Safeguarding Adults Boards [SABs]

LA’s duty to establish a SAB

1. English local authorities responsible for adult social services are required to establish Safeguarding Adults Boards (SABs) for their areas.1Care Act 2014, s 43(1) 

2. Two or more local authorities may establish a SAB for their combined geographical area of responsibility.2Care Act 2014, s 43(6) 

What is a SAB’s objective?

3. The SAB’s objective is to help and protect individuals who:

  1. it believes have care and support needs (whether or not the authority is meeting those needs);
  2. are experiencing or are at risk of neglect and abuse; and
  3. are unable to protect themselves.3Care Act 2014 s 43(2)

How should a SAB achieve its objective?

4. The SAB should seek to achieve its objective through:

  1. the coordination of members’ activities in relation to safeguarding; and
  2. ensuring the effectiveness of what those members do for safeguarding purposes.4Care Act 2014 s 43(3)

5. A SAB may undertake any lawful activity which may help it achieve its objective. The functions which a SAB can exercise in pursuit of its objective are those of its members.

Who are the members of a SAB?

6. The core members of the SAB must include:

  1. the local authority;5Care Act 2014 s 43 sch 2 para 1(1)
  2. an appointed representative from each clinical commissioning group (CCG);
  3. the chief officer of police for the SAB’s area;
  4. other members that the local authority considers appropriate after the local authority has consulted the core members of the SAB; and 6Care Act 2014, s 43, sch 2, para 1(2)
  5. the Secretary of State may prescribe other core members of the SAB through regulations.7Care Act 2014, s 43, sch 2, para 1(1)(d)


7. The local authority must also appoint a chair for the SAB with reasonable skills and experience after consulting the other SAB members.8Care Act 2014 s 43 sch 2 para 1(3)


8.  The individual nominated to represent the member on the SAB must be a person whom the member considers to have the required skills and experience.9Care Act 2014 s 43 sch 2 para 1(4)

Guidance for the SAB

9. The local authority must act under the guidance10Department of Health and Social Care, ‘Care and Support Statutory Guidance’ (GOV.UK), updated 26 October 2018, accessed 3 July 2019 issued by the Secretary of State.11Care Act 2014, s 43, sch 2, para 1(7) Other SAB members must have regard to this guidance.12Care Act 2014, s 43, sch 2, para 1(6)

10. Other than this, there are no particular governance procedures which an SAB must follow, and the SAB may regulate its own procedure.13Care Act 2014, s 43, sch 2, para 1(6)

Strategic plan

11. Each SAB must publish for each financial year a strategic plan that sets out:14Care Act 2014, s 43, sch 2, para 3(1)

  1. how it will meet its main objective; and
  2. what each SAB member will do to achieve that objective.

12. This plan should, so far as feasible, be developed involving the local community, and the SAB must consult the Local Healthwatch organisation in the development of the plan.15Care Act 2014, s 43, sch 2, para 3(2)

Annual report

13. An annual report must be published to account for:

  1. implementation against the strategic plan; and
  2. progress on the findings of any Safeguarding Adult Reviews.16Care Act 2014, s 43, sch 2, para 4(1)

14. The report must describe:17Care Act 2014, s 43, sch 2, para 4(1)(a)-(g)

  1. what the SAB has done during the year to: 
    1. achieve its main objective and its strategy; and
    2. how each member of the SAB has helped to implement the strategy;
  2. the total number of ongoing Safeguarding Adult Reviews, whether or not they were started in that year; 
  3. the findings of Safeguarding Adults Reviews concluded that year (whether or not they were started in that year);  and
  4. actions taken that year in response to Safeguarding Adult Reviews, ie.
    1. either action taken to implement findings; or
    2. where a decision has been taken not to implement a finding, then the reason for that decision.
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