Change font size:

The following information has been taken from the Local Account of Adult Social Services in Blackburn with Darwen.  The Local Account gives an overview of the range of social care services we have offered to local people during 2014/15, as well as our plans for 2015/16. To view the full Local Account document click here

Local Account - Keeping people safe

Disability, illness or frailty means that many adults over the age of 18 have to rely on other people to help them in their day-to-day living. In some situations they may be at risk of abuse, very often from people they know such as a relative, friend, neighbour or paid carer. 

Abuse can take many forms, including hitting or pushing, shouting or swearing, unwanted touching and stealing money.  There continues to be a lot of publicity nationally regarding the abuse of vulnerable adults.  Blackburn with Darwen Council is committed to ensuring that the abuse of adults is reported, dealt with and reduced.  We have reviewed our local services to check that our service quality and safeguarding systems meet the new national guidelines in light of the Winterbourne scandal. 

Disabled people are more likely to be attacked, but many disability hate crimes go unreported. In Blackburn with Darwen there were 14 hate crimes in 2014 recorded as 'disability motivated', followed by a decrease to 10 in 2015, against a national upward trend.

Spotlight on: Local Safeguarding Adults Board

Blackburn with Darwen has had a Local Safeguarding Adults Board (LSAB) for the past seven years. It brings together local statutory and independent sector agencies working with adults who may be at risk of abuse. 

The LSAB is made up of senior officers nominated by those agencies including Lancashire Constabulary, BwD Clinical Commissioning Group and the Council. The LSAB welcomed Healthwatch to the Board in January 2015. Its core purpose under the Care Act is to provide strategic leadership that oversees and leads adult safeguarding in Blackburn with Darwen. 

The LSAB is also responsible for ensuring the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Adults policies and procedures are effective and prevent adults from experiencing significant harm.  The policies and procedures are available on the LSAB's dedicated website:

The LSAB said goodbye to its long standing Independent Chair Shirley Williams in March 2015 who was instrumental in moving forward the safeguarding adults agenda in Blackburn with Darwen. They welcomed Dr Paul Kingston as their new chair in April 2015. Paul is a Professor of Ageing & Mental Health and Director of the Centre for Ageing Studies at the University of Chester.

Achievements 2014/2015  

- A peer review of the Council's adult safeguarding took place in July 2015.  Key strengths identified included strong leadership, an effective safeguarding team, a clear vision and strong partnership working.  Further work is needed to strengthen the voice of service users.

- Court skills training: barristers and legal services led briefing sessions for team managers and social work staff on court skills, court etiquette and specialist areas such as the Mental Capacity Act (MCA)

- 96.8% of people surveyed in 2014/15 said that services had made them feel safe and secure (highest score of all North West authorities).  Ascof 4b.


- Following a change in case law last year the demand for Best Interest Assessments has significantly increased and we are working to train up additional staff to undertake this work.

Priorities 2015/2016 and beyond  

- Embed 'Making Safeguarding Personal' in the work of local staff teams, to capture the experiences and outcomes of service users.

- Co-locate the Adult Safeguarding Team with the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).

- Complete delivery of the Peer Review action plan and identify future priorities.

In focus: Safeguarding in Practice - the East Lancashire Hospitals Trust and the Adult Safeguarding Team

A safeguarding alert was raised for an elderly lady who required admission to the Royal Blackburn Hospital. She had sustained a fall in a care home resulting in two fractures and facial bruising.  The lady's daughter alleged that this was the third fall her mother had sustained in the residential home recently and she had concerns that her care needs were not being adequately met. 

The elderly lady remained on the ward for further assessment and the safeguarding alert was stepped up to investigation level. The East Lancashire Hospitals Trust Adult Safeguarding Officer kept in regular contact with the allocated social worker and she provided updates to the ward to keep them informed of progress. 

Investigation findings within the care home indicated no major concerns but it did identify poor record keeping and that nightly observations needed to be increased.  Residents at the home were deemed to be happy and relaxed with no cause for concern.  

With regard to the elderly lady, the social worker discussed the case with the care home manager who stated it had been the third fall which resulted in the lady's fractures and facial injuries.  The Ward Manager was informed of the outcome. 

After a Continuing Health Care meeting the recommendation was for the lady to have a fully funded nursing home bed and the family chose a different care home in the local area.  A representative from the nursing home came to assess the patient and she was safely discharged to this home.

Local account - Keeping safe