Safeguarding adults

Safeguarding adults services in Central Bedfordshire are coordinated by the Local Safeguarding Board for Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire. The role of the Board is to promote the safety of adults by developing robust multi-agency systems for the prevention and investigation of the abuse of adults.

View the full Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedure which provides a set of guidelines designed to protect vulnerable adults from abuse, neglect, and harm.

Local Safeguarding Adult Board for Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire

The Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) is a statutory board formed under Section 43 of the Care Act 2014.  A safeguarding adults board is a group of organisations and communities working together in the best way possible, so that people can live their lives free from abuse or neglect.

Statutory function

The Safeguarding Adults Board’s statutory core duties under the Care Act 2014 are to:

  • develop and publish a strategic plan setting out how they will meet their objectives and how their member and partner agencies will contribute
  • publish an annual report detailing how effective their work has been
  • commission safeguarding adult reviews for any cases which meet the criteria for these

The board meets these statutory objectives by:

  • setting out annual priorities for assurance and improvement
  • measuring the effectiveness of local safeguarding arrangements
  • ensruing that safeguarding practice is person-centres, proportionate and focused on improving outcomes
  • supporting partners and enabling them to work collaboratively in preventing harm and abuse
  • seeking assurances of continuous improvement with regard to safeguarding arrangements both as single agencies and as a partnership
  • undertaking, learning and driving improvements from safeguarding adults reviews

Structure and governance

This Safeguarding Adults Board covers two local authority areas with Central Bedfordshire and Bedford Borough agreeing shared arrangements. This has allowed for robust and effective sharing of safeguarding information and learning across boundaries also aiming at ensuring consistency and quality. The SAB has been led by an Independent Chair since 2016 ensuring independent scrutiny.


This is chaired by an independent Chair. Membership consists of statutory partners from both local authorities, health and police. The SAB Executive is a new arrangement that was set up to strengthen leadership, ensure adequate resourcing and statutory oversight of safeguarding activities and priorities. The SAB Executive meets at minimum twice annually.

Full safeguarding board

This is chaired by Mr Terry Rich and inclusive of statutory partners and local organisations with key responsibilities as follows:

  • Bedford Borough Council (Adults and Children Services)
  • Central Bedfordshire Council (Adults and Children Services)
  • Council members – Adult Social Care portfolio holders in both councils
  • Bedfordshire Police
  • Bedfordshire Integrated Care Board (ICB)
  • Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue
  • Care Quality Commission
  • East of England Ambulance Service
  • East London Foundation Trust
  • Bedfordshire Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust
  • Private & Voluntary Care Providers Association, Bedfordshire Care Group
  • Healthwatch Bedford
  • Healthwatch Bedfordshire
  • VoiceAbility (advocacy)
  • Domestic Violence Partnership
  • Safeguarding Children’s Boards
  • Bedford Prison
  • probation services
  • Department of Work and Pensions
  • care home/domiciliary care provider representative

The board meets at minimum four times annually with additional meetings when needed.

SAR sub-group

The sub-groups focus on receiving alerts and referrals under Section 44 of The Care Act. The sub-group is chaired by the independent Chair and meets at minimum four times annually. The SAR sub-group further oversees the progression and completion of SARs as well as overseeing the implementation of actions resulting from SARs.

Operational sub-group

This sub-group progresses board priorities and activities via its 8 or more annual meetings. The focus is on linking safeguarding strategy with operation and practice, gather assurance and progress the work of the board actively. Membership of the operational sub-group is reflecting of that of the board. Senior managers within local authorities currently chair this meeting, taking turns.

PAN-Bedfordshire Steering Group

This group links the work of the local SAB with that of the Luton SAB, covering the whole of Bedfordshire. The focus is on sharing learning and progressing shared priorities. The group seeks to ensure consistency across the locality.

Local and national collaboration

The board's independent Chair and local delegates take a full part in national safeguarding meetings hosted by The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services Safeguarding Network. This ensures that any national issues are considered locally and learnings from local safeguarding cases can be shared. The Chair also takes part in the East of England Independent Chairs group.

Alongside this there is now an established Bedfordshire Safeguarding Chairs Network that includes Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB), Safeguarding Children’s Board (SCB), Domestic Violence (DV) Partnership Board, Community Safety and Health and Well-Being Board Chairs and these coordinate shared priorities to avoid duplication and with a focus on improving practice taking a ‘think family’ view.

Annual reports

View annual reports

Safeguarding Adults Reviews

Section 44 of The Care Act 2014 requires Safeguarding Adults Boards to undertake a Safeguarding Adult Review when specific criteria are met. This is when abuse results in the death or significant and possibly life-changing harm of an adult with care and support needs.

Read about the statute and criteria on the website.

Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SAR) are not enquiries into how someone died or suffered injury, or to find out who is responsible.


  • look at any lessons we can learn from the case about the way professionals and agencies worked together
  • review the effectiveness of our safeguarding adults’ procedures
  • inform and improve practice
  • identify what can be done better to avoid a similar circumstance from reoccurring

The SAB aims to share learning from Safeguarding Adult Reviews widely with local organisations and through National Safeguarding Network.

View safeguarding adult review report