“Everybody's Business” – engaging the independent sector. An action research project in Lancashire

Paul Simic (Chief Executive at Lancashire Care Association, Leyland, UK)
Steve Newton (Care Consultant at Lancashire Care Association, Leyland, UK)
Dave Wareing (Head of Safeguarding at Lancashire County Council, Preston, UK)
Barbara Campbell (Head of Patient Safety and Safeguarding Lead at North Lancashire Primary Care Trust, Lancaster, UK)
Marie Hill (Director at Cornmill Nursing Home and Lancashire Workforce Development Partnership, Preston, UK)

The Journal of Adult Protection

ISSN: 1466-8203

Publication date: 10 February 2012



The purpose of this paper is to evaluate key organisational processes in managing “safeguarding” in relation to the independent sector, the local authority delivery arm for care.


The methods employed were a telephone survey (one in five random sample of all residential and domiciliary providers in a local authority area) and follow up focus groups (n=2) of local authority staff and independent sector domiciliary and residential providers, in an action research framework. The survey was developed through expert members of a multi‐agency Project Reference Group.


Three survey domains (on “information”, “training” and “support and advice”) indicated high satisfaction, but “experience of investigations'” low rating raised questions for further exploration and were followed up in detail in the focus groups selected from providers with experience of safeguarding alerts. A number of issues were raised for local policy and for safeguarding more broadly.

Research limitations/implications

The paper only assesses one local authority area. A more balanced systems approach is needed to manage safeguarding.


The involvement of the independent sector in safeguarding is under‐researched and the development of processes that encourage a research culture and a systems approach are exemplified.



Simic, P., Newton, S., Wareing, D., Campbell, B. and Hill, M. (2012), "“Everybody's Business” – engaging the independent sector. An action research project in Lancashire", The Journal of Adult Protection, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 22-34. https://doi.org/10.1108/14668201211200772

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Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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