This chapter provides information for multi-agency practitioners in relation to adults with care and support needs where there are one or more local authorities involved. It also outlines the principles of out of area arrangements, by which the local authorities should abide.
See also Cross Border Placements case studies
There is increased complexity in service provision arrangements for adults with care and support needs when they occur across local authority borders. Difficulties may arise where funding or commissioning responsibilities are held by one authority, but concerns about potential abuse or neglect arise in another authority area, or where organisations delay action due to disagreements over responsibilities.
The following terms are adopted in the ADASS Out of Area Safeguarding Adults Arrangements protocol, and are similarly used here:
- Placing authority: the local authority or NHS body that has commissioned the service for an individual involved in a safeguarding adults allegation.
- Host Authority: the local authority or NHS body in the area where the abuse occurred.
Where there are safeguarding concerns, the local authority for the area where the abuse is alleged to have occurred has the responsibility to carry out the duties under Section 42 of the Care Act 2014, but there should be close liaison with the placing authority. The placing local authority continues to hold responsibility for commissioning and funding a placement.
Many adults live in residential settings outside the area of their placing authority. In addition, a safeguarding incident might occur during a short term health or social care stay or on a trip, requiring police action in that area or immediate steps to protect them while they are in that area.
2. ADASS Principles for Out of Area Safeguarding Adult Arrangements
ADASS states the host authority should take overall responsibility for coordinating the safeguarding adults enquiry and ensure there is effective communication between all agencies and professionals involved in the case, including meetings held and planning for any required investigation.
In relation to the placing authority ADASS states it should:
- have a continuing duty of care to the adult that they have placed;
- participate in the investigation as required;
- ensure that the provider has arrangements and procedures in place in relation to safeguarding adults and how staff should respond to concerns, which should also link to the local (host) multi-agency safeguarding adults procedures. This should be a requisite of contracting arrangements. This should include the requirement to inform the host authority of any safeguarding concerns.
The initial lead in response to a safeguarding concern should always be taken by the local authority for the area where the incident occurred. This might include taking immediate action to ensure the safety of the person, or arranging an early discussion with the police when a criminal offence is suspected. Further action should then be taken in accordance with Making Safeguarding Personal ethos of the views of the adult (see Making Safeguarding Personal), and the local Safeguarding Adults Boards procedures as to who is best placed to lead on an enquiry.
Authorities may negotiate certain arrangements, for example relating to another authority undertaking assessments, reviews, investigative activities. In such cases, the placing authority would maintain overall responsibility for the adult they placed. Reimbursement for such actions should be discussed and agreed between the authorities, as appropriate.
Providers of care and support services have rights and responsibilities, and also may be required to undertake their own investigations into an adult safeguarding concern. The host authority must ensure effective and timely communication with the provider throughout the investigation (see also Integration, Cooperation and Partnerships).