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Safeguarding Alert for Service User MN

February 12, 2018

This is a referral to the Newport Pagnellshire Safeguarding Adults team in respect of the service user, MN.

SU, MN was observed throughout the day on Monday February 12th 2018 as part of the Newport Pagnellshire highly innovative “Truman Show Surveillance Assessing For Independent Service Users” scheme.  A number of serious concerns came to light both in SU MN’s placement and whilst he was accessing the community during his community activity programme. We recommend an urgent multi disciplinary team review of SU MN’s behaviour involving as many multi disciplinary experts as you can muster in three month’s notice. Without preempting the outcome, it may be that SU MN would benefit from an intensive period of assessment in a centre that the Newport Pagnellshire commissioners have recently spent £7million on providing.

There now follows a comprehensive, unbiased account of SU MN’s day with particular attention drawn to significant risk behaviours and areas of dubious mental capacity.

Incident 1:

SU MN awoke at 7.35 and independently attended to his personal care. (See risk management schedule 9.16 for risk assessment of shaving head with wet razor). SU MN prepared his own breakfast which he ate whilst independently watching the luge event at the winter Olympics.

SU MN then accessed the community using community transport (See positive behaviour support manual chapter 3.3.88 – “Catching the 222 bus to Uxbridge”). SU MN was observed participating in a retail activity for purchasing tuna. He then entered a sportswear discount premises and purchased a training top. Upon return to his placement, SU MN discovered that whilst the aforementioned item of personal clothing was marked as XL on the hanger, it was in reality a medium size.

This incident raises a number of serious issues that need addressing. Firstly SU MN seemed unable to weigh up the differing information provided on the hanger and the garment’s inner label. He made an impulsive decision without furnishing himself with the full facts of the matter. Secondly, and without prejudice, we feel it was sheer folly for SU MN to even contemplate purchasing another training top in the first instance considering he has 7 compatible, perfectly serviceable training tops in the clothing container in his placement.

We later visited SU MN to put our concerns to him, namely his lack of capacity in not showing the foresight to check the sizing and in the unwise inappropriate behaviour of buying yet another training top. SU MN’s responses to both concerns were alarming. To the first serious issue, he could only reply “Because I am a dick” and to the second issue, “Because I’m a vain bastard”.

Describing oneself as “a dick” not only illustrates serious self esteem issues that need extensive psychological input but doesn’t cut the mustard as an answer in a formal mental capacity assessment. Neither does dismissing serious professional concern with “because I’m a vain bastard” show the necessary insight one would expect from someone judged as adequate for an independent placement in the community. I’m sure you’ll agree that there is no place for vanity in the world of social care (As written about by me in my award winning research chapter for the BASW journal – “There’s  No Place For Vanity in the World of Social Care”).

Incident 2:

After preparing his lunch of a tuna salad and a whey protein shake, SU MN attended the fitness hub for some pectoral building therapy. He engaged positively with Panther, who was at the front desk and changed into his training apparel with minimum supervision. SU MN showed limited communication skills with his fellow hub service users, relying on a nod or a grunt to communicate. However, he did announce to one of the other service users that he intended to “bang out a couple of personal bests today” (Note for MDT to consider – referral to speech therapy for more appropriate conversational engagement).

To his credit, SU MN did enlist the support of one of his circle of support, SU BP (Big Phil) to spot him whilst facilitating an incline bench press. But SU MN demonstrated a worrying inconsistency in his risk management knowledge when 20 minutes after this he attempted some 40kg cable flyes unsupported. During our assessment later with SU MN he dismissed our expert concerns with the remark “But I’m an old meathead from way back”. It is our opinion that mocking professional opinion rings serious safeguarding bells.

Furthermore it should be added, that although it is the safety of our service users that is first and foremost in all of our decision making processes, the MDT must be mindful that we don’t want some fat cat have-you-ever-been-injured-in-a-community-hub lawyer knocking on our door.


We trust that the Safeguarding MDT will agree with our assessment that SU MN’s insight into his own behaviour is so at odds with the professionals’ insight into his behaviour that we can only draw one conclusion – SU MN lacks capacity on everything and it is in his best interests to safeguard him in the future to restricting his activities to accompanied, supported visits to Poppins cafeteria and meaningful activities like washing his clothes at the Launderama.



From → Uncategorized

  1. So much for ‘independent’, community living, person centred planners, safeguarding liberty, encouraging choice and all the rest.

  2. simone aspis permalink

    Cracky I must be lacking in lots of capacity – if I was assessed against the same standards – ouch my left arm has been assaulted on numerous occasions today as a result of this blood monitoring machine – just 18 hours to go!

  3. kate permalink

    SU MN has also failed to achieve the agreed meaningful goal of asking Panther to meet and talk to SU SN. This challenging behaviour and failure to benefit from the opportunities available whilst accessing the community will need to be addressed by an appropriate professional multi disciplinary team.

  4. Dorothy Jump permalink

    Safeguarding needs addressing its shameful. Also it seems they always mention choices and best interests but my fear is they over ride the safeguarding and the mental Capacity act and do not relate to an individual need and what the risks are this needs addressing urgently.
    I also feel care planning is not actually taken into account to highlight the important issues of a person and this causes conflicts in the approach to care correctly. People do need choices in life but it also needs a correct way and not what the professionals always say.

  5. NoneofSC's Business permalink

    Yes! Spot on again.

  6. kate permalink

    I believe SU MN’s initial accompanied and supported access to the Launderama in the community will highlight the integrity of this safeguarding outcome. Once back in the placement, with support to put all the clean clothes in the clothing container, SU MN might be supported to make the informed decision that there is now one too many training tops and that maybe an old one will need to be donated to Oxfam on a future scheduled community access session.

  7. Very witty MN although on a serious note you have been ‘assessed as lacking capacity’. However, did the assessors note whether you took the top back and exchanged it or got a refund? On a serious note Mark, this is exactly how they assess people with disabilities and the control & restrictions are not fair or even needed. Petty stuff and petty professionals.

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