4.2 Information sharing – part of the response
Early sharing of information is the key to providing an effective response where there are emerging concerns.
Information gathering as part of an initial enquiry
- To evaluate any immediate risks to the person and take appropriate action to address these.
- To identify any immediate actions required including contact with the person, how their views can be ascertained at the earliest point and what they would like to happen.
- To inform the implementation of the initial Safeguarding Plan.
- To evaluate the information immediately available, assess what other information is needed and consider how to obtain it.
- To evaluate initial information about the person thought to be the cause of risk and any risk they may pose to the person, other adults, or children.
- To determine whether an enquiry is needed under these procedures and any other actions.
- To ensure, where it is determined the duty of enquiry under section 42 is not triggered, that the reasons for this are recorded and any other actions identified.
Essential practice requirements
- The person raising a safeguarding concern should receive an acknowledgment.
- All safeguarding concerns must be recorded immediately on agreed documentation and systems, in accordance with local protocols.
- The immediate risks to the person or others must be addressed and there should be an immediate consideration of actions needed. If there appears to be risk of imminent harm, the adult should be contacted without delay and in all cases initial contact should be made within three working days of receipt of the safeguarding concern. Contact must be carefully planned to minimise any potential risk to the person or others.
- Contact with the person must always be recorded.
- The level of information gathered at this stage should be comprehensive enough to enable decision making and the safety of the person should not be compromised.
- If it is decided that the safeguarding concern does not require a response under a section 42 enquiry must be recorded. The person who raised the safeguarding concern should be informed about the decision to undertake or not undertake an enquiry.
- Previous safeguarding concerns, incidents, or other concerns should be considered as part of the decision making.
To ensure effective safeguarding arrangements
- All organisations must have arrangements in place which clearly set out the processes and the principles for sharing information between each other, other professionals and the Safeguarding Adults Board. This could be via an Information Sharing Agreement to formalise the arrangements.
- No professional should assume that someone else will pass on information which they think may be critical to the safety and wellbeing of the adult. If a professional has concerns about the adult’s welfare and believes they are suffering or likely to suffer abuse or neglect, they should share the information with the local authority and/or the police if they believe or suspect that a crime has been committed.