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7.2 Multi-Agency Escalation Procedure

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter seeks to provide a process and framework for dealing with situations where agencies and professionals disagree with actions or lack of actions with other professionals/agencies. It is particularly relevant in the early, referral stage.

It is anticipated that most disagreements will be resolved through further additional discussion between the relevant professionals; however, should this not be the case, then this procedure should be promptly expedited.

It is important that disagreements do not delay the safeguarding of a child.

This chapter was introduced into the manual in September 2015.


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Wirral Multi-Agency Escalation Process
  3. Professionals Resolving Disagreement - Stage One
  4. Safeguarding Lead - Stage Two
  5. WSCB Members - Stage Three
  6. WSCB Chair - Stage Four
  7. WSCB Support

    Appendix 1: Proforma for Reporting Conflicts which have been Resolved at Stage 2 Agency Representative Level

    Appendix 2: Proforma for Reporting Conflicts which have been Resolved at Stage 3 Agency Representative Level


1. Introduction

This procedure has been developed by the Wirral Safeguarding Children Board (WSCB) to be used when resolving professional disagreements in relation to the safeguarding needs of children and young people. Disagreements over the handling of concerns reported to Children’s Services and other agencies can impact negatively on positive working relationships and consequently on the ability to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

It is not designed to replace the statutory complaints processes established within individual partner agencies.

All professionals in The Wirral working with children, young people and families need to know what to do about a referral or case where there are concerns or disagreement on the referral pathway for a child (ren). This includes contacts and referrals to the Gateway and Central Advice and Duty Service and on current allocated cases to a Lead Professional.

Every agency has safeguarding procedures in place within their own agency that details lines of responsibility and accountability for case management. On those occasions where concerns need to be raised with another agency, workers should ensure this happens as soon as possible and that discussions are clearly recorded. In most cases the Lead Professional should be the first contact and if that does not resolve the concerns their manager should be contacted within one working day.

All agencies are responsible for ensuring that their staff are competent and supported to escalate appropriately intra-agency and inter-agency concerns and disagreements about a child’s well-being.

Concern or disagreement may arise over another professional’s decisions, actions or lack of actions in relation to a referral, an assessment or an enquiry. Professionals should attempt to resolve differences through discussion and/or meeting within a working week or a timescale that protects the child from harm (whichever is less).


2. Wirral Multi-Agency Escalation Process

Resolution of professional disagreements in work relating to safeguarding children, young people and their families.

WHEN ANY PROFESSIONAL CONSIDERS A CHILD IS AT IMMEDIATE RISK OF SIGNIFICANT HARM, THEN THE INDIVIDUAL MUST ENSURE THEIR CONCERNS ARE ESCALATED ON THE SAME WORKING DAY USING ESTABLISHED CHILD PROTECTION PROCEDURES.

escalation_process

Proforma document (see Appendix 1: Proforma for Reporting Conflicts which have been Resolved at Stage 2 Agency Representative Level) should be sent to the WSCB Business Manager for analysis, enabling identification of thematic issues and learning, to inform further action to be taken by WSCB. This quarterly report will remain as a standing agenda item for the WSCB Executive Group.


3. Professionals Resolving Disagreement - Stage One

Most disagreements can be resolved between professionals by having a conversation about the reasons for the conflict and reaching an agreement without needing to escalate further. Disagreements resolved at Stage One do not need to be recorded here and the WSCB do not need to be informed. Agencies however should record the disagreement and resolution in their own records. It is the responsibility of professionals to inform their managers if they are unable to resolve the disagreement.


4. Safeguarding Lead - Stage Two

Please contact the WSCB Business Manager davidrobbins@wirral.gov.uk for assistance if you are escalating to Stage Two and you do not know who the safeguarding lead is for the organisation you wish to contact. It is managers responsibility to attempt to resolve the disagreement between the two agencies.


5. WSCB Members - Stage Three

If the team managers, safeguarding leads (or equivalent) are unable to resolve the concerns they should be escalated by a senior manager to the agencies WSCB Board representatives who will convene a conflict resolution meeting to mediate. WSCB members are listed below. Please contact davidrobbins@wirral.gov.uk for direct contact details.

Simon Garner      Corporate Safeguarding Manager
Lisa Arthey       Head of Specialist Services, CYPD
Amanda Bennett    Designated Doctor - Safeguarding Children
Sandra Christie   Director of Quality and Nursing, Community Trust
Debbie Hammersley Designated Nurse - Safeguarding Children (CCG)
Lisa Cooper       NHS England
Jill Galvani           Director of Nursing and Midwifery. Wirral University Teaching Hospital
Sheila Clark            Area Service Manager, Connexions
Deborah Gornik    Head of Targeted Services, CYPD
Bev Morgan        Representing Voluntary Agencies
Steve Dainty            Primary Schools Representative
Paula Waring      Special Schools Representative
Phil Sheridan     Secondary Schools Representative
Lorna Quigley     Interim Chief Operating Officer, NHS Wirral CCG
Paula Simpson     Head of Quality and Nursing, Community NHS Trust
Avril Devaney     Director of Nursing, CWP
Jane Harvey       Public Health Consultant, NHS Wirral
Rosie Goodwin    Assistant Chief Executive, Merseyside Rehabilitation Committee
Richie Davies     Superintendent, Merseyside Police
Catherine Court   Deputy Principal, Wirral Metropolitan College
Paul Murphy       Group Manager, Merseyside Fire and Rescue
Anne Steel        Head of Housing, Wirral Methodist HA
Michelle Evans    Service Manager, CAFCASS
Julie Webster    Head of Public Health
Celine Gafos            Restorative Practice Senior Locality Manager
Jane Harvey       Public Health Consultant
Marie Orrell            Head of LDU National Probation Service


6. WSCB Chair - Stage Four

If the concern remains unresolved at Stage Three the relevant WSCB Board members will escalate the case to the Chair of the WSCB for a determination to be made. Members should contact davidrobbins@wirral.gov.uk if they wish to do this.


7. WSCB Support

David Robbins - WSCB Business Manager

Tel: 0151 666 4314
E-mail: davidrobbins@wirral.gov.uk
Secure E-maildavid.robbins@wirral.gcsx.gov.uk


Appendix 1: Proforma for Reporting Conflicts which have been Resolved at Stage 2 Agency Representative Level

Click here to view Appendix 1: Proforma for Reporting Conflicts which have been Resolved at Stage 2 Agency Representative Level.


Appendix 2: Proforma for Reporting Conflicts which have been Resolved at Stage 3 Agency Representative Level

Click here to view Appendix 2: Proforma for Reporting Conflicts which have been Resolved at Stage 3 Agency Representative Level.

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