The data used in this publication were collated by NHS Digital from the SAC mandatory data collection of all 151 local authorities in England. Data was provided in aggregate form and therefore no individual’s details have been passed to NHS Digital.
The publication consists of:
- data tables providing data at local authority, regional and national level
- data quality assessment, including data completeness and integrity measures
- supporting information
- open data
- the Adult Social Care Analytical Hub, an interactive business intelligence tool
In order to prevent the risk of disclosure of data about individuals, figures 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 are displayed as a "*" (star symbol) in the data tables. All other figures have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 5. Proportions (percentages) are calculated on the unrounded figures.
Within the collection and this publication we distinguish between Section 42 part 2 enquiries that met the criteria under Section 42 part 1 of the Care Act 2014 (referred to in the report as ‘Section 42 enquiries’) and those where the adult did not meet all of the Section 42 part 1 criteria, but the local authority considered it necessary and proportionate to have a safeguarding enquiry. These are referred to in the report as Other enquiries.
Data on Section 42 enquiries is mandatory to collect except for the data on ‘Making Safeguarding Personal’, which is voluntary.
Data on Other enquiries is voluntary to collect and submit, except for one table, which captures the overall number of Other enquiries that commenced in the reporting period.
Similarly, data on safeguarding concerns is voluntary to collect and submit, except for one table, which captures the overall number of concerns received in the reporting period.
This publication is labelled as Experimental Statistics, in line with previous publications of adult safeguarding statistics. Within the time of the SAC collection (since 2016) there has been a degree of change. Furthermore, limitations remain around interpretation and usage of the data due to local variation in how safeguarding activity is defined and reported (this is explained further within the Data Quality Key Information section). In August 2019, the Local Government Association (LGA) published a framework to support local safeguarding decision making. The framework was developed by the LGA and the Association for Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and it is hoped will help reduce local variation via alignment of the SAC to the framework. The framework was published halfway through the reporting year 2019-20. The full impact of this framework will only be seen in 2020-21 because this will be the first full year in which the framework can influence practice and reporting. At this stage, the Experimental Statistics label will be reviewed. LGA and ADASS have also recently developed a related framework around what constitutes a safeguarding concern which may also have an impact on figures captured in the SAC in future years.
These statistics have not been materially impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as the data period ended before the pandemic really took hold. However, due to reduced capacity at local authorities to collate the data, the data quality assessment also includes a summary of the checks take to review the impact the pandemic has had on the data quality of the SAC.