A joint inspection of adult support and protection in Midlothian found clear strengths in ensuring adults at risk of harm are safe, protected and supported.

However, inspectors also identified areas which could further improve. 

Inspectors noted that the partnership had a clear vision for adult support and protection that was widely communicated and well understood.  

Adult support and protection inquiries undertaken by social work complied with the refreshed national code of practice.  

Managerial oversight of council officer activity was commendably strong.  It was well recorded and linked to supervision discussions. 

Risk assessments were supported by effective tools and templates that promoted high quality work in this critical area of practice. 

Overall strategic leaders oversaw the delivery of competent, effective adult support and protection practice, though the report noted that more work needed to be done to strengthen collaborative practice.  

In addition, while quality assurance and self-evaluation was in place, more work needed to be done to ensure this was well embedded and fully linked to improvement activity. 

Interagency referral discussion arrangements were well embedded, but the inspection found that the purpose and process needed to be reviewed to improve their impact on protection planning.  

Where chronologies were completed, they were of a good quality but more needed to be done to improve consistent application in all records.

Adult support and protection case conference attendance and information sharing needed to improve.  Case conferences should be more person-centred and sensitive to the participatory needs of adults at risk of harm.   

NHS Lothian and Police Scotland also needed to strengthen their participation in key elements of practice. 

Adults with lived experience were not engaged in shaping the work of the public protection committee and a plan was needed to address this. 

Jackie Irvine, Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate, said: “We concluded the partnership’s strategic leadership and key processes for adult support and protection were effective with areas for improvement. There were clear strengths supporting positive experiences and outcomes for adults at risk of harm, which collectively outweighed the areas for improvement.

“We have asked the Midlothian partnership to prepare an improvement plan to address the priority areas for improvement we have identified. The Care Inspectorate, through its link inspector, Healthcare Improvement Scotland and His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary in Scotland will monitor progress implementing this plan.”

The full report can be read here.