Safeguarding adults and adult social care

We work with partners to deliver a programme for sector-led support in adult services.


Adults peer challenges are a constructive, collaborative and supportive process to help councils improve. It is not an inspection, nor does it award any form of score. Each peer challenge is undertaken by a team of peers from and of the sector, as critical friends with no surprises and feedback is given in a challenging but supportive way that includes current strengthens and the areas for consideration, in good faith.

Each adults peer challenge is tailored to meet the needs of the client and the size and specialisms of peer teams vary as do the number of days on-site.

There are a number different topics that can be addressed.

  • Safeguarding
    • Safeguarding Adults
    • Safeguarding Adults Board
  • Adult Social Care
    • Commissioning
    • Delayed Transfers of Care
    • Use of Resources

Safeguarding adults peer challenge - cost £13,500

A Safeguarding Adults Peer Challenge seeks to consider the full range of activities a local authority delivers in conjunction with a wide variety of partners to ensure that adults are kept safe. This can include looking at:

  • the quality of frontline practice through interviews, focus groups and a case file audit
  • the processes of the front door
  • how safeguarding is structured in the local authority and where it sits and how it informs colleagues
  • the strategy for the service and how this is delivered with statutory partners on the safeguarding adults board.

The scope and onsite details of each peer challenge are negotiated locally with the options of a three or four day timetable discussed in each case and a multi-disciplinary peer team sourced in agreement with each client. Ideally there is a three month lead time. The review explores an authority's aspirations, performance and delivery against a client’s self-assessment and the Safeguarding Adults Standards. Use this peer challenge benchmark when you require a view of safeguarding across a service.

Safeguarding adults board peer challenge - cost £10,000

This focuses on the work of the safeguarding adults board – who will be the client for this work – and is typically a three-day challenge with a multi-disciplinary peer team, covering the full range of activities led by the SAB partners and includes consideration of frontline practice. There is a three month lead time. The review explores the aspirations, performance and delivery of the SAB and the context within which it works.

Adult social care peer challenge – cost £13,500

The adult social care peer challenge is designed to look across a service with all key partners both internal and external as well as from the strategic to the operational to get a sense of what the service does well and how and where it can improve. This will cover the all aspects of an adult social care department as well as looking at frontline practice, there is typically a three month lead time. The scope and onsite days and dates are negotiated to suit the needs of each client and this can be a three or four day peer challenge with a multi-disciplinary team agreed with each client beforehand. The peer challenge team will give feedback on the client’s self-assessment using the LGA/ADASS Key Areas of Focus for adult social care and there are options to include a pre-onsite relational questionnaire, a case file audit and a choice of types of feedback. Use this peer challenge benchmark when you require an overall view of an adults service from the strategic to the operational, probably to position it with key internal and external stakeholders.

Commissioning for better outcomes peer challenge – cost £13,500

The commissioning for better outcomes peer challenge focuses upon the vision, strategy and plans by local authorities and their partners involved in commissioning the work of adult social care to deliver positive outcomes for those who use services. This is typically a 4-day peer challenge with a multi-disciplinary peer team exploring an authority's aspirations, performance and delivery against their self-assessment of the integrated commissioning for better outcomes framework domains.

The iCBO standards

These standards are designed to support a dynamic process of continuous improvement and, through self-assessment and peer review, to challenge commissioners and their partners, to strengthen and innovate to achieve improved others.

Delayed Transfers of Care – DToC peer challenge – cost £13,500

The delayed transfers of care peer challenge is typically a four-day peer challenge by a team of peers from across the local authority, commissioning and acute sectors considering the strengths and areas for improvement of the discharge processes and activity across a system. The work starts with the publically available data but then seeks to get to a detailed understanding of where the system is effective and where it can improve. Key messages are checked out with all stakeholders prior to the final presentation and the peer team are mindful of all those involved in this work. There are options to include a relational and case file audit to be completed prior to the onsite work to add value to the peer team and client’s understanding.

Use of resources peer challenge – cost £13,500

The four-day Use of Resources Peer Challenge has been developed to support councils make better use of resources in Adult Social Care and is based on ADASS's "How to make best use of reducing resources: a whole system approach". The framework takes a rounded view of how to achieve value for people who use social care as well as the tax payer and includes the use of a robust self-assessment tool.

Councils complete the Use of resources self-assessment in the toolkit that the peer challenge team use as a starting point for their evaluation.

Further information

If would like to discuss an adults peer challenge, please contact:

Marcus Coulson, Programme Manager, Adults Peer Challenges, LGA
Telephone: 07766 252 853
Email: marcus.coulson@local.gov.uk