West Yorkshire Safeguarding Week 2021

21st June – 27th June

Safeguarding Week is here !

It's a fantastic opportunity for us all to support and help people in Leeds to be safe from abuse, neglect and self-neglect. Together we can use this opportunity to share important messages with citizens, communities and practitioners.

This year, the Board is focusing on self-neglect and so we would like to ask all organisations and services in Leeds to do at least one thing during Safeguarding Week to promote awareness and understanding of self-neglect.

This could include:

  • Supporting your colleagues, teams and your organisation to develop their knowledge and confidence to work with people who self-neglect. You could share with colleagues our LSAB Self-neglect policy, procedures and practice guidance, talk to them about approaches to self-neglect, challenges and support they need.

  • Sharing our Always Care key resources with colleagues, services and your networks. Help us to share the learning from our Safeguarding Adults Reviews in Leeds, with these key resources (and our summary below): 

Please help us to make Safeguarding Week a success. Together, we can make a difference. 

Please let us know what you are doing for Safeguarding Week, just email us at lsab@leeds.gov.uk

For information about resources offered by the Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership, to safeguard children and young people, please click here

The new Always Care message is really important. We need everyone to know this, please share it as widely as you can. We have included the contents of the Always Care One page guide as text below: 

Self-neglect may involve:
  • Lack of self-care to an extent that it threatens personal health and safety;
  • Neglecting to care for personal hygiene, health or surroundings;
  • Inability to avoid harm as a result of self-neglect;
  • Not seeking help or access services to meet health and social care needs;
  • Inability or unwillingness to manage one's personal affairs (SCIE)

Key messages from these Safeguarding Adults Reviews in Leeds, to inform and support practice.

"ALWAYS Care" - ALWAYS respond to self-neglect, small steps make a big difference:

Awareness, Look for the person, What is really happening? Assess the risk, Your time to act, Solutions focussed

Awareness: be aware of the signs and symptoms. Understand it's not a lifestyle choice. Develop your skills and knowledge about what self- neglect is and the symptoms, through learning from others, accessing supervision and reflecting on practice. Know the importance of seeking clarity and support from within your organisation and from other organisations and services.

Look for the person behind the behaviour. Ask questions, be curious in a sensitive way to get the essential details of the person's life. Be interested about their history, identity and individual needs, as well as the help they want. What will keep them safe, what's the bigger picture?

What is really happening? Does the person have the mental capacity to make these decisions? Are they able to carry out their decisions? Have they had traumatic life experiences? Recognise that something   else may be causing this situation. Think wider than what can be seen and is known. Ask yourself questions like 'why are appointments missed or offers of help and support declined'?

Assess the risk and the person's needs. Does anything seem or feel wrong or not quite right? It takes time to work with self-neglect and it is important to go at the person's pace and be patient. Be realistic and recognise that seemingly 'small' achievements may have real significance

Your time to act: engage with other agencies, seek advice, share information, access services; go that little bit further. Ask for support when you need it and do the right thing when you feel something isn't right. Make contacts count, be confident to reflect, take action, ask questions and challenge the 'usual' way of doing things. It is important to share information and challenge the practice and responses of others.

Solutions focussed: be creative, work alongside the person to identify solutions that suit them. Work at the person's pace. Don't work or plan in isolation, be part of a consistent multi-agency 'team around the person' and know who is taking the lead and how multi-agency working is being coordinated. Consider all resources, specialists, support and advice, networks and community. Understand who needs to be involved and when, and always consider different options and plans, recognising strengths and the pace of change for the person.

Safeguarding Adults Reviews (SARs)

Leeds Safeguarding Adults Board has a statutory duty to arrange a SAR when an adult at risk of abuse dies or has experienced serious abuse/neglect, and there is concern that agencies could have worked together more effectively to protect them.

The purpose of the review is not to blame but to learn lessons about how professionals and organisations can better work together and consider how this learning can be used to improve future practice. The Always Care messages reflect our learning from these reviews in Leeds:

  • Mr & Mrs A lived in conditions of significant self-neglect, Mr A died as a result of that self-neglect.
  • Mr B died as a consequence of self-neglect.