To Board or not to Board

On Tuesday I presented the annual report from the Suffolk Adult Safeguarding Board to Suffolk’s cabinet, as we discussed the report, a number of opinions were aired about the role of Boards in the brave new world we are entering of localism.

What role do the various Boards across Suffolk play if they are not statutory requirements, demanded by a centralised Government, I was mindful of just how far and how quickly the Conservatives and Eric Pickles MP in particular were moving things along.

I can name many a Board that I for one would like to see cut, measured simply as not contributing to the life of the people of Suffolk, but the Adult Safeguarding Board in not one of them.

With the importance of protecting the most vulnerable people in our communities never higher, it is heartening to see so many positive examples of joint working between our colleagues not just in the county council but with partner organisations.

This is vital if we are to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the people in our society who need it most.

It seems to me the report has three key themes:

Firstly, the adult safeguarding board has significantly improved its governance arrangements over the past year. This is all due to a major training programme and better engagement with our providers, which has contributed to putting safeguarding higher on the agenda for organisations across Suffolk who make up the board.

Secondly, our programme of raising awareness of the importance of reporting cases of suspected abuse in whatever form it takes, has led to a better understanding of the issues involved. The number of referrals has increased but let’s be clear that this is largely due to raised awareness of the process at all levels.

Obviously but something that still needs saying is that we cannot take action to prevent abuse unless people report it, so I welcome this rise in referrals. It is also worth noting that a greater proportion of the past year’s referrals have come from service providers and our health colleagues.

And last but not least, we have also seen some major steps forward from the adult safeguarding service thanks to the commitment of our teams and partner organisations. For example, the average time for case closure has decreased from an average of a little over 15 days to 10 days. Thanks to improvements in our case recording technology, the new CareFirst 6 system is helping us to better understand the form and nature of abuse taking place so that we can more effectively target our response.

Safeguarding is important and its only but coming together that knowledge can be shared and prioritising safeguarding in the work of front line staff can take place. Long live the Board, and its not often I say that!

About askcolinnoble
I'm a Conservative politician-lite, I dabble a bit in Party Politics with my main focus of working hard and being a strong voice for my community making sure local government delivers quality services and fellow residents get value for money for their hard earned money they pay in Council tax | Where this Gravatar appears and I am expressing my views or liking something I do so in a personal capacity and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Suffolk County Council, Forest Heath District Council, the Conservative Party or come to think of it anyone else | But having said the above at an election time and to stay legal, anything I write is promoted by Lance Stanbury on behalf of Colin Noble, both at West Suffolk Conservative Association, Park Farm Cottage, Fordham St. Genevieve, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk IP28 6TS

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