Adult Safeguarding and Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) Investigations

Investigations around adult safeguarding are very difficult to manage and can lead to revelations that health and social care providers have abused those they look after. A Section 42 Safeguarding Enquiry may be invoked.  This can then cause the local authority to place an embargo on care homes, suspend further placements, and even remove residents from their care. 

Whilst providing health and social care services, Providers will have the need to make safeguarding referrals to the host local authority and may find that other parties also make referrals and allegations. A Section 42 Safeguarding Enquiry can lead to difficult, protracted and opaque safeguarding investigations being initiated by the local authority. Health and social care providers are often summonsed to meetings at short notice with little or no agenda, only to face a room filled with numerous stakeholders and a set of allegations not previously shared with them, leaving the provider feeling blindsided. Commissioners can impose an embargo on care homes, suspensions of placements, restrictions on admissions remove their residents and even seek to cancel contracts.

Safeguarding investigations by the local authority safeguarding officer can quickly drain good morale and cause disruption to the home. Without adequate legal representation, health and social care providers can find themselves subject to investigations which are fundamentally unfair, and can lead to devasting consequences including restrictions on admissions and embargoes. Reputations can be damaged too.

Ridouts’ team of specialist lawyers frequently advises providers facing safeguarding investigations. Our clients frequently comment that our attendance at meetings softens the aggression they often face at case conferences.

  • securing early and full disclosure of allegations and helping providers respond to them;
  • putting pressure on authorities to carry out investigations fairly and swiftly;
  • attending meetings to help health and social care providers put across their case thoroughly and clearly;
  • challenging removal of residents; by helping residents to secure their own legal representation in conjunction with providers;
  • challenging embargoes/suspension of placements and cancellation of contracts;
  • challenging procedurally unfair processes and procedures.

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