I hope as many of you as possible will have been able to take a break over the Christmas period, and that meeting with family and friends for the festive season was not disrupted. But I am always very mindful there will be many who will have worked over the holiday, providing essential services and keeping us safe – those staff in care homes & domiciliary care, social care, the NHS emergency services (fire, police, ambulance & coastguard), social care and NHS staff.
As we return to work, it is difficult to know precisely what the first few months of 2022 will be like – see Paul Hunter’s article Now Christmas is over, how bad is the Omicron situation in England? But all the signals are that we are set to face some very challenging months ahead.
The New Year prompts us to reflect on what we have done and what we hope to achieve during the year in front of us. We have Julius Caesar to thank for instituting January 1st as the first day of the year, partly to honour the month’s namesake: Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, whose two faces allowed him to look back into the past and forward into the future.
For NSAB this new year will have a good number of important streams of work to keep moving forward on – supported and helped by readers of this blog I am sure.
I thought it would be helpful to set out (in no particular order) what key activities will be coming up across 2022:
- work to develop a way of assuring the board that safeguarding is effective, and identifying where there are gaps. This will be linked to work to strengthen the assurance function of the board
- to develop a picture of safeguarding issues and risks across Norfolk
- to drive improve service delivery through SARs, learning from reviews and implementing change
- thinking about the practical steps Norfolk can take to strengthen a collaborative safeguarding approach (this is closely linked to preventative safeguarding)
- the launch of a carers & safeguarding campaign – this will have 4 strands: carers, the cared for, professionals and family members
- a campaign which raises awareness about older adults & domestic abuse. This is a priority piece of work, overseen by the Adult Subgroup of the Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence Group which I chair. So far, we have two elements in development. First will be a brief guide for the county’s domiciliary care workforce to support them with what to look for & what do if concerned. The second will be 4-minute animation exploring the topic. The aim is for this to be used as a ‘conversation starter’
- re-establishing a tool to understand, and track, adult safeguarding risks important to Norfolk
- work for the new(ish) self-neglect & hoarding subgroup on data collection and mapping services
- new events in the series of ‘In Conversation’ NSAB webinars (what the website for details)
- building on the success of the webinar in November 2021, some new self-neglect webinars (we are looking at a further 4, focussing on different issues on self-neglect). I need your help to find people with lived experience who would be willing to share their reflections on the support they have had helping them to live in safer homes. Please get in touch. Later in the year NSAB will be one of 4 SABs who will start working with a team from Sussex University on a research study to investigate improving collaborative inter-agency systems and practice in self-neglect – I will be asking for volunteers for research interviews in late 2022
- the LSAP chairs & co-chairs are meeting in early January to plan to the themes for the LSAP meetings in 2022
- Mental Capacity. Working with PML we are developing 4 step ‘campaign’ which will start with a survey of the workforce, then run a series (two to four) face to face workshops for frontline workers – where the trainer could tease out some of those things that people are uncertain about. This would include a communication campaign on key messages. We then build assets / package of resources (including downloadable material from the NSAB website for phones or other digital devices) and run training in support of the workforce. Followed by an evaluation.
- Other board members and I will be working closing with NHS colleagues to ensure that adult safeguarding stands out clearly in the new Integrated Care System (ICS)
- Collaborating with other boards and organisations, in particular our children’s safeguarding partnership and community safety partnership
- Working with our district councils to rollout a joint children & adult training package
As we go through the year I am sure there will be other work added to this list but that is plenty to be going on with.
NSAB Board Manager
Monday 7 January 2022