further information

For more information please contact: