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Practitioner perspectives of multi-agency safeguarding hubs (MASH)

Sarah Shorrock (University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK)
Michelle M. McManus (Public Health Wales, Cardiff, UK)
Stuart Kirby (University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK)

The Journal of Adult Protection

ISSN: 1466-8203

Article publication date: 10 December 2019

Issue publication date: 22 January 2020

1922

Abstract

Purpose

The challenges of transferring the theoretical requirements of an effective multi-agency partnership into everyday practices are often overlooked, particularly within safeguarding practices. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to explore practitioner perspectives of working within a multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH) and those factors that encourage or hinder a multi-agency approach to safeguarding vulnerable individuals.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews with 23 practitioners from one MASH location in the North of England were conducted, with a thematic analysis being used to analyse findings.

Findings

The interviews with practitioners illustrated the complexity of establishing a multi-agency approach to safeguarding. It was inferred that whilst information sharing and trust between agencies had improved, the absence of a common governance structure, unified management system, formalisation of practices and procedures and shared pool of resources limited the degree to which MASH could be considered a multi-agency approach to safeguarding.

Practical implications

Establishing a multi-agency approach to safeguarding is complex and does not occur automatically. Rather, the transition to collaborative practices needs to be planned, with agreed practices and processes implemented from the beginning and reviewed regularly.

Originality/value

Few studies have investigated the implementation of MASH into safeguarding practices, with this paper providing a unique insight into practitioner opinions regarding the transition to multi-agency practices. Whilst there is a focus on MASH, the challenges to arise from the research may be reflective of other multi-agency partnerships, providing a foundation for best practice to emerge.

Keywords

Citation

Shorrock, S., McManus, M.M. and Kirby, S. (2020), "Practitioner perspectives of multi-agency safeguarding hubs (MASH)", The Journal of Adult Protection, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 9-20. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAP-06-2019-0021

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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