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Torbay and Devon Safeguarding Adults Partnership Constitution

Objectives, roles and functions of the Partnership




The Partnership shall be known as Torbay and Devon Safeguarding Adults Partnership, hereafter known as TDSAP or the Partnership.


The Partnership is a Safeguarding Adults Partnership established by Devon County Council and Torbay Council under section 43(1) of the Care Act 2014. Torbay Council have an affiliated arrangement with Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust who deliver on Adult Social Care provision on behalf of Torbay Council.

Aim of adult safeguarding

The October 2023 edition of the care and support statutory guidance to the Care Act states that the aims of adult safeguarding are to:

  • prevent harm and reduce the risk of abuse or neglect to adults with care and support needs
  • stop abuse or neglect wherever possible
  • safeguard adults in a way that supports them in making choices and having control about how they want to live
  • promote an approach that concentrates on improving life for the adults concerned
  • raise public awareness so that communities as a whole, alongside professionals, play their part in preventing, identifying and responding to abuse and neglect
  • provide information and support in accessible ways to help people understand the different types of abuse, how to stay safe and what to do to raise a concern about the safety or well-being of an adult
  • address what has caused the abuse or neglect.


The core objective of the Partnership, set out in section 43(2) of the Care Act 2014, is to help and protect adults in its area in cases where:

  • the adult has care and support needs
  • they are experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect; and
  • as a result of those care and support needs they are unable to protect themselves from either the risk of or the experience of abuse or neglect.

The Partnership will execute this duty by co-ordinating and ensuring the effectiveness of what each of its members does. The Partnership may do anything which appears to it to be necessary or desirable for the purpose of achieving its objective.

The Care and Support Statutory Guidance says that the Partnership will assure itself that local safeguarding arrangements and partners act to help and protect adults in such cases.

Making safeguarding personal

The work of Torbay and Devon Safeguarding Adults Partnership is driven towards ensuring all services for vulnerable people are person-centred, easy to access and importantly promote independence, whilst ensuring people are safe. The Partnership is particularly keen to ensure that the ‘Making Safeguarding Personal’ agenda is rooted throughout and across all partner organisations and that front line staff are supported to have the confidence in delivering this. The TDSAP Business Plan and Sub-Group work plans are developed with these objectives in mind.


The Partnership has three core duties under the Care Act 2014:

It must publish a business plan and link operational action plans for each financial year that sets how it will meet its main objective and what the members will do to achieve this. The plan must be developed with local community involvement, and the Partnership must consult Healthwatch. The plan should be evidence based and make use of all available evidence and intelligence from partners to form and develop its plan.

It must publish an annual report detailing what the Partnership has done during the year to achieve its main objective and implement its business plan, and what each member has done to implement the strategy as well as detailing the findings of any safeguarding adults reviews and subsequent action.

It must conduct any safeguarding adults review in accordance with Section 44 of the Act. These will be carried out via the Safeguarding Adults Review Core Group.


The Care and Support Statutory Guidance paragraph 14.134 – 14.135 sets the following roles for the Partnership:

  • It oversees and leads adult safeguarding across the locality
  • It will be interested in a range of matters that contribute to the prevention of abuse and neglect, including
    • the safety of patients in its local health service
    • the quality of local care and support services
    • the effectiveness of prisons and approved premises in safeguarding offenders
    • the awareness and responsiveness of further education services

It will be an important source of advice and assistance, for example in helping others improve their safeguarding mechanisms.

It will make effective links with other key partnerships in the locality and share relevant information and work plans. It will cooperate to reduce any duplication and maximise any efficiency, particularly as objectives and membership is likely to overlap.

It is important that TDSAP partners feel able to challenge each other and other organisations where it believes that their actions or inactions are increasing the risk of abuse or neglect. This will include commissioners, as well as providers of services.

The TDSAP will need intelligence on safeguarding in all providers of health and social care in its locality, not just those with whom its members commission or contract.

In addition to its role as a Safeguarding Adults Partnership under the Care Act 2014, the Partnership also gives local leadership on application of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 by Members, including the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.


Paragraph 14.139 of the care and support statutory guidance states that the partnership will:

  • identify the role, responsibility, authority and accountability with regard to the action each agency and professional group should take to ensure the protection of adults
  • establish ways of analysing and interrogating data on safeguarding notifications that increase the Partnership’s understanding of prevalence of abuse and neglect locally that builds up a picture over time
  • establish how it will hold partners to account and gain assurance of the effectiveness of its arrangements
  • determine its arrangements for peer review and self-audit
  • establish mechanisms for developing policies and strategies for protecting adults which should be formulated, not only in collaboration and consultation with all relevant agencies but also take account of the views of adults who have needs for care and support, their families, advocates and carer representatives
  • develop preventative strategies that aim to reduce instances of abuse and neglect in its area
  • identify types of circumstances giving grounds for concern and when they should be considered as a referral to the local authority as an enquiry
  • formulate guidance about the arrangements for managing adult safeguarding, and dealing with complaints, grievances and professional and administrative malpractice in relation to safeguarding adults
  • develop strategies to deal with the impact of issues of race, ethnicity, religion, gender and gender orientation, sexual orientation, age, disadvantage and disability on abuse and neglect
  • balance the requirements of confidentiality with the consideration that, to protect adults, it may be necessary to share information on a ‘need-to-know basis’
  • identify mechanisms for monitoring and reviewing the implementation and impact of policy and training
    carry out safeguarding adult reviews and determine any publication arrangements
  • produce a business plan and an annual report
  • evidence how Partnership members have challenged one another and held other Partnerships to account
  • promote multi-agency training and consider any specialist training that may be required. Consider any scope to jointly commission some training with other partnerships, such as the Community Safety Partnership.

