​​​​​​​Highland agencies welcome inspection of Adult Protection Services

The Highland Partnership welcomes the Inspection of Adult Support and Protection Services, undertaken jointly by the Care Inspectorate and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) between January and March 2018. 

The Joint Inspection took place in six Partnerships across Scotland. The report is published today, 3 July 2018.

NHS Highland is the Partnership lead for Adult Support & Protection, following the integration of health and social care services in 2012.  Key partners include Highland Council, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire & Rescue, and many third sector agencies including Highland Advocacy.

The Partnership welcomes that the inspection confirmed that “adult support and protection was well established as a high priority” in Highland.  The report confirms that there is evidence of the benefits and value for adult protection of the integration of services, as “senior managers asserted that conversations between police and health, which would not have happened under the previous structure, were happening regularly now. The single budget, single management model has created shared responsibility and while adult support and protection was previously viewed as a social work issue, this was now a shared adult services responsibility.”

The Inspection highlights areas of improvement the Partnership are already progressing, and recognises the strength of relationships between the Partners.

The Inspection also finds that staff across Highland are “knowledgeable, skilled and highly motivated to carry out adult support and protection work, which is complex and challenging.”

However, the Highland Partnership has reflected back to the Care Inspectorate, its concern that the Inspection was almost entirely limited to the city of Inverness.   There was no opportunity for adults living in other parts of Highland, to talk to Inspectors about their experiences of services, or for services outwith the city to be visited. This restricted the breadth and depth of the Inspection, and was a disappointment to adults and staff who wished to be involved in the process.

The Partnership notes that the Inspection found more strengths than weaknesses, but believes that more account should have been taken of the many improvements that have taken place in adult protection procedures and processes.  The Inspection took a retrospective view of practice, and Chief Officers across local agencies are confident that services are continuing to improve.

Gary Coutts, Chair of the Highland Adult Support & Protection Committee, said: “The support and protection of vulnerable adults is one of the most important activities of public agencies.  I am pleased that this Inspection confirmed good practice and the strengths in our Partnership, and I am confident that actions are already in place to improve our services.”

Bill Alexander, Highland’s Chief Social Work Officer, said: “On behalf of the Highland Partnership I would like to thank all those who were involved in the Joint Inspection and provide assurance that we will continue to work together to deliver the highest quality services and achieve the best possible outcomes for vulnerable people living in Highland.”

Detective Chief Inspector Vince Mclaughlin, Head of Public Protection for Police Scotland, N Division, said: "The report highlights the strengths of the Highland ASP partnership and our strong focus on continuous improvement in shared practices and processes to support and improve the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable people in our communities.

"It was encouraging that the report recognised the strengths of the Highlands & Islands Concern Hub which is integral to the managing and sharing of police information to support the positive outcomes for vulnerable people across the Division."

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3 Jul 2018
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