Concerns over funding and coverage after safeguarding shake upNachelle Geronimo
Concerns over funding and coverage after safeguarding shake up.
Concerns have been raised about gaps in coverage and insufficient police funding following a shake-of of safeguarding in Bath & North East Somerset.
B&NES Community Safety and Safeguarding Partnership will replace the existing Local Safeguarding Children Board, Local Safeguarding Adult Board and the Responsible Authorities Group.
It follows a change in the law to scrap the children’s boards across the country after a major review concluded they are not fit for purpose.
But concerns have been raised about the lack of funding from Avon and Somerset Police compared with the other two partners in the new organisation, B&NES Council and the clinical commissioning group.
The force is paying just £7,455 of the six-month running costs from September 29, when it will be launched, to March 31, 2020.
In contrast, the council is footing £62,152 of the bill and B&NES CCG £60,000.
A report to B&NES health and care board also said there was a danger that some areas of work carried out by the three formerly separate safeguarding groups would go undone after the merger.
Council leader Cllr Dine Romero told the meeting on Tuesday, June 4: “What I would be very wary of is that the focus is lost on children or adults safeguarding because of having to amalgamate three panels into one.
“So we need to make sure nothing is being lost in creating this new panel.”
Deputy council leader Cllr Richard Samuel said: “I’m quite supportive of what’s proposed but I’m less enthusiastic about the funding.
“The police should be making a larger contribution to this policy.
“Representation should be made to the police & crime commissioner about that.
“The police benefit from the work undertaken in these arrangements because it is very important preventative work.
“The contribution by the police is less than satisfactory.
“I would like some assurance that we will be seeking higher contributions from the police, whether in cash or in kind, to reflect the considerable contribution made by the NHS and the council.”
B&NES CCG director of nursing and quality Lisa Harvey said: “Scrutiny arrangements are being led by Avon & Somerset Constabulary, so they have put more resources in kind to oversee those.”
A report to the board said: “There is a potential that some areas of work will no longer be covered — this will be a focus for early performance monitoring and scrutiny.
“There is a potential that the focus on the Mental Capacity Act will not be maintained.
“There is a risk that some issues that are only relevant to children, adults or community safety may receive less of a focus.
“The new arrangement needs to monitor this carefully.”
Members approved the creation of the new partnership in principle and delegated authority to council and CCG officers to agree the details.
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