Safeguarding adults: lessons from the murder of Steven Hoskin
What is the video about?
Steven Hoskin had learning disabilities and lived alone in St Austell. He was tortured and murdered by people who targeted him because of his learning disabilities. Investigations showed that Steven had made numerous calls to a number of agencies, including the police, health and social care services, so they should have been aware that he was in danger. Following the serious case review into Steven’s murder there have been significant improvements in communication, sharing information and partnership working between the agencies in the area. Staff training has also been improved.
The police have introduced a ‘neighbourhood harm register’ which ensures that an alert is raised when there are repeat calls from the same people with the same problems. In such cases, data is shared with the appropriate agencies and they work together to provide a joint response. Similarly, a system for recognising and responding to ‘cluster calls’ has been developed within the ambulance service.
The video demonstrates that partnership between agencies and procedures for sharing information are vital to adult safeguarding.
Messages for practice
- Sharing information and partnership working between agencies is vital for the effective safeguarding of adults.
- People who are on the margins of social care eligibility criteria and receiving little or no support may highlight their need by repeatedly calling on emergency services.
- Such people may be at risk of either being abused or abusing others more vulnerable to abuse than themselves.
- Staff in all front-line health and social care services should be trained in the identification of indicators of abuse.
Who will find this useful?
Directors of adult social services, social work managers, social workers, police, ambulance service, accident and emergency departments.