The purpose of this paper is to ascertain what efforts Adult Safeguarding Leads (ASLs), generic advocates, and Independent Mental Capacity Advocates are making to involve service users in decisions about protective measures, and to investigate whether the Adult Safeguarding service is delivering outcomes, which are valued by its users.
Semi-structured interviews with a sample of key stakeholders.
ASLs are making efforts to involve service users in the complex and demanding process of safeguarding. These efforts, however, are shaped by their understandings of the difference between “residential” and “community” settings.
The study is based in a single County Council, albeit in a large county, and involves a limited number of service users.
Clarification is needed of what it may mean to adopt a person-centred approach to adult safeguarding, and the responsibilities of ASLs when individuals with capacity to make decisions about this aspect of their lives are unwilling to engage with the safeguarding process.
The findings improve the understanding of how ASLs understand their responsibilities towards the users of their services and endeavour to involve them in the adult safeguarding process. Based on this understanding, those with responsibility for managing Adult Safeguarding services should be better able to support improvements in professional practice.
The authors are grateful to colleagues in the Adult Safeguarding service of the County Council for their support. This study was funded by the National Institute of Health Research’s (NIHR) Collaboration for Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) East of England at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.
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