Bracknell Forest Safeguarding Board - BULLETIN No.1

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Bracknell Forest Safeguarding Board

Bulletin No. 1         9 April 2020

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Message from the Independent Chair and Scrutineer - Brian Boxall

I recently held a virtual meeting with lead members of the Safeguarding Board. During the meeting each partner set out how they were ensuring safeguarding remains a high priority during such exceptional times. I would like to thank all staff who are working hard to ensure that vulnerable people are still being supported.
It is clear that that vulnerable adults and children face increased risks during this period, so there is an even greater need for vigilance. To that end the Board will continue to coordinate the various pieces of information which are circulated and will work with partners and the community to ensure that messages are shared with the widest audience.
Links to some of this information have been included in this newsletter. However, three key messages were identified at the meeting:

• Family Support #coping

All partners to promote good quality resources that provide reliable advice to support families to cope during these extraordinary times. 
See information on East Berks CCG website or their social media Facebook and Twitter search #coping
BFSB Coronavirus website - information for families

• The risk of not seeking medical advice/treatment

All partners to communicate the importance of contacting GPs / health professionals via 111 if people are worried about anyone who is unwell. More serious conditions (such as sepsis) may have symptoms that appear similar to those of Covid-19; urgent medical assistance is sought by dialling 999.

• Safeguarding people is seen as being everyone’s responsibility

All those living and working in the borough to act as our ‘eyes and ears’. By recognising the signs of abuse and knowing how to share concerns we can all help protect those at risk of abuse and exploitation. Information to support such efforts can easily be accessed through the Safeguarding Board’s website:
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The Safeguarding Board has produced this bulletin in order to share information amongst partner organisations. It contains updates and information received from national bodies, government and partner organisations and is current at the time of distribution.

General Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Care Act Easements

With the increasing pressure to deliver care services, local authorities can use the new Care Act easements (under the Coronavirus Act 2020) to ensure the best care for the community by prioritising care (where necessary and always within the DHSC Ethical Framework). These temporary changes took effect from 31 March 2020 but should only be exercised where all other actions have been taken by the local authority to maintain the previous service.

The wellbeing and safeguarding duties in the Care Act remain.

Young black boy with outstretched hand

Child Safeguarding Guidance Update

The Department for Education and the National Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel has now issued interim guidance that reinforces the need for the Rapid Review (RRs) process to remain in place and for local authorities to continue to inform them of cases that satisfy the criteria for notification of serious incidents. The timescales for the completion of RRs and any Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews commissioned by the Safeguarding Board are relaxed and will be agreed on a case by case basis.

Child Death Reviews

Guidance issued in respect of responses to child deaths during the Covid19 pandemic will ensure initial responses to deaths occur within 12 hours and the subsequent reporting of cases to the National Child Mortality Database ensure ongoing monitoring and analysis of information relating to COVID-19. While meetings of the Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) may be held less frequently during the coming months, the CDOP Executive will be holding virtual meetings to ensure oversight of the local responses to all deaths of children regardless of the cause.

Crying baby

Safeguarding risks to babies and children with disabilities

New parents, babies under 12 months and those who have children with disabilities may be facing increased stressors during the coronavirus outbreak due to reduced support from extended family and friends. This may increase safeguarding risks for babies, children and vulnerable adults and could include:

  1. Risk of shaken baby
  2. Risks of unsafe sleeping
  3. Risks of parents/carers not seeking medical assistance when their baby, child, young person or adult they are caring for is ill; especially if a baby under 3 months of age has a high fever.

There are a number of resources available which would be useful to direct parents to which can be accessed from our coronavirus webpage.

Joint Statement on Advance Care Planning

The CQC wrote to adult social care providers and GP practices with a statement prepared with the British Medical Association, Care Provider Alliance and Royal College of General Practitioners. The statement sets out their shared position on the importance of advance care planning, especially for older people, people who are frail or have other serious conditions for whom it has never been more important than it is now during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

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Sharing Information and Shielding – further guidance

The Secretary of State has issued four notices requiring that data is shared for purposes of coronavirus and give health organisations and local authorities the security and confidence to share the data they need to respond to coronavirus. This will expire on 30.9.20 unless further notice is given in writing.

Data controllers are still required to comply with relevant and appropriate data protection standards and to ensure within reason that they operate within statutory and regulatory boundaries.

 Bracknell Forest Safeguarding Board • Time Square • Market Street • Bracknell • RG12 1JD

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