Community Works are hearing that, due to increased demand from our members, they ‘feel like a fifth emergency service’ in terms of the amount of risk they are now holding compared to previous years.  

Part of this comes from extra pressures on public services which means that there is an increase in waiting times for Adult Social Care Assessments or other support. In some cases, due to this, wait conditions deteriorate for the person who needs support. If a referral is made and new information becomes available, it is important to share this quickly to help them reassess the situation even if a referral has been made. 

This information has been put together with support from Rebecca Smicle, CEO of Independent Lives, who is one of the voluntary sector’s representatives on the West Sussex Safeguarding Adults Board. More information about the West Sussex Safeguarding Adults Board can be found here.

There are also two Community Works Health and Wellbeing Reps in Adur and Worthing, and they want to hear your experience; any challenges relating to reporting and supporting people with safeguarding issues, or if you are identifying any themes.  For example, if you have seen an increase in scam fraud or self-harm.  Please contact using this email address: info@communityworks.org.uk  

Below you will find guidance about: 

  • When and how to make an effective safeguarding referral  
  • Contact details and helpful information  
  • How to support the emotional wellbeing of staff and volunteers 
  • Prevention and education 

 

PLEASE NOTE: Individual concerns about service users need to go through Adult Social Care.    

 

 

What if you suspect a criminal act has taken place?

If you are concerned about someone with care and support needs, you may need to refer to other agencies. Identifying the right support can be challenging, so Community Works have pulled together these resources to help guide you through your options.  

Make it personal; ensure you gain consent, involve the person, keep them informed and make sure you understand what they want to achieve. 

If someone is in immediate danger or has recently suffered significant harm you must contact the emergency services.  In an emergency call the police / ambulance immediately on 999.  

Suspected criminal acts should be reported to the police. Anyone can report a crime or suspected crime. This can be done by calling 101 or online www.sussex.police.uk 

https://sussexsafeguardingadults.procedures.org.uk/pkoth/sussexsafeguardingadults-procedures/safeguarding-and-criminal-investigations 

If an adult dies in unexpected or unnatural circumstances and there is a suspicion of abuse or neglect, follow the adult death protocol. https://www.bhsab.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2023/03/Sussex-Adult-Death-Protocol-1.pdf 

If you are not sure what action to take you should discuss this with your manager or your organisation’s adult safeguarding lead. 

If you are still unsure, you should check with a social care practitioner in the adult safeguarding hub on 033 022 28400 (professionals only).  

 

There may also be other community-based support available. For example: 

  • Carers Support West Sussex can carry out carers assessment, can issue grants and offer support to carers https://www.carerssupport.org.uk/carer-assessments/. 
  • Independent Lives can help if someone is struggling with their Direct Payments or managing their Personal Assistants. Phone - 01903 219482 Email - advice@independentlives.org 
  • Age UK West Sussex and Brighton and Hove offer services, activities and support. They also have an advice helpline for older people that can help with social care, housing, scams, or legal issues. The advice line is open weekdays 10am-2pm Phone 0800 0191310  
  • The fire service offer anyone who has a higher risk of having a fire in their home or is less able to escape their home in an emergency, a Safe and Well Visit. Email safeandwell@westsussex.gov.uk or phone Tel:0345 8729 719 

 

The Prevention Assessment team (PAT) can help by: 

  • Checking an individuals general health and wellbeing 
  • Identifying ways to retain independence 
  • Identifying resources that may be useful. 
  • Providing assistance to access practical and emotional support. 

 

Northern Prevention Assessment Team 

Crawley, Horsham and Mid Sussex
Phone 01403 229510
Email PATNorth@westsussex.gov.uk 

Southern Prevention Assessment Team 

Littlehampton, Chanctonbury, Worthing and Adur
Phone 01273 268900
Email aaw.pat@westsussex.gov.uk

Western Prevention Assessment Team 

Chichester District, Arundel, Pulborough, Billingshurst and Bognor Regis
Phone 01243 642370
Email PATWest@westsussex.gov.uk

 

Further services and organisations are listed on West Sussex Connect to Support: 

Home – Connect to Support | West Sussex Connect to Support 

Useful links

Eligibility for adult social care support – West Sussex County Council explains eligibility and includes links to the appeals and complaints processes.  

If you think that someone is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect you should consider making a safeguarding referral. The criteria for a Care Act (2014) section 42 Enquiry: 

  • Has care and support needs. 
  • Is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect and 
  • Is unable to protect themselves because of their care and support needs.  

The referral will be accepted or not depending on whether it meets Safeguarding Thresholds https://www.eastsussexsab.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Sussex-Safeguarding-Adults-Thresholds-Guidance.pdf 

If the safeguarding is not accepted there is an escalation procedure available if appropriate  

https://www.westsussexsab.org.uk/media/wkelpi5f/escalation-procedure.pdf   

When raising a safeguarding concern, you ought to have consent to refer on their behalf where it is appropriate and safe to do so. Not informing someone that you are raising a safeguarding concern about them may have a detrimental effect on their trust and relationship with the Social Worker picking up the concern. Making safeguarding personal means you will gain consent, involve the person, keep them informed and make sure you understand what they want to achieve. 

It is important to keep notes in line with organisational record-keeping and GDPR about what has happened/with whom/when/who witnessed it.  This is especially true where a situation doesn’t meet an immediate threshold for a safeguarding alert. That’s because ‘safeguarding issues’ aren’t always ‘single events’ – a fuller picture can emerge over time about someone we work/volunteer with.  This may be part of your organisation’s incident procedure and log. 

