Agenda item

Rotherham Safeguarding Adults Board Local Government Association Peer Review

The Rotherham Safeguarding Adults Board commissioned the Local Government Association to carry out a Peer Review in July 2023 which identified a number of areas to further strengthen the safeguarding offer for Rotherham. Following the Peer Review, the Board held a Development Day in November 2023 to discuss the findings and recommendations.  An action plan was subsequently developed to reflect the areas for improvement as a result of learning from the Peer Review.


This agenda item follows a presentation of the initial findings to the Improving Lives Select Commission in October 2023, as part of the Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report. It will also present the formal action plan developed in response to the Peer Review for Safeguarding Adults. 




In July 2023, the Rotherham Safeguarding Adults Board (RSAB) commissioned the Local Government Association (LGA) to carry out a Peer Review, which identified several areas to further strengthen the safeguarding offer for Rotherham. This agenda item followed a previous presentation of the initial findings to the Improving Lives Select Commission in October 2023, as part of the Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report. This item presented the formal action plan developed in response to the Peer Review for Safeguarding Adults, to members of the Commission.


The Chair welcomed to the meeting Kirsty Littlewood, Assistant Director for Adult Care and Integration, Moira Wilson, Independent Chair of the Rotherham Safeguarding Adults Board, Andrew Wells, Head of Service for Safeguarding and Mental Health and Jackie Scantlebury, Safeguarding Adult Board Manager.


The Chair invited Moira to introduce the report and lead on the presentation, during which the following was noted:


The LGA was invited to complete a Peer Review on the Rotherham Safeguarding Adults Board between the 11th- 13th July 2023. Peer challenges were an important part of ensuring continuous improvement.


The Two Key Lines of Enquiry (KLOE)-

·       The Peer Review also looked across the board at all aspects of safeguarding, however the RSAB asked the Peer Review Team to focus on two specific KLOE’s which were:

?   Outcomes for and the experiences of people who used the services, this theme looked at what differences there had been to the outcomes people experiences in relation to adult safeguarding and the quality of the experience of people who used the services provided.

?   Leadership, strategy and working together, this theme looked at the leadership of the RSAB and how statutory duties were delivered. There was a recognised and active leadership to safeguard adults in each of the statutory partner organisations.


The Key Messages from the Peer Review-

·       All reviewers were positive in relation to the commitment in Rotherham.

·       Voices were listened to in Rotherham, but not yet heard at the RSAB.

·       The RSAB could go further on collaboration and constructive challenge.

·       To be an outstanding RSAB, sufficient resources were required to provide support and robust processes were required to plan and deliver the strategy.

·       Mainstreaming the pockets of excellent practice was advised and to celebrate the good work to show residents what was working well.



To support RSAB on its improvement journey the peer team advised RSAB to act on the following recommendations:

·       To use the groups and mechanisms which already existed in partner organisations, to start to increase voice in the work of the Board. They also advised that RSAB ensured time would be taken to think what questions the RSAB would want to ask these groups.

·       To set aside time for a development session, to better understand the relevance of the various meetings, such as who attends them and why. The review team recommended reconsideration of the best way to include representation of the independent care provider market.

·       To review how agendas are set to encourage oversight of broader safeguarding related matters, arising from partnership working.

·       To ensure robust SMART plan were in place which could track and monitor. Look to other Boards for good practice and templates in this area.

·       To explore how data and information could be used to identify areas for improvement, celebrate successes and answer the ‘so what’ questions.

·       To consider whether partners understanding regarding the safeguarding pathways and expectations around these was sufficiently clear and shared, and whether there were strategic or operational changes which could ensure better alignment.


Action taken since the review-

·       A Safeguarding Adults Board Development Day was held November 2023. The final Peer Review Report and Development Day actions were presented to the Board on 18th December 2023.

·       The following three themes were developed to monitor actions and progress:

?   Theme One, Strengthening the user voice.

?   Theme Two, Governance and strengthening board arrangements.       

?   Theme Three, Making the best use of data and information.

·       There were action plans for each of the themes.

·       Theme One, Strengthening the user voice, with a focus on the following:

?   Raising the profile and extending the reach of the RSAB through a communication campaign, ensuring an improved digital presence and engagement with the public.

?   Developing a user voice subgroup or mechanism feeding directly into the RSAB.

