Safeguarding Adults Board explained

Each local authority has established a multi-agency partnership to lead 'Safeguarding Adults' work.

The Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) is a statutory board formed under Section 43 of the Care Act 2014.  A safeguarding adults board is a group of organisations and communities working together in the best way possible, so that people can live their lives free from abuse or neglect.

Membership comes from a wide range of public and voluntary services and other organisations. 

The Safeguarding Adults Board leads the development of safeguarding work.

Accountability for leading the creation and maintenance of the Partnership is located with the local authority and designated to the Directors of Adult Social services.

Purpose of the Board

To provide strategic multi agency leadership to ensure that adults in Bedford Borough and Bedfordshire are appropriately safeguarded by:

  • preventing abuse and neglect from happening
  • promoting wellbeing and safety and
  • responding effectively to instances of abuse and neglect

Statutory function

The Safeguarding Adults Board’s statutory core duties under the Care Act 2014 are to:

  • develop and publish a strategic plan setting out how they will meet their objectives and how their member and partner agencies will contribute
  • publish an annual report detailing how effective their work has been
  • commission Safeguarding Adult Reviews for any cases which meet the criteria for these

The SAB meets these statutory objectives by:

  • setting out annual priorities for assurance and improvement
  • measuring the effectiveness of local safeguarding arrangements
  • ensuring that safeguarding practice is person-centred, proportionate, and focused on improving outcomes
  • supporting partners and enabling them to work collaboratively in preventing harm and abuse
  • seeking assurances of continuous improvement with regard to safeguarding arrangements both as single agencies and as a partnership
  • undertaking, learning and driving improvements from Safeguarding Adults Reviews

Membership of the Board

The following organisations and agencies are members of the Local Safeguarding Board for Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire:

  • Adult Social Care portfolio holders in both councils
  • An independent Chair
  • Bedford Borough Council
  • Bedford Prison
  • Bedfordshire Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust
  • Bedfordshire Police
  • Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) Integrated Care Board (ICB)
  • Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service
  • Care Quality Commission
  • Care home/domiciliary care provider representative
  • Central Bedfordshire Council
  • Department of Work and Pensions
  • Domestic Abuse Partnership
  • East of England Ambulance Service
  • East London Foundation Trust
  • Healthwatch Bedford Borough
  • Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire
  • Private & Voluntary Care Providers Association, Bedfordshire Care Group
  • Probation Services
  • Safeguarding Children’s Boards
  • VoiceAbility (Advocacy)

The SAB meets at minimum four times annually with additional meetings when needed. 

SAR Subgroup  

This Subgroups focus is on receiving alerts and referrals under Section 44 of The Care Act.  The Subgroup is Chaired by the Independent Chair and meets at minimum four times annually. The SAR Subgroup further oversees the progression and completion of SAR’s as well as overseeing the implementation of actions resulting from SAR’s. 

Operational Subgroup

This subgroup progresses SAB priorities and activities via its eight or more annual meetings. The focus is on linking safeguarding strategy with operation and practice, gather assurance and progress the work of the board actively. Membership of the operational Subgroup is reflecting of that of the board.  Senior Managers within local authorities currently chair this meeting, taking turns. 

PAN Bedfordshire Steering Group 

This group links the work of the local SAB with that of the Luton SAB, covering the whole of Bedfordshire. The focus is on sharing learning and progressing shared priorities.  The group seeks to ensure consistency across the locality.

Local and national collaboration

The SAB Independent Chair and local delegates take a full part in national safeguarding meetings hosted by The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services Safeguarding Network. This ensures that any national issues are considered locally and learnings from local safeguarding cases can be shared. The chair also takes part in the East of England Independent Chairs group.

Alongside this there is now an established Bedfordshire Safeguarding Chairs Network that includes Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB), Safeguarding Children’s Board (SCB), Domestic Violence (DV) Partnership Board, Community Safety and Health and Well-Being Board Chairs and these coordinates shared priorities to avoid duplication and with a focus on improving practice taking a ‘think family’ view. 

How to report abuse

If you are concerned about an adult, you can report it to us here