Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP) is a person-centred and outcome focused approach to safeguarding adults. It emphasises that the adult concerned must always be at the centre of adult safeguarding, and that their wishes and views should be sought at the earliest opportunity. MSP requires professionals to see adults as experts in their own lives and to work with them in order to identify strengths-based and outcomes focused solutions. Professionals must work in a way that enhances individual involvement, choice and control as part of improving quality of life, wellbeing and safety.
MSP seeks to achieve:
- a personalised approach that enables safeguarding to be done with, not to, people;
- practice that focuses on achieving meaningful improvement to people’s circumstances (outcomes) rather than just the process of ‘investigation’ and reaching a ‘conclusion’;
- an approach that utilises social work skills rather than just ‘putting people through a process’, with the ultimate aim of improving outcomes for people at risk of harm.
The Care and Support Statutory Guidance also states:
‘…it is also important that all safeguarding partners take a broad community approach to establishing safeguarding arrangements. It is vital that all organisations recognise that adult safeguarding arrangements are there to protect individuals. We all have different preferences, histories, circumstances and life-styles, so it is unhelpful to prescribe a process that must be followed whenever a concern is raised …. Making safeguarding personal means it should be person-led and outcome-focused. It engages the person in a conversation about how best to respond to their safeguarding situation in a way that enhances involvement, choice and control as well as improving quality of life, wellbeing and safety. Nevertheless, there are key issues that local authorities and their partners should consider. (para 14.14-14.15)
2. Key Areas for Effective Practice
MSP can be divided into a number of key areas:
- person led and person centred: being safe and well means different things to different people, this means the safeguarding process should be person-led and recognise people as the experts in their own lives. It should engage the person in a conversation about how best to respond to their safeguarding situation in a way that enhances involvement, choice and control as well as improving quality of life, wellbeing and safety. Professionals should be interested, and look for the full picture of a person’s experience.
- focused on outcomes, not process: safeguarding is not about undertaking a process but is a commitment to improve outcomes by working alongside people experiencing abuse or neglect. The key focus is on developing a real understanding of what people wish to achieve, agreeing, negotiating and recording their desired outcomes, working out with them (and their representatives or advocates if they lack capacity) how best those outcomes might be realised and then seeing, at the end, the extent to which desired outcomes have been realised. This approach involves adults being encouraged to define their own meaningful improvements to change their circumstances and then to be involved throughout the safeguarding investigation, support planning and response.
3. Safeguarding Outcomes
A high quality service keeps people safe from harm. The Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework (ASCOF) reflects this priority, and emphasises the need for services to safeguard adults whose circumstances make them vulnerable and protect them from avoidable harm. Findings from this work have highlighted the clear benefits of asking adults about their experiences of support services.