Three-year strategy (April 2021 - March 2024)

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Message from the Independent Chair

The previous Three-Year Strategy witnessed the growing role of the Oldham Safeguarding Adults Board and the influence its work has had on the lives of people in Oldham.

The last twelve months of the Three-Year strategy were dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic. As well as experiencing some of the highest Covid-19 levels in Greater Manchester, Oldham saw new safeguarding trends emerge. Referrals have been characterised by an ever-increasing degree of complexity with cases involving domestic abuse, financial abuse and neglect or acts of omission, where people have struggled to meet some of their basic needs including medication, nutrition, housing and heating.

It is only by pausing to learn the lessons from the pandemic that we can prepare ourselves for the major challenges that lie ahead.
The foundations of this Three-Year Strategy will be shaped by far reaching changes proposed in the Health and Care Bill, including the creation of Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), and new legislative requirements within the Mental Health Act White Paper and the introduction of the Liberty Protection Safeguards.

Changes of this scale and complexity need integration that looks beyond the NHS and social care to fully involve the wider statutory, voluntary and community sector as equal contributors. For safeguarding partners this presents a leadership challenge. The Board must be a central driver to regional and local change, setting out safeguarding expectations and presenting challenge to partners in relation to safeguarding delivery and accountability.
Transformation will happen within new legal, financial and regulatory frameworks. The Board will therefore reposition itself through new governance arrangements designed to strengthen safeguarding leadership and accountability at the most senior levels in Oldham.

As well as building more dynamic and effective partnership working, the new arrangements create the space to listen to, and learn from, local people who have first-hand experiences of abuse and neglect, involving them in the processes that hold partners to account.

Throughout the lifetime of this strategy, the local safeguarding partnership will benchmark its performance against other regional safeguarding Boards and regularly report on its progress and effectiveness in protecting Oldham residents.

Henri Giller
Independent Chair, Oldham Safeguarding Adults Board
Henri Giller

  • The Board
    The Oldham Safeguarding Adults Board is a partnership of organisations set up to safeguard adults who are at risk of experiencing abuse, harm or neglect. Formed under the 2014 Care Act, the Board has a statutory duty to ensure that safeguarding arrangements in Oldham work effectively by keeping people safe. This means working to prevent abuse, helping people to recognise and understand risks and protecting those who lack the capacity to make their own decisions.

    The Board has three statutory duties to:

    • Produce a Strategic Plan setting out the changes the Board wants to achieve and how organisations will work together
    • Publish an Annual Report setting out the safeguarding concerns it has dealt with in the last year as well as plans to help keep people safe
    • Undertake a Safeguarding Adult Review where it believes someone with needs for care and support has died or experienced serious harm as a result of abuse or neglect

    Full details of the Board membership and governance arrangements.
  • The Vision
    This strategic plan is a shared statement of the changes the Board wants to achieve and is driven by the Board’s vision. Our Vision is for Oldham to be a place…

    … where safeguarding is everyone’s business
    … where people are supported in their right to live safely, through co-operative communities and organisations which:

    • Do not tolerate abuse and neglect.
    • Ensure that the public feel confident that adults are protected.
    • Respect the views of service users including the right to take risks.
    • Work preventatively through early identification of new safeguarding issues.
    • Deliver excellent safeguarding practice through a culture of learning.
    • Share timely information.

    …and where board partners:

    • Prioritise their commitment to the board.
    • Hold one another to account effectively.
    • Promote and embed learning.
  • The Context
    Poverty, social isolation, homelessness, mental health issues and substance misuse are factors that commonly feature in Safeguarding Adult Reviews.

    For agencies to prevent and respond effectively to cases of abuse or neglect it is important to understand the correlation between Oldham’s demographics and local safeguarding trends.

    With a culturally diverse population of approximately 233,000 people, key safeguarding characteristics for Oldham include:

    • Levels of deprivation that rank amongst the highest in England and three wards with the highest child poverty rates in Greater Manchester.
    • Unemployment rates significantly higher than the England average, which then doubled (from 4.7% to 10%) in 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19. This disproportionately affected the most disadvantaged areas and poverty is therefore likely to increase further.
    • Higher proportion of people living with depression and a severe mental illness (schizophrenia, bipolar and other psychosis) than the England average.
    • More alcohol related deaths than the England average and the third highest alcohol sales in the North West.
    • Significantly higher rates of hospital admissions due to violence compared to the England average.
    • Fewer Care Homes rated as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ compared to the England average
    • Demand for suitable accommodation that outstrips supply.

