List of 15 Safeguarding Adult Reviews Quality Markers

Setting up the review

  1. Referral: The case is referred for consideration for a SAR with an appropriate rationale and in a timely manner.

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  2. Decision making - what kind of SAR, if any: Factors related to the case and the local context inform decision making about whether a SAR is required and/or desired and initial thinking about its size and scope. The rationale for these decisions is clear, defensible and reached in a timely fashion.

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  3. Informing the person, members of their family and social network: The person, relevant family members, friends and network are told what the Safeguarding Adult Review is for, how it will work and the parameters, and are treated with respect.

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  4. Clarity of purpose: The Safeguarding Adult Board (SAB) is clear and transparent, from the outset, that the Safeguarding Adult Review (SAR) is a statutory learning-focused process, designed to have practical value by illuminating barriers and enablers to good practice, untangling systemic risks, and progressing improvement activities. Any factors that may complicate this goal are openly acknowledged.

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  5. Commissioning: Strategic commissioning of the Safeguarding Adult Review takes into account a range of case and wider contextual factors in order to determine the right approach to identifying learning about what is facilitating or obstructing good practice and/or the progress of related improvement activities. Decisions are made by those with delegated responsibility in conjunction with the reviewers, and balance methodological rigour with the need to be proportionate.

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Running the review

  1. Governance: Safeguarding Adult Board (SAB) governance arrangements for the Safeguarding Adult Review (SAR) are sound, enabling defensible decision making, reliable over-sight and accountability regarding the SAR process, outputs and impact. The SAR achieves the requirement for independence and ownership of the findings by the SAB and member agencies and enables public accountability for learning and improvement.

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  2. Management of the process: The Safeguarding Adult Review (SAR) is effectively and considerately managed. It runs smoothly, is concluded in a timely manner and within available resources. The welfare of all participants is attended to. The process strives to help bring resolution to any tensions or conflicts between individuals or agencies as well as questions of families.

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  3. Parallel processes: Where there are parallel processes taking place, the SAR is managed with the cooperation and communication required to avoid, as much as possible, duplication of effort, prejudice to criminal trials, unnecessary delay and confusion to all parties, including staff, the person and relevant family members.

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  4. Assembling information: The Safeguarding Adult Review (SAR) gains a sufficient range and quality of information and input, to determine the relevant objective facts, to 'stand in the shoes' and 'get inside the heads' of those involved and to grasp the way that single and multi-agency/professional practice is shaped both by work environments and conditions, and by social and organisational factors. The kinds of data assembled allows unique versus generalisable issues to be distinguished. The extent of, and methods for, data gathering are transparent and proportionate to the practical value of the SAR.

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  5. Practitioners' involvement: The Safeguarding Adult Review (SAR) is informed by the experiences and perspectives of practitioners and managers, as relevant to the precise form and focus of the SAR commissioned. The process enables practitioners and managers to have a constructive experience of taking part in the review that helps cultivate an open learning culture.

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  6. Involvement of the person, relevant family members and network: The Safeguarding Adult Review (SAR) is informed by the person, relevant members of their family and social network in terms of information they hold, their experiences and perspectives as relevant to the precise form and focus of the SAR commissioned. The process enables the individual and family to see how the SAR is designed to have impact and contribute to positive change.

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  7. Analysis: The approach and methodology agreed for the SAR is used with optimum rigour within the size and scope of SAR commissioned. Analysis assumes a systems approach to safety and organisational reliability. It is anchored in relevant research and wider evidence base regarding effective clinical/professional practice and that of safety science. It draws on the full range of relevant information and input assembled, to evaluate and explain professional practice in the case(s) or the responses to earlier learning. Conclusions are of practical value, evidencing the wider learning identified about routine barriers and enablers to good practice, systemic risks and/or what has facilitated or obstructed change to date. There is transparency about any methodological limitations and the implications for the comprehensiveness or level of confidence in the analysis and findings.

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Outputs, action and impact

  1. The Report: The length and detail of the SAR report match the size and scope of what was commissioned. At minimum a minimum, it makes visible, in a clear, succinct manner, the systemic risks to the reliability of single and multi-agency safeguarding work that the SAR analysis has evidenced, in order to have practical value in directing improvement actions. It is written with a view to being published. Details of the person are included as judged necessary to illuminate the learning and/or in line with the wishes of the individual or their family.

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  2. Publication and dissemination: Publication and dissemination activities are timely and publicise the key systemic risks identified through the SAR, as well as features supporting high reliability of single and multi-agency working relevant to safeguarding. Compelling and engaging means of circulating the findings are used, adapted as necessary for different operational and strategic audiences. Decisions about what, when, how and for how long to publish and disseminate findings are made with sensitive consideration of the wishes and impact on the person, family and other families; professionals who participated are kept informed and supported as needed. Publication and dissemination foster active responsibility and public accountability for addressing barriers identified to good practice or progressing improvement work.

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  3. Improvement action and evaluation of impact: Improvement actions agreed in response to the SAR set ambitious goals, seeking to align the motivations of different stakeholders, bringing partners together in new ways and foster collaborative working. Actions are integrated, where ever possible, with wider strategic improvement activity, plans and priorities, led locally, regionally or nationally. Evaluation of impact is designed from the start, supported by a logic model or similar, using measures that demonstrate whether the underlying causes of systemic risks identified have been addressed. The SAB maintains a public record of findings, actions and commentary to enable public accountability.

    View Quality Marker 15