A new multi-agency service which aims to keep adults safe by strengthening partnership working has been launched.
The Adult Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (Adult MASH) led by Wiltshire Council, Wiltshire Police and NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) started working as a partnership in 2018 and has already led 1,200 safeguarding investigations.
An event was held at County Hall, Trowbridge to formally launch the service, to reflect on what it has achieved so far and look at how it will work even more effectively in the future.
This new way of working was built on pre-existing partnerships and has allowed agencies to work more seamlessly together ensuring that people who need support get it in a timely and effective way.
Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse or neglect. With the referral process simplified and streamlined, the team received 4,000 concerns over the last year, of which 1,200 resulted in formal investigation.
It was also announced at the event that those who work in adult safeguarding will be further supported to develop themselves through a Virtual Partnership Network. This Network will share learning and support, enable wider partners to have a stronger link to the Adult MASH and further strengthening safeguarding practice across the county.
John Thomson, Wiltshire Council Interim Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said: “The Adult MASH has had a significant impact in a short space of time. Most importantly it’s helping to protect vulnerable people and get them the vital support they need. But it has also enhanced our own ways of working and allowed us to share information and expertise seamlessly with partners.
“It has provided people with a much clearer route to share their concerns with us and that is evident in the numbers of cases the MASH has already looked at.
“It’s great to see a shared vision come to fruition like this, and I thank the organisations involved for being true partners. Collectively we constantly review how we work as we want this to be the most effective service it can possibly be.”
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Cooper, Chief Officer Lead for Crime, Justice and Vulnerability at Wiltshire Police, said: “Having the police and partners working alongside each other is invaluable when it comes to safeguarding the most vulnerable adults in our society.
“We are always looking at ways we can work more closely with our partners whilst keeping vulnerable people at the core of everything we do.
“As one of the first forces in the country to launch an Adult MASH, I am confident that the system will benefit those working in safeguarding but, more importantly, those that will need to use the service in the future”.
Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, said: “Working with partners to find more effective and innovative ways of protecting the most vulnerable people and dealing with their sometimes complex needs will reduce demand on policing and other services.
“It is an absolute priority that the police and other public services protect the most vulnerable people in society. They are at the greatest risk of being victims of crime and so need more support from a range of services to cope with, and recover from, the impact of crime.
“I am confident that the introduction of the Adult MASH will build upon existing partnership work in Wiltshire to further safeguard vulnerable people across the county.”
Tracey Cox, Chief Executive of BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Groups said: “We are delighted that the success of partnership working over the last year has been celebrated with the formal launch of the Adult Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub.
“It’s a fantastic initiative which has the safety of Wiltshire adults at its core, and provides an opportunity for safeguarding professionals to share their learning to help develop the service on a continuous basis.”
The work of the Wiltshire Safeguarding Adults Board and Safeguarding Adults Reviews have helped us identify how we can work more effectively in Wiltshire across organisations to better safeguard vulnerable adults.
If anyone needs to contact the Adult MASH, they should call 0300 4560 111.