A dedicated team set up to respond to adult abuse claims in the county – one of the first of its kind in the UK – has reached its third anniversary.
The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) based in Annesley is the nerve centre for safeguarding referrals relating to both adults and children in the county – the adults team was set up in 2013.
Nottinghamshire County Council invested £1m to help set up the team, which is made up of staff from different organisations based together and tasked with responding to safeguarding concerns from the public and agencies.
Prior to the launch of the team, agencies worked more in isolation, which reduced the speed of decision-making when responding to concerns and often involved duplication of resources.
The overall team is made up of over 75 officers, which includes council social workers and trading standards officers, police and probation officers and health workers.
The largest number of adult concerns relate to neglect, physical abuse and institutional abuse, though the team also deals with mental, domestic and sexual abuse, financial scams and deception involving vulnerable adults and modern slavery.
As the first point of contact for safeguarding concerns, the team gathers and shares information on cases and takes timely and appropriate action when required – around 44 percent progress to a full safeguarding enquiry.
This year around 92 percent of surveyed abuse victims using the service were fully or partly satisfied that their stated desired outcomes were achieved by using the service.
The team is in increasing demand as it is currently receiving 25 percent more adult abuse concerns than when it was set up in 2013.
Councillor Muriel Weisz, chair of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Adult Social Care and Health Committee, said: “Abuse can happen anywhere – in a residential or nursing home, a hospital, in the workplace, in the street or in a person’s own home.
“It was a ground breaking moment when the council set up this dedicated team, which is well placed to respond concerns as it is made up of a wide range of agencies who can share intelligence and progress referrals more efficiently.
“Due to increasing awareness amongst professionals and the wider public on the issue of abuse the team is dealing with an increasing number of calls and we welcome this as it allows us to take appropriate action where abuse is taking place.”
There is a dedicated phone number for all professionals such as nurses, police officers, doctors and housing officers to report a new concern.
People wanting to raise a concern about a Nottinghamshire resident who may be a victim of abuse can call the team on 0300 500 80 80.