A joint inspection of adult support and protection measures in Aberdeenshire has found clear strengths in ensuring adults at risk of harm are safe, protected and supported.

However, inspectors also identified areas which could further improve. 

Inspectors found that strategic leaders had an effective approach to interagency referral discussions supported by clear guidance and templates. It ensured high quality, collaborative practice across key partners. There were clear benefits for adults at risk of harm who had an interagency referral discussion.

All investigations were carried out by council officers and to an exemplary level of quality and competence. Investigations were person-centred and reflected multi-agency contributions.

Strategic leaders prioritised adult support and protection and invested in additional staff resource, which increased capacity in the adult protection network. Specialist roles in health and police were also valued across the partnership.

However, the quality of initial inquiries needed to improve. Effective systems to support and evidence decision-making, actions taken, application of the relevant criteria and governance were urgently required. This will ensure adults at risk of harm are progressing to the correct stage.

The voice and experience of adults at risk of harm and their carers required to be more evident in strategic planning and development. The adult protection committee needed to accelerate the pace of actions set out in their delivery plan.

Police practice relating to updating the interim vulnerable persons database also required to align with Police Scotland guidance and good practice.

Jackie Irvine, Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate, said: “The Care Inspectorate concluded the partnership’s strategic leadership for adult support and protection was effective with areas for improvement. There were clear strengths supporting positive experiences and outcomes for adults at risk of harm, which collectively outweighed the areas for improvement.

“We have asked the Aberdeenshire partnership to prepare an improvement plan to address the priority areas for improvement we identified. The Care Inspectorate, through its link inspector, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland will monitor progress implementing this plan.”

The full report can be read here.