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

Inspectors also identified a few areas which could further improve.

Key strengths:  

  • Improved outcomes for adults at risk of harm were achieved through the provision of effective adult support and protection practice by knowledgeable, competent, and confident staff.  
  • Interagency referral discussions supported highly effective multi-agency collaboration.  This was a result of staff working well together, supported by clear guidance and appropriate templates. 
  • Strategic leadership for adult support and protection was highly effective and underpinned by a clear vision including the ‘think family’ approach.  Leadership was collaborative, cohesive and decisive.  
  • The multi-agency whole system approach to the continuous review and improvement of adult support and protection work was impressive and effective.  It was well planned and methodical. 
  • The quality and implementation of risk assessment, and risk management was highly effective. This was supported by excellent templates, clear guidance, and collaborative working.  

Key areas for improvement:

  • Recording of the three-point criteria (criteria set out in the legislation that determines if an adult is at risk of harm) at the initial inquiry stage needed to improve. The template was recently changed to promote this. Progress should be monitored.  
  • The involvement of adults at risk of harm and their unpaid carers at a strategic level should remain an active goal for the partnership. 

Jackie Irvine, Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate, said: “Adults at risk of harm were well supported and protected by highly effective initial inquiries, investigations, risk assessment, and protection planning. Almost all experienced improvements to their safety, health, and wellbeing because of well designed and implemented processes.

“The culture of collaboration between partner agencies, and between leadership and staff was exemplary. The supportive environment allowed robust solutions to be implemented flexibly, while keeping the adult at risk of harm at the centre of the process.

“We have asked the Scottish Borders partnership to prepare an improvement plan to address the priority areas for improvement we have identified. The Care Inspectorate, through its link inspector, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and HMICS will monitor progress implementing this plan.”

The full report can be read here.

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