Agenda item


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

Key points raised in the discussion:

1.    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.

2.    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 facilitating.

3.    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.

4.    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 referrals.

5.    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 the MASH.

6.    Officers indicated that the pace of change had increased significantly, highlighting that deadlines for evidencing improvement were set at June 2018.

7.    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.

8.    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 accomplish this.

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.


Supporting documents: