What is a Safeguarding Adult Review (SAR)
A Safeguarding Adult Review (SAR) is a process that must be agreed, in accordance to the criteria set down in the Care Act 2014 (please see below*) and:
a) when an adult has died or been seriously harmed and abuse or neglect has been suspected
b) where lessons learned can be identified from particularly complex or serious safeguarding adult cases and agencies could have worked better together to have prevented it.
As a result, a Report containing findings and recommendations is drawn up, with agency involvement and an independent author, to advise on improved practice, services and systems.
It is important to note that the aim of a Review is to learn lessons and make improvements, not to apportion blame to individual people or organisations. If culpability is an issue, organisational processes are in place to deal with this
A SAR is therefore about promoting effective learning and improvement to prevent future deaths or serious harm from occurring again. It relies on a spirit of openness, candour and transparency from the agencies involved in relation to learning about what went well, as well as what could be improved. The process is based on national guidelines and our methodologies are agreed by ESAB and all agencies who are members.
*Criteria for a SAR
The Essex Safeguarding Adults Board must arrange a Safeguarding Adult Review (SAR) when:
- An adult with care and support needs (whether or not those needs are being met by the local authority in the safeguarding adult board’s (SAB) area) has died as a result of abuse or neglect, whether known or suspected and there is concern that partner agencies could have worked together more effectively to protect the adult.
- An adult with care and support needs (whether or not those needs are being met by the local authority in the SAB’s area) has not died, but the SAB knows or suspects the adult has experienced serious* abuse or neglect and there is concern the partner agencies could have worked together more effectively to protect the individual.
- The SAB has discretion to undertake a SAR in other situations where it believes that there will be value in doing so. This may be where a case can provide useful insights into the way organisations are working together to prevent and reduce abuse and neglect of adults and can include exploring examples of good practice.
- The SAB can also consider conducting a SAR into any incident(s) or case(s) involving adults(s) at risk of abuse or neglect, where it is believed to be in the public interest to conduct such a Review.
* In the context of SARs, something can be considered serious abuse or neglect where, for example the individual would have been likely to have died but for an intervention, or has suffered permanent harm or has/had reduced capacity, or the quality of their life was impacted upon (whether because of physical or psychological effects), but as a result of the abuse or neglect.