Safeguarding adults' referrals in the Eastern region: an investigation into varying referral rates
The Journal of Adult Protection
Article publication date: 17 June 2011
This paper aims to respond to the findings of the initial phase of the Safeguarding Adults Programme (November 2009‐March 2010), which found an unexpected inverse relationship between referral rate for safeguarding adults and population size of local authority in the data captured from April 2008 to March 2009.
An analysis of regional safeguarding referral rates relative to population with a breakdown by service groups was undertaken; statistics from the economic deprivation index (EDI) were also used. A questionnaire was designed and sent out to the authorities regarding thresholds, eligibility, definitions, advice and information available to referrers, accuracy of recording and public awareness. The data analysed here cover the following year's safeguarding referrals.
The questionnaire revealed broad differences in thresholds, eligibility, definitions, advice and information available to referrers, accuracy of recording and public awareness campaigns across the studied authorities. These differences contribute to obscuring real differences in underlying processes. A highly significant relationship between EDI and safeguarding referral rates was found, implying real differences in abuse rates driven by underlying socio‐economic factors. Differences in abuse allegations were systematic, so that authorities with a particularly high level of referrals did not have unusually high contributions from particular service user groups or from particular referral sources. Similarly the nature of abuse allegations did not differ between authorities with high or low‐referral rates.
The paper investigates the reasons for variation and explores thresholds for safeguarding referrals.
Thacker, H. (2011), "Safeguarding adults' referrals in the Eastern region: an investigation into varying referral rates", The Journal of Adult Protection, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 137-149. https://doi.org/10.1108/14668201111160732
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