By Debbie le Quesne

Safeguarding: A new way of sharing information

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I have long said that the Welsh know a thing or two – I seem to spend a lot of time in Wales doing family stuff.

So I’m not in the least surprised that Caerphilly council’s Protection of Vulnerable Adults (POVA) team have come up with a new tool in the way we protect vulnerable adults.

The mechanics of sourcing information and, in particular information exchange with other agencies, has been a problem for decades.

Accurate assessment of risk is critical. However, there is a “lack of consistency” when it comes to information sharing between agencies, The Guardian reminded us recently.

It is no longer acceptable for agencies to keep information pertinent to risk to themselves. Risk management is a multi-agency approach.

This question has formed the premise for a new piece of work, which has led to the development of a new tool – the adult safeguarding chronology, a timeline initially based on social services’ records and added to at strategy meetings by agency partners.

The Welsh Social Services Improvement Agency – a group aimed at equipping leaders to improve practice – has supported the scheme.

Up until now no clear means to document complex history of acts of abuse existed. The Guardian says.

The people at Caerphilly are piloting the new model and I’m sure this initiative will empower all concerned. It will be nothing short of comprehensive, including actual referrals and concerns that have not met the threshold for a referral.

I applaud the idea: Signposting for other organisations is critical and this certainly ticks the boxes. Information really is power in often-difficult safeguarding circumstances.

It will be interesting to see if this records model is rolled out nationally. For sure, if it wins high praise in Wales it ought to be given an airing in England.

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