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The Care Act 2014 states that every local authority must have a safeguarding adults board (SAB) which should include representatives from the local authority, the NHS and the police.  

The main objective of a SAB is to assure itself that local safeguarding arrangements and partners act to help and protect adults in its area who meet the criteria under s42 Care Act. 

The SAB must lead adult safeguarding arrangements across its area and oversee and coordinate the effectiveness of the safeguarding work of its member and partner agencies.

SABs have three core duties under the Care Act. They must: 

  • 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 adults reviews (SARs) for any cases which meet the criteria for these. 

The board has a key responsibility for protecting adults from abuse, reducing the risk of abuse and supporting people to stop abuse where it happens.  Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board (NSAB) meet every two months, five times a year plus one development day, usually in early autumn. 

NSAB is made up of partner agencies including senior representatives from: acute hospitals, adult social services, police, CCGs, Norfolk Fire & Rescue, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk, district councils, probation service, public health, University of East Anglia, Healthwatch, voluntary sector and a local councillor.

The board has an independent chair who is accountable to the local authority’s chief executive (as lead statutory agency) but is appointed by statutory partners. The chair ‘has a critical role to lead collaboratively, give advice, support and encouragement but also to offer constructive challenge and hold main partner agencies to account and ensure that interfaces with other strategic functions are effective whilst also acting as a spokesperson for the SAB.’’ (Care Act 2014, Care and Support Statutory Guidance 14.134).

In July 2021 NSAB appointed a new independent chair, Heather Roach. 

Heather had a 30 year career in policing with Lincolnshire police from the rank of constable to deputy chief constable, retiring in 2016. Her experience lies within criminal investigation and also safeguarding vulnerable adults. Since retiring Heather has been working as a self-employed management consultant holding a number of positions including the independent chair for the Lincolnshire Safeguarding Adults Board (LSAB). Prior to this role Heather was the independent chair of the LSAB Review and Learning Group responsible for the commissioning and management of safeguarding adult reviews (SAR) to lead to an improved outcome for service users. 

Heather comes to this role with extensive experience in managing many aspects of a large and complex organisation from the governance and regulation perspective, to finance and resources, risk management, health and safety, commanding operational incidents, alongside working in partnership with organisations in Lincolnshire, across the East Midlands and nationally. 

Heather's experience since retiring from policing includes:

  • Independent safeguarding chair for the Diocese of Lincoln, assisting in helping them develop an oversight panel, relevant safeguarding policies and effective risk management
  • Currently chairing and authoring a SAR for Northamptonshire Safeguarding Adults Board involving a number of patient deaths at a residential care home at the start of the pandemic
  • Independent chair for the Lincolnshire Safeguarding Adults Board since April 2020

Heather and NSAB are supported by a business team consisting of:

  • Board manager / business lead - Walter Lloyd-Smith
  • Deputy board manager - Becky Booth
  • Board coordinator - Andrea Smith
  • Board coordinator - James Butler