The joint inspection of adult support and protection in West Lothian has found some strengths and a number of areas for improvement across adult support and protection key processes.

The inspection has found that the partnership’s leadership for adult support and protection was effective and a comprehensive rolling quality assurance programme for adult support and protection was in place. The report has recommended substantial areas for improvement to ensure that experiences and outcomes for adults at risk of harm are not adversely affected.

The report highlights a number of strengths, including:

  • Inspectors found that partnership staff collaborated and shared information purposefully to support adults at risk of harm.
  • Frontline police officers and divisional concern hub staff worked diligently to help adults at risk of harm and co-operated well with other partners.
  • Partnership strategic leaders effectively managed adult support and protection during the Covid-19 pandemic, maintaining business continuity.

Inspectors also identified key areas for improvement, including:

  • Social work should improve its initial inquiry process. Staff should always record the application of the three-point test, criteria set out in the legislation that determines if an adult is at risk of harm. Managers should check and sign off all initial inquiries.
  • Management of risk for adults at risk of harm needed improvement. All who require a chronology, a risk assessment, and a risk management plan should have them.
  • The partnership should revise its processes for adult protection investigations and ensure investigations are carried out in line with legislation. Council officers carrying out investigations should routinely interview adults at risk of harm.
  • The partnership should strengthen its operational management oversight and improve strategic governance of social work adult protection practice.
  • The partnership should ensure that the lived experiences of adults at risk of harm and their unpaid carers are represented at the adult protection committee.

Edith Macintosh, interim Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate, said: “The partnership’s key processes for adult support and protection need considerable revision and improvement to ensure adults at risk of harm are safe, supported, protected, involved, and included. However, the strenghts highlight the potential for the partnership to support the identified areas for improvement if methodology issues are resolved.

“We have asked the West Lothian partnership to prepare an improvement plan to address the priority areas for improvement. The Care Inspectorate, through its link inspector, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland will monitor progress implementing this plan.”

The full report can be read here.

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