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2.5 Involving Commissioning in Safeguarding Enquiries

When there is a safeguarding concern/enquiry about a service that is funded by the council or the NHS, the responsible commissioner for that service should be informed. In some cases, the commissioner will want to send a representative to attend the strategy meeting. They must always be informed of the outcome of enquiries and of any actions assigned to them following the case conference.


Contents

  1. Social Care Commissioning – Care Homes
  2. Social Care Commissioning – Other Services
  3. Health Commissioning – Northern Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (New Devon CCG)
  4. NHS England
  5. The Safeguarding Process – Multi-Agency Working
  6. Concerns about Organisations Commissioned by Health and Social Care


1. Social Care Commissioning – Care Homes

For residential care homes, within the Strategic Co-operative Commissioning team, there is a specific team responsible for the quality of care in care homes. They have a central email address which is qaiteam@plymouth.gov.uk (Quality Assurance and Improvement Team). They should be informed of any concerns relating to care homes, especially where there are concerns about quality of care or institutional abuse. They should be made aware of concerns about care homes even if the particular resident involved is self-funding. They will reply to indicate whether they want to attend the strategy meeting or just keep informed of how the enquiry progresses and any actions needed to help improve quality of services.


2. Social Care Commissioning – Other Services

There are also commissioning managers and commissioning assistants in the council responsible for contract management of all services commissioned by the council (not just care homes). They carry out quality reviews of services and also address any specific issues that may come up with providers such as safer recruitment or failure to comply with the terms and conditions of their contract. The Strategic Co-operative Commissioning team sits on floor 2 of Windsor House, a team of commissioning managers and commissioning assistants responsible for contracts with domiciliary care, day centres placements, extra care housing, befriending, and so on. For each contract, there will usually be one named commissioning manager, so it is worth getting in touch (307074) to ask who needs to be informed about concerns or alerts in a specific service. The commissioning team will NOT do their own safeguarding enquiry, but they need to be aware of concerns and they may want to attend meetings, especially if there are concerns about the quality of service provided which have may implications for the whole provider organisation.


3. Health Commissioning – Northern Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (New Devon CCG)

NEW Devon CCG are responsible for commissioning most of the health services in Devon and as such need to be made aware of concerns related to the following:

  • Hospital Care (Derriford and Mount Gould);
  • Fully funded Continuing Healthcare packages of care in the community;
  • Nursing Home care – because this always includes an element of health funding;
  • Fully funded Continuing Healthcare in residential homes;
  • Livewell Southwest including services for people with learning disabilities based at Westbourne, community nursing and mental health services both inpatient and community.

They should be informed by email of any safeguarding concern relating to staff, services, or service users they are commissioning at d-ccg.safeadults@nhs.net in order that they can monitor all safeguarding incidents relating to services they commission.

When a safeguarding referral is made by a health provider (any member of staff employed by Livewell Southwest or Derriford Hospital), it will be the responsibility of the alerting agency to notify the CCG. When a referral is received by the local authority from a member of the public or a patient, the local authority will inform the CCG. Under future arrangements, the local CCGs will co-commission, support and work with Primary Care, i.e. GPs, dentists, pharmacists etc. However, these arrangements are not yet finalised.


4. NHS England

NHS England is now divided into 4 regions and Plymouth sits in the South region. Within that there are 4 sub regions and Plymouth is covered by the South West region. NHS England will engage with specific safeguarding concerns where a GP or Dentist has already been found by the local safeguarding process to be acting below an acceptable level of performance and requires a performance management or clinical review. They support Safeguarding Adult reviews, Serious Case Reviews, Domestic Homicide Reviews, Mental Health Reviews and police criminal investigations for safeguarding processes based on risk and in negotiation with CCGs.


5. The Safeguarding Process – Multi-Agency Working

This guidance is about sharing information about safeguarding concerns with commissioners. It does not change the local authority responsibility to coordinate safeguarding enquiries.

Other health professionals should still be informed, involved and consulted as appropriate throughout the process. For example, although details of a concern have been sent to the CCG, it may still be necessary to contact a community nurse to gather information or ask a learning disability nurse to carry out a joint visit to a service user. Where there are concerns about abuse or neglect of people whose care is funded by continuing healthcare, a representative of the Continuing Healthcare team should be invited to attend meetings. In all these examples, the services or professionals must still be contacted direct to request their involvement.


6. Concerns about Organisations Commissioned by Health and Social Care

When it becomes apparent as part of a safeguarding enquiry that there may be risk to other service users in or receiving services from one provider organisation, it is important to inform other organisations who commission that service. For example, in a care home where some residents are funded by social care, and some residents are funded by health, it would be appropriate to inform NEW Devon CCG if a safeguarding concern about a social care funded resident raised potential concerns for the safety of other residents, In that case, information should be shared with QAIT, the Continuing Healthcare team and NEW Devon CCG.

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