Summary of Stages and Timescales of the Safeguarding Process Table

STAGE PROCESS OUTCOME TIMESCALE
ALERT Reporting concerns of abuse or neglect, which are received or noticed, within a partner organisation. Any immediate protection needs are addressed following a risk assessment. The partner organisation will make a referral where appropriate. Immediate.
REFERRAL Gathering information about that concern by consulting agencies and undertaking a further risk assessment. A decision is made as set out below. Within one working day.
DECISION Deciding whether the Safeguarding Adults Procedures are appropriate to address the concern. No further action, or action under the safeguarding procedures as set out below. By the end of the working day following the one on which the referral was made.
SAFEGUARDING/INVESTIGATION STRATEGY Formulating a multi-agency plan for assessing the risk and addressing any immediate protection needs. Assessment plan. Within five working days.
SAFEGUARDING/INVESTIGATION ASSESSMENT Coordinating the collection of the information about abuse or neglect that has occurred or might occur. This may include an investigation, e.g. a criminal or disciplinary investigation. Determine whether a Safeguarding Plan is needed and, if so, the elements of it. Within four working weeks of the safeguarding referral.
CASE CONFERENCE AND SAFEGUARDING PLAN Coordinating a multi-agency response to the risk of abuse that has been identified. The adult is safeguarded by the Plan. Within four working weeks of the safeguarding assessment / investigation being completed.
REVIEW The review of the Safeguarding Plan. Monitor that the adult continues to be safeguarded and that the Plan remains appropriate. Within six weeks for first review and monitor appropriately until outcome achieved and/or case closed.

Note: This document is for guidance only and reflects nationally agreed best practice. Stages of the process may vary slightly between local areas. Please refer to your local safeguarding procedures for more detail.

There is a responsibility on the person making a decision as to future action following a referral to provide feedback to the referrer. However, responsibility also rests on the professional/agency making a referral to ensure that they receive feedback, and to make further enquiries if they do not receive satisfactory feedback. It should not be assumed that because a referral or alert has been raised, it is actually being dealt with in an appropriate manner - it must be followed up if satisfactory feedback is not received.