4th Dec, 2016

Agency aims to protect vulnerable children and adults

Stratford Editorial 12th Jun, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

VULNERABLE children and adults will not ‘slip under the radar’ of Warwickshire County Council’s new multi-agency team.

A team of 52 professionals have formed the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) to try and bring a quicker, more effective and combined approach to caring for those most in need.

Those in the Warwick-based hub – which launched last month – are from departments including social services, health, education, police and the fire service.

They say by working in the same room they can combine their services with more ease and help those needing extra care.

And the MASH say cases of vulnerable people such as Luisa Mendes – who died in Leamington following a catastrophic abdominal bleed and after a delayed response by police – would not go unmissed as multiple agencies would be working together.

MASH manager John Coleman told the Observer: “Domestic violence is the issue we see most of, followed by neglect, social abuse and education issues.

“The MASH, which is currently only running children’s services from the hub followed by adult services from September, is already proving itself to be a vital resource in making sure our most vulnerable residents are safe and protected from harm.

“In one case we discovered a family in who had moved from abroad and needed to come to A&E. We found no record of them, the children were not even in school. Together we were able to sort it out and help them.”

Across Stratford district there are currently 114 families needing to use MASH services.

Mr Coleman said people needed to report it if they believed a family, child or adult in need as too many cases could be missed.

He said: “It isn’t just people in poorer areas, it can be from anywhere. People need help from time to time and that’s just what we are here for.

“We are encouraging the public and professionals to report any cases they are concerned about. People can even report things anonymously.

“Many times people think vulnerable children or adults are already known to us and that isn’t always the case.”

Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/MASH to find out more.