This chapter outlines information for multi-agency practitioners about large scale enquiries which are conducted when there are concerns that a number of adults with care and support needs may have been abused, or that there are concerns about the quality of care given.
RELEVANT SECTIONS AND CHAPTERS
A large scale enquiry would be indicated when information gathered as part of an initial safeguarding enquiry indicates that a number of adults have been allegedly abused, or patterns or trends have been identified that suggest concerns about poor quality of care:
- in a particular service / establishment;
- where the same person is suspected of causing the abuse or neglect;
- where a group of individuals are alleged to be causing the harm.
Such situations will involve a wide range of organisations and potentially a number of individual processes and investigations. The local authority should identify an appropriate senior manger to lead the safeguarding enquiry. They will have the responsibility to ensure that all agencies work together and will be responsible for coordinating and overseeing the enquiry. Each situation will require an outcome, that is, potential safeguarding planning for each individual. It must be noted that the outcomes for each individual will not necessarily be the same as it is important to respond to individual needs, wishes and choices.
It is important that all aspects of the enquiry are planned and the organisations and individual professionals are clear about their respective roles and responsibilities.
In receiving information about individual cases of suspected or actual abuse or neglect, it is important to consider possibilities that other adults may also be at risk. Consideration should be given as to whether past service users could have been abused. Data checks should be made and consultation held with other organisations who have a responsibility for a person receiving a service.
If a crime is thought to have been committed, the usual principles and responsibilities for reporting to the police apply (see Criminal Offences and Safeguarding).
If the concern is within a health setting, the local authority may as part of their duty to enquire, direct that an appropriate Senior Manager from health lead the enquiry.
If the concern is about a regulated service, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) should be informed and take part in the enquiry as appropriate.