Agenda item

Hillingdon Safeguarding Partnership Annual Report 2021-2022


Ms Bukky Junaid, the Council’s Interim Head of Service Safeguarding Adults, advised that, in September 2019, the Hillingdon Safeguarding Partnership arrangements were launched in line with the statutory requirements set out in the Children and Social Work Act 2017 and Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018.  The local authority now shared equal responsibility with its statutory partners (the NHS Hillingdon Clinical Commissioning Group/North West London Integrated Care Board (NWL ICB) and Metropolitan Police) to safeguard children and young people.


The Care Act 2014 placed a statutory duty on each Safeguarding Adults Board to produce an Annual Report, outlining the work undertaken to achieve its strategic objectives, the work of each member to implement the Safeguarding Adults Boards’ strategy and detailing the findings of any Safeguarding Adult Reviews and subsequent required actions.  In promoting this joint approach, both boards were now scrutinised and held to account through the multiagency Executive Leadership Group.  The Group was chaired by the local authority's Chief Executive and attended by the senior representatives of the safeguarding partners. 


The Safeguarding Annual Report summarised the work undertaken by Hillingdon Safeguarding Partnership to support and safeguard Hillingdon's residents: adults with support and care needs; and vulnerable children and their families.  The report provided reassurance that the actions taken across the local partnership to prevent abuse, neglect and self-neglect had been effective in the year 2021-2022 and that the Council had discharged its statutory duties to ensure that it learnt from serious incidents and provided strategic leadership for safeguarding.


The Partnership had responded effectively to safeguard residents during a challenging year that began with public health restrictions still in place due to the pandemic.  The pandemic had impacted on all Hillingdon residents’ resilience and, in many cases, on their economic independence.  This had led to an increased dependence on the services available, including the availability of skilled workforce from both the social care and health perspective meaning that there had been significant challenges in maintaining the quality of care available.


The Partnership had maintained effective working arrangements and relationships that facilitated a nuanced and dynamic response to changing local, national and international contexts.  This had included the need to support and safeguard increasing numbers of asylum-seeking children, adults and families and those seeking refuge from conflict in Ukraine.


It was noted that the Partnership had focussed on fostering a culture of empowerment, independence and early intervention for residents in Hillingdon.  Members requested that practical examples of this work be provided to the Committee to illustrate the impact that this had had. 


Mr Alex Coman, the Council’s Director - Safeguarding, Quality Assurance and Partnerships, advised that the child and adult Multi Agency Safeguarding Hubs (MASH) had been established as a front door for care and included representatives from the police, health and care partners.  Daily reviews of presentations were undertaken by the MASH to identify any need for early intervention and wrap around support that spanned adults’ and children’s safeguarding.  It was important to meet the residents’ needs and prevent escalation. 


Members noted that the report felt a little “processy” and appeared to be light on outcomes.  They asked how the Council demonstrated that residents’ lives were better and that they felt safer as a result of the work undertaken.  Ms Junaid advised that it was important to mitigate risks, first through MASH screening and triage, and then put protection measures in place so that individuals were safe. 


The second recommendation in the report referenced challenges posed by the changing local, national and international contexts.  Members queried what these challenges were and what action had been taken to respond to them.  Ms Junaid advised that, as there had been an increase in referral rates, effort had been made to ensure that referrals were triaged early through the MASH. 


The report evidenced a continued focus on the importance of learning and development work for frontline professionals.  In order to support practitioners in identifying and addressing neglect, the Council had invested in a new round of training in NSPCC’s Graded Care Profile 2.  Additional staff had also been trained to be able to train new members of the team as they started.  The police, who made around 40% of neglect referrals, had their own tools in place to identify and deal with instances of neglect. 


It was noted that a range of training events had been established and were open to anyone to attend.  Members requested that, as these training events were open to anyone to attend, they be provided with details of the upcoming sessions. 


Members noted that the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) managed all allegations against professionals who worked with children.  In 2021/22, there had been 192 referrals to the LADO.  42% of these referrals had originated from schools but a large number of the referrals also came via residential provisions.


The Committee noted that the report referenced performance data and asked officers to forward this data to the Democratic Services Manager for circulation to the Committee. 



1.    the Committee be reassured that the partnership continued to provide leadership and scrutiny of the safeguarding arrangements for Hillingdon residents;

2.    the Committee be updated regarding the way in which the partnership had responded to the challenges posed by changing local, national and international contexts;

3.    the Committee be informed of the strategic priorities for safeguarding for 2022-23;

4.    Ms Junaid provide the Democratic Services Manager with details of the upcoming training events to pass on to the Committee; and

5.    Ms Junaid provide the Democratic Services Manager with the performance data referenced in the report to circulate to the Committee. 

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