Joint Inspection of adult support and protection measures in West Lothian finds areas for improvements

The joint inspection of adult support and protection in West Lothian has found some strengths and areas for improvement.

The inspection found that the partnership’s leadership for adult support and protection was effective and a comprehensive rolling quality assurance programme for adult support and protection was in place.

Inspectors found that partnership staff collaborated and shared information purposefully to support adults at risk of harm

However, the report has recommended substantial areas for improvement to ensure that experiences and outcomes for adults at risk of harm are not adversely affected. These included: Social work should improve its initial inquiry process; Management of risk for adults at risk of harm needed improvement; The partnership should revise its processes for adult protection investigations.

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Edith Macintosh, interim chief executive of the Care Inspectorate, said: “The partnership’s key processes for adult support and protection need considerable revision and improvement to ensure adults at risk of harm are safe, supported, protected, involved, and included. However, the strengths highlight the potential for the partnership to support the identified areas for improvement if methodology issues are resolved.

“We have asked the West Lothian partnership to prepare an improvement plan to address the priority areas for improvement.”

Chair of the Adult Protection Committee, Detective Superintendent Matt Paden said: “The committee will carefully consider each and every recommendation within the report and has already devised and commenced work as part of a comprehensive Improvement Plan.

“We are collectively determined to seek continuous improvement of adult support and protection work to ensure all adults at risk of harm are safeguarded.

“As highlighted within the report the committee has already introduced a rolling programme of activity to support delivery in a number of the key recommendations areas. With the continued strong partnership approach and collaboration, I am confident and determined to deliver in full on each of the recommendations.”

West Lothian Council’s executive councillor for social work and health Anne McMillan added: “The Covid-19 pandemic has been a very challenging time for all the partners involved in adult protection, so I welcome the recognition by inspectors of the efforts of staff during this difficult time.

“We acknowledge there are a number of improvements to be made and we are committed to progressing these as quickly as possible.

“Adult protection is of the utmost importance in West Lothian. There is a clear commitment to improve on the areas the report has highlighted as requiring strengthening.”