SAR Quality Marker 6
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.
Questions to consider for:
Open Those ultimately accountable; Safeguarding Adult Board members and Chair
Are you assured that you have adequate line of sight on the progress of the SAR
- Has decision-making distinguished between mandatory and discretionary SARs, recognising that all SARs are statutory?
- Has decision-making on referrals been timely?
- What types of abuse and/or neglect are the main and secondary concerns?
- What methodology has been chosen and why?
- What methods for gathering/exploring information have been chosen and why?
- What positive/negative reasons for delay have impacted on the process?
- Have services and agencies cooperated as required?
- What approach has been taken to subject and family involvement?
- Do annual reports provide required information: SARs, findings and actions taken in response?
- How has SAR quality been assured?
- How has the SAB captured the outcomes of action taken?
- Have reasons for decisions at all stages of the process been recorded?1
- Are you confident that everyone has clarity about when and how issues should be escalated?
- In a review involving other SABs, have you achieved clarity and agreement from the outset about who leads the SAR (e.g. area for whom most learning is likely to emerge) and governance arrangements?
- Have you demonstrated strong, overt leadership about the significant degree of objectivity combined with sufficient understanding of context and organisational arrangements, that is required for rigorous SAR analysis and conclusions?
- Have you demonstrated clear expectations that if a consensus view cannot be reached in any aspect of this SAR related to the analysis and findings, the differing positions will be articulated in the final report?
Note 1: These 12 questions were identified from the findings of the national analysis of SARs study ‘Analysis of Safeguarding Adults Reviews April 2017-March 2019’ (November 2020). See Briefing for SAB chairs and business managers.
- Are you assured that you have adequate line of sight on the progress of the SAR including:
Open Those with delegated responsibility; the SAR subgroup or similar
- Are there clear governance arrangements for this particular SAR in place from the outset of the process?
- Has the system for quality assurance of the process and sign-off of the report been set out clearly from the start?
- Do the agreed quality assurance mechanisms manage the tension in a fair and balanced way, between the independence of reviewer(s) and local involvement, and avoided agency defensiveness and inappropriate pressure?
- Are senior managers being kept up to date in order to cultivate ownership of the conclusions, and avoid any surprises about the learning being identified?
- Are there mechanisms in place to allow challenge to the information and analysis of the review, so that the findings/ recommendations have been thoroughly considered before the report is finalized and taken to the SAB?
Open Those conducting the review; Independent Reviewers
- Are you clear from the start about who is responsible for what, how and when to expect quality assurance and oversight, and what the routes for escalation will be?
- Have people of the right level of seniority been identified to be involved, given the specifics of this particular SAR?
Open Those providing practical support; SAB Business Managers/Unit
- Have all decisions been recorded with appropriate detail and including the rationale?
- Have reasons for any delay or departure from statutory guidance all been recorded?
- Are mechanisms in place to inform the SAB Chair of any delays or other delivery issues in this SAR and reasons for them?