Coherence is the degree to which data derived from different sources or methods, but that refers to the same topic, is similar
There are no other nationally published sources of data on adult safeguarding activity with which these data could be compared.
Data is sourced from each local authority in England and compiled at national level by NHS Digital. There is no standard system used to record SAC within local authorities and there are gaps in our understanding as to how this impacts on coherence and comparability. However, the metadata defined by NHS Digital and used by local authorities to extract the data from their systems and provide to NHS Digital is well defined and accessible to all. A SAC Working Group, including those who use local administrative systems in their data to day work, exists to provide advice and clarification to NHS Digital on such matters.
Comparability is the degree to which data can be compared over time and domain, for example, geographic level
The SAC is an updated version of the Safeguarding Adults Return (SAR) which collected safeguarding data for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 reporting periods. Changes were made to bring the collection in line with the Care Act (2014). Some of the categories collected have remained the same but there are also some significant differences.
The main change is in how cases opened in the reporting year are categorised. Previous reports have used individuals “Known” and “Unknown” to the local authority, but this distinction was removed in the SAC. Previous reports recorded details of individuals with Safeguarding Referrals, but the SAC now records individuals with Safeguarding Enquiries. While these will be largely equivalent they may not be directly comparable, and care will need to be taken when comparing to data prior to 2015-16. Since 2015-16 the publication has utilised the Care Act 2014 definitions to classify individuals involved under Section 42 of the Act.
There have also been some changes since 2015-16 in terms of the voluntary/mandatory nature of providing some data items. These are detailed in the guidance notes for each annual SAC collection.
Publications from previous years can be found at: https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/safeguarding-adults
As mentioned above, Hackney council were not able to make a submission for the 2021-22 or 2020-1 SAC. The 2019-20 SAC data return was used when calculating the England, Regional and Council type averages.