Purpose of the report: To provide Members with an update on MASH progress and future direction.
Declarations of Interest:
Carl Bussey, Head of MASH
Sam Bushby, Assistant Director of Children’s Services
Clare Curran, Cabinet Member for Children
Mary Lewis, Cabinet member for Education
points raised in the discussion:
Officers highlighted that a key concern for the
service was that contact demand for the Multi Agency Safeguarding
Hub (MASH) had expanded exponentially. It was noted that the
service were received over 5000 contacts each month and that this
was difficult to sustain. It was noted that the police were the
most numerous contact and that the service had been working to
triage police contacts and ensure that contacts are sustainable for
the available workforce.
Members noted the positive and informative
experience that they had engaged with in their visits to the MASH
to determine key challenges and thanked officers for
It was noted that there had been feedback sessions
with Dedicated Safeguarding Leads (DSL) and that these had been
helpful in highlighting key challenges to schools. It was expressed
that the service had evidence of revised practice to ensure that
the journey of the child is easier based on feedback.
It was stressed by officers that they were looking
to implement incremental improvement within the service’s
performance, rather than sweeping change, to ensure effectiveness
and completion of these improvements. It was noted that one of the
key areas of development was improving the timeliness of
Officers noted that they were gathering evidence of
service learning, feedback from users and evidence of national best
practice. Members expressed interest in seeing the outcomes of this
work and evidence that there had been improvement in key areas of
Officers indicated that the pace of change had
increased significantly, highlighting that deadlines for evidencing
improvement were set at June 2018.
Members questioned the numbers of police contacts,
asking whether they were coming in at the right place and whether
there were contacts from other sectors that were potentially being
missed. Officers stressed that approximately 95% of police contacts
were assessed at the level one of the MASH, identified as low level
routine risk contacts. It was noted that there was work to do with
triaging these contacts and ensuring that they are handled
appropriately and at the right level.
Officers noted that looking at national best
practice was a good indicator of identifying appropriate threshold
levels. It was stressed that the service was working to identify
correct threshold levels and that this work would help to
9. Officers emphasised the that it was important to define the work of social workers in the MASH in order to reduce demand and workload on their time and ensure that they are correctly deployed to reduce pressure on the MASH.
1. That the service provides a future update reviewing evidence of practice improvement data collected over the period, detailing the implementation of future learning, feedback provided and national best practice in the MASH and provide this information in six months.