The paper was development by and with Directors for Directors.  It was commissioned by the Local Government Association (LGA). Safeguarding Adults Programme in partnership with the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS).

It is designed to give practical advise to Directors with statutory responsibility to ensure your service is moving in the right direction, is effective and would stand up to external scrutiny.

Safeguarding adults is one of the highest priorities for Councils and will remain so; the Care and Support White Paper states that a high‐quality service must be one which keeps people safe from harm. We are at a point where local Councils and Safeguarding Adults Boards have come a long way in their efforts to protect people from harm and are awaiting the detailed guidance and final new legislation.
But nobody can stand still, so this Advice Note intends to fill the vacuum until legislation is completed by bringing together the effects of recent changes, what we have learned, and anticipates forthcoming changes, in order to give Directors a common approach. It complements but does not replace the ADASS/LGA National Framework of Standards, Department of Health Guidance No Secrets and its later update.
Since the last ADASS Advice Note was published there have been many and significant changes in the wider world of adult safeguarding, including:

  • The Law Commission's Review of Adult Social Care legislation
  • White Paper and draft Care and Support Bill published
  • Consultation on possible new safeguarding powers
  • Implementation of the Mental Capacity Act
  • Changes and developments in domestic violence legislation
  • Developments in how hate crime is treated
  • Winterbourne View, Ash Court, Mid Staffs and other high profile scandals
  • Changes in the Care Quality Commission
  • NHS re‐organisation and new Healthwatch arrangements
  • Police and Crime Commissioners
  • Squeeze on public service spending


Further: sector lead organisations have agreed a set of standards; there has been a range of Council safeguarding peer reviews; ADASS, LGA and other relevant organisations have worked with the Department of Health on the safeguarding aspects of new legislation and guidance. However the final Care Quality Commission annual assessments indicated that, despite all having some aspects of excellence, safeguarding continued to be the area that Councils had most difficultly with. In an early keynote speech the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt challenged the health and care culture of "ticking the box, but missing the point".