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Key Principle

The paramount consideration at all times must remain the safety and well-being of the adult(s) at risk. No inter-agency dispute should at any time adversely impact upon or effect any aspect of the life of the adult(s) at risk.

Scope of this Procedure

It is the responsibility of all organisations, to whom Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Adult Safeguarding Policy and Multi-agency Procedures apply, to ‘problem-solve’ and seek local resolution at the earliest opportunity and as swiftly as possible. This procedure provides a framework for the resolution of professional disagreements/issues in work relating to the safety and well-being of adults with care and support needs who are, or may in the future be, at risk of abuse or neglect; it is detailed in the attached Flowchart.

The Safeguarding Adults Executive Board is clear that there must be respectful challenge whenever a professional or agency has a concern about the action or inaction of another. Similarly, agencies and workers should not be defensive or resistant to challenge. Workers and managers should always be prepared to review decisions and plans with an open mind, to act proportionately and fulfil their Duty of Candour.

Disputes can arise for many reasons. The procedure Flowchart confirms the actions to be taken by the workers involved, their line managers, senior managers and members of the Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB). It should be recognised that differences in status and/or experience may affect the confidence of some workers to escalate disputes unsupported. In the case of Care Providers, unresolved disputes should be raised with the relevant team manager co-ordinating the safeguarding process.

It is expected that this escalation and resolution procedure will be used, however if at any stage it is felt necessary to make a formal complaint, each agency should follow the recognised complaints procedure and adhere to the timescales specified.

A clear record should be kept at all stages, by all agencies. In particular this must include written confirmation between the agencies about an agreed outcome of the disagreement and how any outstanding issues will be pursued. This record should be noted on the case management system within each individual agency in accordance with their internal processes.

This procedure has been endorsed by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Safeguarding Adults Executive Board and will continue to be monitored and reviewed as required.

Dispute Escalation & Resolution Procedure Flowchart:

NB: At any point throughout the Dispute Escalation & Resolution procedure, advice can be sought from the Safeguarding Adults Lead in the agency(s) involved.

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