  • The Impact
    Data collected over the last three years shows a correlation between local social and economic factors and safeguarding trends. The most common safeguarding referrals relate to:

    • Neglect and acts of omission – reflecting the levels of care and support provided by community and acute care services.
    • Financial abuse - often involving groups or individuals targeting vulnerable adults including those with a learning disability, older people with dementia or long-term health conditions and those who are socially isolated.
    • Self-neglect - often combined with mental health issues, learning disabilities, homelessness, debt, substance misuse and/or the removal of children.
    • Domestic abuse - often combined with alcohol use, debt, violence and mental health issues.

    These factors have been compounded by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, with mortality rates and lockdown restrictions disproportionately impacting on adults with care and support needs. Those particularly affected include adults with learning disabilities, care home residents and adults with mental health issues who rely on wider community networks to manage their mental wellbeing.

    The Care Act requires statutory partners to coordinate activity to protect adults from abuse and neglect. The Oldham Safeguarding Adults Board is therefore committed to working with other strategic partnerships in Oldham to understand these links and design multi-agency solutions to address the wider determinants of adult safeguarding.

Annual Business Plan - April 2021 - March 2022



  • What will we do?
    Lead and champion the role of adult safeguarding as part of local and regional Integrated Care System proposals.

    Improve the collection and review of partnership safeguarding data to understand trends and direct multi-agency responses.
  • Priorities for 2021/22
    Covid-19 – review the learning from the Covid-19 pandemic and continue to monitor and risk manage the impact of Covid-19 on adult safeguarding trends.

    Integrated Care Systems – lead on adult safeguarding and align the work of the Board with the proposed new Integrated Care System and local decision making arrangements.

    Safeguarding Data – create an adult safeguarding data collection framework and reporting process to inform the targeting of resources and campaigns.

Click box for more details


Prevention and
Early Intervention

  • What will we do?
    Work with local communities to raise the profile of safeguarding and empower people to report concerns.

    Reduce avoidable safeguarding incidents through a skilled and proactive workforce confident in the application of relevant safeguarding legislation and strengths-based approaches.
  • Priorities for 2021/22
    Improve visibility – working with the Safeguarding Children Partnership, align with national safeguarding campaigns and develop resources to help people recognise and know who to speak to about a concern.

    Back to Basics training – Implement the Workforce Development Strategy covering key aspects of Care Act legislation, with a focus on legal literacy and Making Safeguarding Personal.

    Mental Capacity Act – provide training and leadership on the application of the Mental Capacity Act and oversee the introduction of Liberty Protection Safeguards.

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Listen, Learn
and Act

  • What will we do?
    Listen to people’s experiences and translate learning into multi-agency solutions designed to prevent safeguarding incidents.

    Deliver continuous improvement through quality assurance processes aligned to the findings from Safeguarding Adult Reviews.
  • Priorities for 2021/22
    Participation – establish an engagement processes to routinely involve adults and carers with lived experience of abuse or neglect in the review and redesign of services.

    SAR learning – conduct a partnership review of dual diagnosis cases involving mental health and learning disability / substance misuse and seek assurance on resulting actions.

    Quality Assurance – audit the implementation and impact of the multi-agency self-neglect policy and toolkit.

Click box for more details



  • What will we do?
    Challenge safeguarding arrangements to ensure that strategy and policy translate into operational practice and positive outcomes.

    Develop shared pathways across children’s and adults’ services to provide an effective all age safeguarding offer.
  • Priorities for 2021/22
    Domestic Abuse – support the SafeLives review of the local Domestic Abuse offer and seek assurance from the Domestic Abuse Partnership on the implementation of the Domestic Abuse Bill.

    Complex and Contextual Safeguarding – strengthen links with the Community Safety and Cohesion Partnership and develop multi-agency procedures to manage cases involving complex risk and financial and sexual exploitation.

    Learning Hub – host a Learning Hub event with professionals and adults with a learning disability to explore safeguarding concerns

Click box for more details

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