Safeguarding adults

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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.

Local Safeguarding Adult Board for Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire

The Board will:

  • review and monitor the operation of the Safeguarding Adults’ policy and procedures for responding to concerns of abuse or neglect 
  • develop and agree on an information-sharing agreement
  • share information about providers or individuals via concern notifications, complaints, death list collation etc., that are retained and collated for future reference
  • review and monitor systems and processes that are in place and ensure collection and documentation are of agreed standards
  • monitor outcomes of strategy meetings/case conferences to ensure the course of action completed/investigation included
  • establish training strategies for staff, volunteers, service users and carers and monitor their implementation and relevance
  • oversee the collection of data on the incidence of adult abuse and the outcomes of an investigation
  • initiate action and/or plans as a result of data collection analysis presented to the Board
  • develop a strategic/forward plan
  • audit and develop services for people who are at risk of / have experienced abuse or neglect
  • audit and develop responses to and services for perpetrators of abuse/neglect
  • develop strategies for reducing the risk of abuse and neglect across a range of settings, including care settings and the community
  • review the strategic plan and produce an annual report 

Membership of the Board

The following organisations and agencies are members of the Local Safeguarding Board for Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire:

  • Bedford Borough Council
  • Central Bedfordshire Council
  • Bedfordshire Police
  • National Probation Service
  • ELFT - East London Foundation Trust
  • Bedfordshire CCG
  • Bedford Hospital Acute Trust
  • Luton & Dunstable Hospital Acute Trust
  • Central Bedfordshire HealthWatch
  • Bedford HealthWatch
  • Bedfordshire & Luton Fire and Rescue Service
  • East of England Ambulance NHS Trust
  • HMP Bedford
  • VoiceAbility

Annual reports

Other reports

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Safeguarding adults reviews

Safeguarding adults reviews that we carry out can be found here:

The purpose of a review is to:

  • establish whether there are lessons to be learnt from the case about the way in which local professionals and organisations work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of adults at risk
  • identify clearly what those lessons are, how they will be acted on, and what is expected to change as a result
  • as a consequence, improve inter-agency working and better safeguard and promote the welfare of adults at risk

They are not inquiries into how a vulnerable adult died or who is culpable. That is a matter for coroners and criminal courts respectively, to determine as appropriate. However, they will take into consideration the findings of these external processes.

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Information for employers

If you dismiss or remove a person from regulated activity (or may have done so had they not left) because they have harmed or posed a risk of harm to a child or adult with care and support needs, then you have a legal duty to refer the person to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

The DBS’ role is to make barring decisions about people who are referred to it (usually following an employer’s disciplinary process), with the possible consequence of the person being barred from working or volunteering with children and / or adults with care and support needs. The DBS uses a fair, thorough and consistent process that ensures that the decision it reaches is both proportionate and appropriate to the risk the person poses to children or adults with care and support needs.

The DBS website provides a range of materials to help you to consider or make a referral. This includes a referral form, referral guidance, FAQs and a series of fact sheets. You may also contact the DBS Helpline on 01325 953795.


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Mental Capacity Act 2005: information for professionals

The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 is a law that came into force in 2007. The act was introduced to promote and safeguard decision-making within a legal framework. The act has five statutory principles set out in section 1:

  • a person must be assumed to have capacity unless it is established that he/she lacks capacity.
  • a person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision unless all practicable steps to help him/her to do so have been taken without success
  • a person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision merely because he/she makes an unwise decision
  • an act done, or decision made, under this Act for or on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must be done, or made, in his/her best interests
  • before the act is done, or the decision is made, regard must be had to whether the purpose for which it is needed can be as effectively achieved in a way that is less restrictive of the person's rights and freedom of action

The five statutory principles can be separated into two broad parts.

The first three principles:

Protecting the rights of people to make their own decisions wherever possible.

The latter two principles:

Protecting the rights of people assessed as lacking mental capacity by requiring that decisions made on their behalf are in their best interests and least restrictive of their rights and freedoms.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005h2 is vital to adult safeguarding because it provides guidance on how to balance the often competing demands of people’s right to make their own decisions and their right to be protected where this is not possible.

This dilemma is often highly relevant in adult safeguarding situations where an individual is experiencing or is at risk of, abuse or neglect.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 also provides guidance on when and how to assess mental capacity as well as when and how to make decisions on another person’s behalf.

The Code of Practice emphasises that the purpose of the act is to be ‘enabling and supportive of people who lack capacity, not restricting or controlling of their lives’ (DCA 2007, p.19).

This is no less important in adult safeguarding situations where people’s rights and freedoms must be maintained and upheld regardless of the levels of concern.

For more general information on the Mental Capacity Act 2005 please see the dedicated section on Central Bedfordshire Council’s website.

If you have any further questions in relation to the Mental Capacity Act 2005, you may also wish to speak with our Mental Capacity Act 2005 Lead Officer:

Telephone: 0300 300 8122

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The Multi-Agency Adult Safeguarding Policy, Practice and Procedures

This multi-agency guidance has been compiled for the Adult Safeguarding Board. Its purpose is to enable all agencies to achieve consistent and robust arrangements for safeguarding adults at risk and to implement effective protection plans which minimise risks of harm and adopt a zero-tolerance approach to abuse, maltreatment and neglect.

Download the multi-agency policy, practice and procedures (PDF)

These multi-agency policies and procedures are the local adult safeguarding policy that all organisations are required to follow. Each agency and organisation operating in the area should develop their own arrangements for safeguarding to complement but not over-ride the multi-agency policy. All staff and volunteers are required to comply with the policies and procedures in this document.

As a partnership committed to learning from local experience and national best practices, we will keep these procedures under constant review and provide additional guidance as appropriate. You should check that you are using the latest version of these procedures by referring to the Adult Safeguarding Board’s websites: Visit Bedford Borough Safeguarding or visit Central Bedfordshire Safeguarding

It is everybody’s responsibility to report abuse wherever it is seen, suspected or reported. Safeguarding is a vital part of our responsibilities. It is more than just adult protection; it is about protecting the safety, independence and wellbeing of vulnerable people.

Terry Rich – Independent Chair.

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