?   Mapping across all partner agencies how service users were engaged and capture voices.

?   Building on how making safeguarding personal outcomes were recorded to capture user voice.

·       Theme Two, Governance and strengthening the board arrangement, with a focus on the following:

?   Reviewing how the executive functions, this was required to be a very small group who could collectively agree Board agendas and oversee delivery against the Board Strategy and Delivery Plan.

?   Review the Terms of Reference and attendees at the Executive Board and subgroups, ensuring an appropriate representation and considering a ‘contract” for board members.

?   Strengthening governance across other strategic partnerships.

?   Raising the profile of the RSAB, considering a ‘Who’s who” and publicising internally to front line employees.

·       Theme Three, Making the best use of the data and information:

?   Ensuring the data set would be partnership data rather than only local authority data.

?   Ensuring data would be qualitative not just quantitative, with an accompanying narrative that would provide context.

?   Performance and Quality Subgroup would review data and information first and undertake any further work required (e.g., a single and/or multi agency audit) to identify ‘what’s working well’, ‘what we are worried about” and make recommendations to the Board about ‘what needs to happen’.


Key Milestones-

·       Creating a customer voice task and finish group, to deliver actions to improve the user voice complete which would be completed by July 2024.

·       Improvement of the RSAB Website, which would be completed by May 2024.

·       Refresh the Terms of Reference for the Board and the Executive Groups which would be completed by April 2024.

·       Improvement of the Performance Dashboard, including data from across the partnership which would be completed by July 2024.

·       Completion the action plan, which would be completed by October 2024.


The Chair thanked the relevant officer for the presentation and invited questions, this led to the following points being raised during discussions:

·       Within the overall improvement tool used for safeguarding adults, all the theme’s overlapped therefore it all needed to be looked at together in context.

·       User voice was particularly important and critical in relation to safeguarding adults. It was recognised that the voice of service users was not always central to the Adult Social Care Service, it was important for the service to support people to have as much choice and control in their lives. Alongside the development of a voice sub-group within the RSAB, there was also a co-production board for Adult Social Care being established. This would ensure any strategies developed within Adult Social Care would be done in partnership with people with lived experience.

·       Assurance was provided that there was a strong commitment and good representation from all partner agencies, the peer review identified the strength of the partnership approach to safeguarding.

·       The Safeguarding Adults Board drove operational practises around safeguarding in front line delivery, there was strong strategic and operational working.

·       Safeguarding was part of the outcome of the commissioning process of contracts, to ensure safeguarding compliance. The Quality and Performance Group monitored safeguarding activity, compliance with the CQC and addressed specific incidents where required.

·       There were four subgroups established which were, the Safeguarding Adult Review Sub-group, the Workforce Development Sub-group, the Policy and Practise Sub-group and the Performance and Quality Sub-group.

·       The Complex Lives Team worked outside of eligibility, the team expanded the criteria to ensure support was provided to more people. The team recognised the complexities of individuals in Rotherham and had dedicated resources to support this.

·       The RSAB had a focus on improving digital communications by ensuring the website was more accessible, creating a training and professional page on the website and implementing the RSAB Communication Strategy, developed closely with the local authorities Communications Team. There was also a focus on raising awareness with voluntary groups and a six-monthly newsletter for all employees of the local authority and partner organisations.

·       The LGA Peer Review identified that there was further focus required to strengthen the line of sight between the RSAB and the safeguarding taking place in partner agencies. This would be achieved by the RSAB working closer with partner organisations, to gain a clearer understanding of what safeguarding activities happened within organisations. Partner agencies were required to present to the RSAB on a regular basis.

·       There would be CQC Assessments of all local authorities, and one theme of the assessment was safety. It was advised that when the local authority would be assessed, the CQC would focus on how the RSAB responded to the LGA Peer Challenge recommendations.

·       The National Safeguarding Board Manager Group met every six weeks, the Yorkshire and Humber Safeguarding Board Manager Group and the South Yorkshire Board Manager Group met every two months.




1)    That the Improving Lives Select Commission considered the report and action plan.

2)    That the Rotherham Safeguarding Adults Board would include a progress update on the peer review recommendations, in the next RSAB Annual Report Update to the Commission.

3)    Potential opportunities for engagement with members and residents that could be built into ward plans would be assessed.


Supporting documents: