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May 2022

6 minutes or less...

We all have small rituals which are part of starting our day … I do enjoy a brewed coffee in the morning. It is very kindly made for me which adds to it being special. 

While standing by the kettle waiting for it to boil recently, just gazing out the window I was thinking … what is the exact time needed to make the perfect coffee? Four minutes, five or longer? 

I am no barista, but I can now taste the difference between a nice cup of coffee and one that isn’t.

The aim of coffee brewing is to obtain a cup that is tasty and balanced.

In order for extraction to yield deep flavours, water and coffee need time. Just how much time they need depends on the brewing method. After some internet research the advice is between 4 to 5 minutes, add in boiling the kettle, that’s 6 minutes.

While I am not asking you to brew me a coffee I do want to ask you for 6 minutes or less of your time.

Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board (NSAB) is currently running a survey on mental capacity, and I would like to ask every reader of this blog to help by completing it (that’s the 6 minutes or less). AND as a thank you for your support, you can enter a prize draw for a chance to win a £40 Love2Shop voucher, which you can use at lots of high street stores!

After 14 years of the legislation being in place, there is still limited awareness of the Mental Capacity Act (MCA), especially outside of health and social care. In Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SARs) and Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs), assessments under the Act are highlighted as an area that is either not considered, not reviewed, or misses levels of detail.

A wide range of partners continue to give us feedback on mental capacity when they are responding to a safeguarding concern. It is clear we need to do more to support the partnership.

NSAB is aiming, over the course of the next year, to improve understanding and implementation of the MCA in Norfolk - we have set up a 4-step plan to develop a collection of resources (and training sessions) to give greater support to Norfolk’s partners. Step 1 is the survey (link below) which will help us to have a picture of what we can best do to support you when using the Mental Capacity Act and carrying out assessments.

The MCA is designed to protect and empower people who may lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions about their care and treatment. It applies to people aged 16 and over. It intersects with adult safeguarding in a critical way. As Ruth Hardy said:

The consideration of mental capacity is crucial at all stages of safeguarding adults procedures as it provides a framework for decision making to balance independence and protection.’

See safeguarding adults who have mental capacity: key principles.

My colleague Phil recently wrote …

‘When safeguarding is done well it permeates through every area of health and social care (and housing, local government, voluntary, community and social enterprise sector), … safeguarding isn't just everyone's business, it's everyday business.’

Perhaps see your 6 minutes to help with the survey as part and parcel of your everyday safeguarding business.

What can we do …

  1. Fill in the survey – there is one for those who have NOT completed a mental capacity assessment in the last 12 months, and a survey for those who have. NSAB MCA Survey | Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board
  2. Then go and actively ask 3 colleagues to fill it in …. and then ask your 3 colleagues to ask 3 of their colleagues … and so on. The aim is for 1,000+ returns and given the size of our partnership workforce, I am sure we could reach this.
  3. Have a look at our webpages dedicated to the MCA and safeguarding.

Thank you.

Walter Lloyd-Smith

NSAB Board Manager

Email: walter.lloyd-smith@norfolk.gov.uk

Tuesday 3rd May 2022