‘Elizabeth’ (December 2020)

Statement from the HSAB Chair

The Hampshire Safeguarding Adults Board (HSAB) has today published a learning summary arising from a Safeguarding Adults Review (SAR) into the circumstances surrounding the death in 2019 of ‘Elizabeth’ an older adult who over a long period of time, had experienced self-neglect including hoarding.  Firstly, the HSAB would like to express sincere condolences to Elizabeth’s family for their tragic loss.

The circumstances of Elizabeth’s death and the extent of her vulnerability and risks now known, gave rise to serious concerns. In response, the HSAB commissioned discretionary Safeguarding Adult Review to establish any learning about the way in which local professionals and agencies worked together to safeguard Elizabeth.  As well as highlighting some good practice, the SAR also identified important learning and key areas for further improvement.  HSAB accepts in full the recommendations in the report and we will now be working with partner agencies to share and embed this learning within respective organisations and to deliver improvements in the key areas identified in the recommendations. We expect the learning from this SAR to bring about positive change and improvements in:

  • Recognition and management of self-neglect and hoarding
  • Understanding and application of the Mental Capacity Act (2005) in complex cases
  • Identification and management of disengagement and seeking expert advice and support when risks escalate
  • A mindset of professional curiosity in order to explore the underlying reasons for an adult’s reluctance to engage with support
  • Use of established multi-agency risk management processes and development of collaborative plans
  • Understanding of the range of the legal frameworks and remedies available to help manage risks associated with self-neglect and hoarding
  • Where possible, informing family member of the deteriorating situation, in order to give them an opportunity to reach out to their relative to offer support.

The SAR 6-Step Briefing can be viewed below:

Elizabeth SAR 6 Step Briefing – HSAB December 2020