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2.7 Involving Service Providers in the Safeguarding Adults Process

When allegations relate to Abuse or Neglect by a service provider or employee, the service provider should be informed at the earliest opportunity that a Safeguarding Adults enquiry is taking place, unless doing so would interfere with a police investigation or place the person at increased risk of harm.

Where there is a police investigation, information should not be shared by health or social care staff with any party without the explicit consent of the police.

In the case of Davis and Davis v West Sussex County Council (2012) EWHC 2152, a judicial review found that a local authority’s investigation was unfair because they did not inform the service provider soon enough or give them adequate opportunity to present their case prior to the Case Conference.

In the majority of situations, the provider should be informed before any enquiry is undertaken. Exceptions may be where there is a suspicion or risk that the provider is complicit in the abuse or would interfere in the enquiry.

Caution may be exercised where there is a risk that sharing information with the service provider would lead to detrimental treatment of the service user.

A record should be made of the decision of whether to inform the service provider with reasons being clearly recorded.