This can include concern for the individual beneficiary themselves, but also where their behaviour is affecting others using the service.  These notes, even if not used for a future safeguarding alert, can be used to help tailor a better way of working with the individual e.g., to reduce their trigger situations, or to help them to identify the support they need to ask for.  

It is important to: 

  • Not keep the safeguarding concern or disclosure to yourself.  
  • Speak to your line manager and/or safeguarding lead before raising a concern. And,  
  • Follow your organisational safeguarding policy and procedure.  

 

After referral, you should be contacted by someone from the Adult safeguarding team to communicate next steps. Response times may vary.  

 

If you do not hear back from the safeguarding team about your referral, you can call the following numbers  

Adult’s Care Point: 01243 642121 

If you think that someone is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect you should consider making a safeguarding referral. The criteria for a Care Act (2014) section 42 Enquiry: 

  • Has care and support needs. 
  • Is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect and 
  • Is unable to protect themselves because of their care and support needs.  

 

The referral will be accepted or not depending on whether it meets Safeguarding Thresholds https://www.eastsussexsab.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Sussex-Safeguarding-Adults-Thresholds-Guidance.pdf 

 

If the safeguarding is not accepted there is an escalation procedure available, if appropriate.  

https://www.westsussexsab.org.uk/media/wkelpi5f/escalation-procedure.pdf   

 

How to raise a concern 

https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/social-care-support/adults/raise-a-concern-about-an-adult/ 

 

Contact numbers: 

Safeguarding Hub (Adults) Tel 03302 228400 

Staff and volunteers who have direct contact with a person who is at risk of harm to themselves, or others can sometimes feel the pressure of meeting the needs of that individual.  

Organisations have a duty of care towards staff and volunteers to ensure they do not carry the weight of worry about the individual they are supporting. Our health and wellbeing Rep, Emily Kenward makes the following recommendations if a staff or volunteer has concerns:  

  • Follow your organisational policies and procedures at all times.  
  • Speak to your line manager and/or the safeguarding lead immediately as concerns arise.  
  • Request formal or informal supervision.  
  • If you are a staff member and formal or informal supervision is not available, review the employee handbook for details about how to access the support you require and/or other relevant policies i.e., Whistleblowing.  
  • If you are a volunteer and formal or informal supervision is not available from the organisation, review your induction pack for further details or contact Community Works (info@communityworks.org.uk) for advice.  
  • Don’t hold onto the worry yourself. But be careful not to disclose personal information about the individual you are supporting to anyone other than your line-manager or safeguarding lead.  
  • Follow the confidentiality and GDPR policies and procedures for the organisation at all times.  
  • Remember that offering to support others must include knowing how to support and look after ourselves. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we cannot truly take care of others. Check out our Time to Talk Befriending: wellbeing for volunteers guide for further information about how to manage our own wellbeing. Other wellbeing resources also include:  

 

NHS 5 Steps to Mental Wellbeing  

Mind Support for Everyday Living  

 

Children’s Safeguarding 

It is vital that everything to do with a child’s safeguarding is reported.   

 

Raising concerns about a child 

Safeguarding thresholds for children 

Thresholds | Sussex Child Protection and Safeguarding Procedures Manual 

 

How to request support or raise a concern if you are worried that a child or young person is at risk or is being abused:  https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/education-children-and-families/keeping- children-safe/raise-a-concern-about-a-child/ 

Contact – children’s social care support – West Sussex County Council 

  •  01403 229900 (Monday to Friday between 09:00 and 17:00) 
  •  03302 226664 (if you require the Emergency Duty Team outside of office hours) 

Safeguarding training should be undertaken every 1-2 years. For statutory guidance please check out the links below. But check your safeguarding policy for details about your organisations procedures and requirements.  

 

Children and Young People  

It’s essential that anyone who works or volunteers with children or young people has the knowledge and skills needed to help keep children safe. To find out what this means in practice please visit: https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/training/mandatory-safeguarding-child-protection-training/  

 

Adults  

For guidance about good practice in safeguarding training please visit https://www.nice.org.uk/about/nice-communities/social-care/quick-guides/good-practice-in-safeguarding-trainingPlease note that CW is not recommending training but signposting to free and low-cost sources of training.  If you are a member organisation and feel there is a gap in training, please talk to us about how this might be developed.  

  • Free live workshops at Keeping Children Safe 

If you would like support to keep on top of your core policies including safeguarding, Emily Kenward our Health and Wellbeing Rep suggests contacting Trust Advice who offer different levels of membership to the voluntary sector.   

 The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has very thorough guidance on all aspects of safeguarding for voluntary and community groups 

For child safeguarding guidance, the NSPCC has a comprehensive range of guides and tools. 

For safeguarding adults, the Ann Craft Trust has a comprehensive range of guides and tools. 

The Charity Commission has guidance on safeguarding for charities and trustees. 

Safety Net, now in partnership with Impact Initiatives, offers training and support around child safeguarding. They are based in Brighton. 

https://wearehourglass.org/who-we-are Hourglass (wearehourglass.org) 

The Hourglass mission is simple: end the harm, abuse and exploitation of older people in the UK.  

 Safeguarding – NHS Sussex (ics.nhs.uk) 

 Operation Signature | Sussex Police