Healthwatch Together have published their latest report; ‘Safeguarding Voices: Making Safeguarding Personal in Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool and Lancashire.

This project enabled an independent review of the processes of Blackburn with Darwen Safeguarding Adult Board, Blackpool Safeguarding Board and Lancashire Safeguarding Adult Board.

Healthwatch Together

Healthwatch Together is the collaboration of five Healthwatch across the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System. It consists of Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen, Healthwatch Blackpool, Healthwatch Cumberland, Healthwatch Lancashire and Healthwatch Westmorland and Furness.

The Care Act 2014 provides the legislative framework for Safeguarding Adults and emphasises a personalised approach that is led by the individual, not by the process.

Making Safeguarding Personal principles were considered when evaluating the feedback received. Making Safeguarding Personal, defined by the Care Act 2014, are key principles in place to support agencies involved in safeguarding to deliver a person-centres safeguarding process. The six key principles are:

  1. Empowerment
  2. Prevention
  3. Proportionality
  4. Protection
  5. Partnership
  6. Accountability

Who did we engage with?

Healthwatch Together engaged with 258 people in total. This consisted of 59 individuals, 90 carers and 109 multi-agency professionals.

The aim of the engagement was the discover whether people felt involved, informed and listened to during the safeguarding process. Approaches to the adult safeguarding should be person-led and outcome focused with the individuals’ feelings, wishes, values and beliefs central to the process.

What did we find?

There were examples of excellent working practices from social workers who showed kindness, empathy and personalisation. Individuals and carers expressed their gratitude for the support they received at a vulnerable time in their lives.

However, there were clear inconsistencies in approach by social workers across Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool and Lancashire.

Key recommendations have been made in line with Making Safeguarding Personal principles with a focus on:

  1. Improving communication

Feedback revealed that some individuals were not informed that they were involved in a safeguarding enquiry and/or what a safeguarding enquiry is. Feedback was received about not being kept up to date with actions being taken, as well as not having a direct point of contact should they have an enquiry or update to share.

  1. Providing tailored support to individuals and carers

Feedback was received from both individuals and carers about a lack of support whilst in a safeguarding enquiry, or receiving no support at all. In particular, carers shared that they did not receive any support, despite being involved in a distressing situation.

  1. Providing accessible information

Suggestions from individuals and carers were made to make information more accessible to them including receiving written information after a telephone conversation and receiving a letter for those who do not have access to the internet.

  1. Supporting individuals to plan for the future

Not all individuals were supported to plan for the future to prevent safeguarding concerns being raised in the future.


Healthwatch Together have presented their findings into a report, detailing feedback received from Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool and Lancashire. A summary report has also been published.

Read the report here > ‘Safeguarding Voices’

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