A joint inspection of adult support and protection measures in Dumfries and Galloway has found clear strengths in ensuring adults at risk of harm are safe, protected and supported.

However, inspectors also identified areas which could further improve.

Inspectors from the Care Inspectorate, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland carried out an inspection in the area between September and November 2021.

These inspections review local partnership areas’ operation of adult support and protection processes, and leadership for adult support and protection services. 

Inspectors looked at health, police, and social work records of adults at risk of harm. 

They found the partnership had made a sound decision to focus on adult support and protection early screening/triage and duty to inquire arrangements.  The well-resourced multi-agency safeguarding hub provided a robust platform from which to take forward adult support and protection work.  

Adult support and protection investigations and risk assessments were collaborative and undertaken to a high standard.  The rolling risk assessment and use of a risk matrix contributed to high quality work.  

The partnership’s Chief Officer Group and Public Protection Committee worked well together to provide a clear vision and ensure adult support and protection remained a strategic priority prior to and during Covid-19. 

And there was a clear collaborative ethos across the partnership including front line staff, and across the leadership team including the statutory, third and independent sector organisations.

However, inspectors also noted that key process timescales were inconsistently met. This resulted in poor outcomes for a small, but significant number of adults at risk of harm.   

They recommended that medical examinations should be completed in line with the needs of the adult at risk of harm.  

And they report that the partnership should ensure front line staff are more directly involved in self-evaluation and improvement activity.

Peter Macleod, Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate, said: “The Care Inspectorate and our partners Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland were asked by Scottish Ministers to carry out joint inspections of adult support and protection across Scotland.  

This is a report of our findings for Dumfries and Galloway partnership.  It sets out how effectively they make sure adults at risk of harm are safe, protected, and supported.”

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Notes to editors

The report is here: https://bit.ly/3HrV6pp