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Welcome to the summer edition of the South Gloucestershire Safeguarding Adults Board newsletter.

This issue includes contributions from South Gloucestershire Healthwatch and the Probation Service. You can also read a summary of Stop Adult Abuse Week held in June and an overview of the new Safeguarding website launched in August, jointly for the Safeguarding Adults Board and the local Safeguarding Children Board.  If you have an item you would like included in the newsletter or have ideas as to what you would like to see please contact Simon Smith at

Healthwatch South Gloucestershire and Adult Safeguarding

healthwatch South Gloucestershire logoQuality, dignity and safeguarding are closely related, and for Healthwatch South Gloucestershire there are systems designed to safeguard the interests of people who may be in the most vulnerable situations. This includes people Healthwatch may work with who have learning and physical disabilities, people with mental health problems and older people, but is not confined to these groups. Lessons from inquiries such as Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust and Winterbourne View have highlighted the need to make safeguarding integral to the way Healthwatch operates.
Safeguarding within Healthwatch South Gloucestershire has two main dimensions:
  • proactive safeguarding, for instance ensuring that services are of sufficient quality to protect people’s dignity and rights, that people know how to keep themselves safe and how to get help if they need it and
  • responsive safeguarding, for instance that people know how to alert safeguarding specialists if there are concerns about harm and abuse to individuals or groups.
Healthwatch South Gloucestershire can make a significant contribution to the activities of the Safeguarding Adults Board in both of the above aspects and in fostering user involvement in these areas at an individual and a strategic level.  Effective engagement on these issues requires Healthwatch to develop good working relationships with the local Safeguarding Adults Board, particularly in its work in identifying and pooling concerns about the quality and safety of services.
Healthwatch has the opportunity to share and discuss safeguarding issues identified with the Health and Wellbeing board (where Healthwatch has a volunteer representative), with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) with whom Healthwatch meet with quarterly to share issues and with Healthwatch England where all the issues we hear are escalated. Issues are also shared with the local area team of NHS England (BNSSSG) Quality Surveillance Group and with The Care Forum complaints advocacy service.
Healthwatch promotes dignity, quality and safeguarding through a number of its functions, including:
  • the information and signposting function undertaken by Well Aware
  • Enter and view visits, for which Disbarring and Safeguarding checks and proper protocols and training are given to Healthwatch volunteers who undertake these visits
  • Training for Healthwatch staff and volunteers includes updating on specific legislation, which encompasses safeguarding issues.
The local authority is the first contact for Healthwatch to share identified safeguarding concerns with. Healthwatch has clear guidelines for its staff and volunteers in raising any concerns that they observe or hear about when undertaking work on behalf of Healthwatch South Gloucestershire.

Transforming Rehabilitation – Changes to the Probation Service

In May 2013 the Government set out a paper on how it wanted to drive down re-offending rates whilst protecting the public. This was called the Transforming Rehabilitation Reform. The reform enabled private, voluntary and social sectors to bid to purchase one of 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRC). It opened the market to incentivise innovation by paying providers by results for delivering a reduction in offending.

The National Probation Service (NPS)

Under the reform the National Probation Service remains a statutory Criminal Justice Service, supervising offenders who pose a high risk of harm, all registered sexual offenders and offenders sentenced to 12 months imprisonment. (including suspended sentences) for specified violent offences -  known as MAPPA (Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements) nominals. The National Probation Service also continues to write all Pre Sentence Reports for the Courts and provides a court duty service.  NPS is now responsible for the prosecution of stand- alone curfew breaches.
Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs)
CRC Offender Managers supervise offenders assessed as presenting low and medium risk of harm; which is the majority of the offending population. Should CRC staff at any point during the supervision period assess that risk of harm has increased from medium to high risk of harm there is a process for escalating the case to the National Probation Service who can then either agree and take the case or send back.  Once the case has transferred to NPS it stays there regardless of any subsequent reduction in risk of serious harm.  
The new reforms are designed to enable innovation to rehabilitate offenders and support them to turn their lives around. This will be facilitated through the delivery of  a range of specific interventions and services, including Community Payback and the majority of Accredited Programmes. Additionally the Community Rehabilitation Companies will manage Senior Attendance Centres.
Both the National Probation Service and Community Rehabilitation Companies are committed to working in partnership in order to protect the public. Across Avon and Somerset, Offender Managers from both organisations are currently co-located.
In December 2014 Working Links Limited was announced as the new owner of 3 Community Rehabilitation Companies; Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire (BGSW), Dorset, Devon and Cornwall (CDD) and Wales.

The Offender Rehabilitation Act

The Offender Rehabilitation Act (ORA) came into force on the 1 February 2015. It requires offenders who have committed offences since 1 February and have been sentenced for less than 12 months, to be supervised in the community on release for a period of 12 months. It is estimated that an extra 45,000 offenders will be supervised a year.
With regards to Community Orders it also gives greater flexibility in the delivery of sentences with the introduction of Rehabilitation Activity Requirements.
In every Community Rehabilitation Company there are a small number of designated ‘Resettlement Prisons’. For Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire these are HMP Bristol, HMP Leyhill, HMP Guys Marsh and HMP Portland.
It is expected that short-sentenced prisoners (under 12 months) will serve the majority of their sentence in one of these prisons. Longer term prisoners will return to one of these prison 3 months prior to release, in order to facilitate their transition back into the local community.


Safeguarding website launched

A collaborative project delivered by representatives from our children and adults safeguarding boards, the new website is aimed at a broad audience including board members, professionals, parent/carers, service users, children and young people and members of the public. The purpose of the website is to:
  • bring together information from both boards onto a single platform; and
  • provide clear and up to date information and promote key messages in line with the Care Act 2014 and the Children’s Act 2004.
We will work with the safeguarding boards to plan content updates and encourage your feedback.

Visit for more information or contact Emma Allen, Planning and Communication Officer, CAH
Ext 4900


Partners join forces to help Stop Adult Abuse

South Gloucestershire Stop Adult Abuse Week ran from Monday 15 June, with the main aims of:

  • encouraging people living and working in South Gloucestershire to act on any concerns they have about a vulnerable adult at risk
  • promoting the message that:
    • everyone has the right to dignity and respect so that they can live their lives feeling safe and free from abuse
    • if in any doubt, speak out: whether you are someone experiencing abuse, a carer, family member or friend, a  member of staff or the public, you must report your concerns.

Members of South Gloucestershire’s Safeguarding Adults Board were out and about during the week to answer people’s questions on how to recognise and report adult abuse and signpost them to help and support. 

If you have ANY concerns about an adult at risk, you must report it by calling adult care on 01454 868007. If a vulnerable adult is in immediate danger, dial 999 and ask for police assistance.

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