What is a Safeguarding Adult Review?

A Safeguarding Adult Review is when people look at how well everyone worked together to keep someone safe.

Why do we do Safeguarding Adult Reviews?

A Review should aim to learn lessons from what happened to the adult and the Board should make sure that the lessons change what happens in the future.

The Care Act 2014 says that our Board must complete Safeguarding Adult Reviews of a case involving an adult in its area with needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority has been meeting any of those needs) when:

  • There is a “reasonable cause for concern” about how professionals have worked together; AND
  • The adult has died and it is known or suspected that their death was because of abuse or neglect; OR
  • The adult is still alive and it is known or suspected that the adult has experienced serious abuse or neglect.

Serious abuse or neglect is when the adult:

  • would have been likely to have died but for an intervention; or
  • has suffered permanent harm or has reduced capacity or quality of life (whether because of physical or psychological effects) because of the abuse or neglect.

The Board can arrange a review of a case of an adult with care and support needs if it wants to even if the above points do not apply.

How do we do Safeguarding Adult Reviews?

The Review will be led by an independent person who does not know the case and the organization that they work for will not have been involved with the adult either.

The adult (if they are able) and their families will be told about the Review and kept informed if they want to be. They will also be asked for their thoughts and feelings so that this can be heard and understood. This is to ensure that the Review provides them with answers as to what happened, help professionals and the Board learn from what happened, and make sure that their right to privacy is respected.

Professionals involved in working together with the adult at the time will be asked to think about what they did well and what they could have done better in their work. It is also so that that they can think about how they can do better in the future; to keep adults who need care and support needs safe from abuse or neglect. The review is not about acting against professionals or organisations. If this is necessary, other criminal or formal disciplinary action is taken.

If there are other formal reviews about an adult’s case that the law says must take place (called Domestic Homicide Reviews or Serious Case Reviews involving a child) then the Review must work together with these reviews to make sure that everyone is able to learn.

What happens when the Review is complete?

Every year, the Board must tell the public and others what it has found from the Reviews it has completed. It must say what it is doing (or choosing not to do and why) to improve how professionals work together. It must also say what Reviews are yet to be completed. Please see our Annual Report on our About the Board page. 

The Board can also decide to publish the Review if it chooses. This will always be in discussion with the adult (if they are able) and their family.