Membership of the Partnership


The local authorities, having consulted the other members of the Partnership, must appoint as the chair a person whom the authorities considers to have the required skills and experience.

The responsibilities of the Chair are:

  • to ensure that the Partnership meets its obligations
  • to ensure smooth running of the Partnership and its meetings
  • to report to the Partnership on its effectiveness in discharging its responsibilities and functions
  • to agree the recommendations from Safeguarding Adults Reviews, following consultation with the relevant Partner Agencies.

The Chair will be responsible to the Chief Executives of Devon County Council and Torbay Council. They may delegate day-to-day responsibility to other officers as appropriate.

The Chair may take such action as he or she considers to be in the best interest of the Partnership, provided that before doing so, the Chair shall consult with the Director of Adult Social Care for Devon County Council and the Director of Adult Social Care for Torbay Torbay & South Devon NHS Foundation Trust and, where reasonably practicable, with Partnership members, specifically before:

Making a public or media statement within the objectives and functions of the Partnership. The Chair shall only make such a statement through the Communications Teams of Devon County Council and both the communication teams of Torbay Council and; Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust who holds delegated responsibility.

Making representations to any government body or department, or any other organisation on behalf of the Partnership.

Vice Chair

The Vice Chair shall be nominated and appointed by the Partnership. The Vice Chair shall be appointed for a term of three years. The Partnership has the aspiration that the same person cannot act as Vice Chair for consecutive terms, but recognises there may need to be flexibility on this at time.


The Partnership shall be composed of senior officers with required skills, experience and responsibility nominated by each member agency.  Members must have the sufficient delegated authority to effectively represent their agency and to make decisions on their agency’s behalf. They must have access to those responsible for making the decision for which they do not have delegated authority.

If members are unable to attend Partnership meetings for any reason they must send a nominated representative of sufficient seniority. Representatives are appointed to discharge personally the functions of the Partnership on behalf of their organisation. Therefore, the representative may only send a substitute to a Partnership meeting with the consent of the Chair.

Changes to membership

Membership will be reviewed by the Chair every year to ensure appropriate representation.

The Chair has the power to make changes to the agencies that make-up of the membership of the Partnership, the number of members from each agency, and which roles within those agencies will act as Members of the Partnership. The Chair will consult with Partnership members on such matters.

An appointed member of the Partnership may be removed at any time by the agency they represent.

The Chair of the Partnership may refer the matter of an individual’s continued membership of the Partnership back to their individual agency for a decision to be made as to whether that individual should continue to represent the agency at the Partnership.

Where the Chair has reasonable cause to believe that the need for removal is urgent, the Chair may suspend that member until such time as the agency can consider the matter.

Responsibilities of Partnership Members

Members who attend in a professional and managerial capacity should be:

  • able to present issues clearly in writing and in person
  • experienced in the work of their organisation
  • knowledgeable about the local area and population
  • able to explain their organisation’s priorities
  • able to promote the aims of TDSAP
  • able to commit their organisation to agreed actions
  • have a thorough understanding of abuse and neglect and its impact
  • understand the pressures facing front line practitioners

Expectations on members

Partnership members will:

  • take a lead role for safeguarding adults within the representing agency and lead on work as required by the Partnership
  • co-operate in and contribute to the carrying out of a safeguarding adults review
  • share the responsibility of ensuring that the Partnership’s work programme is delivered
  • chair a task and finish group if required or identify a senior manager within their organisation who has the skill and abilities to chair such a meeting
  • ensure appropriate representation on the sub-group/task and finish group as appropriate to their organisation
  • adhere to the Partnership’s Information Sharing Protocol
  • act as a channel of communication between their agency and the Partnership
  • attend and support promotional and other events arranged by the Partnership
  • contribute to and examine regular updates, data and analysis on individual agency and joint agency performance indicators.

Monitoring of Parternship attendance

Attendance at meetings will be reported to the Partnership and recorded both in the minutes of the meeting and in the Partnership’s Annual Report. In the event of one member’s persistent non-attendance, the Chair will write to the Chief Executive, or equivalent, of the organisation concerned to bring this to their attention.

Declarations of Interest

If at any time a Partnership Member has a pecuniary or other potentially prejudicial interest in any matter being considered by the Partnership, they should declare the existence and nature of that interest.

Declarations of interest will be recorded, and action taken by the Chair to ensure the individual concerned is not involvement in decision-making or consequent action in relation to the matter in question.

The Declaration of Interest will be a standing item on all Partnership agendas.

Arrangements for the Partnership

Meetings of the Partnership

The Partnership will meet not less than four times a year. Additional meetings may be convened if required by the Chair.

A quorum of the Partnership shall be:

  • either the Chair or Vice-Chair must be present
  • five full members, representing at least four separate agencies
  • there must be representation from the following agencies required by Section 1 of Schedule 2 of the Care Act 2014 to be members: Devon County Council, Torbay & South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Devon ICB and Devon and Cornwall Police.

If at any time there is not a quorum present, the meeting cannot made decisions on behalf of the Partnership.

The business of each meeting will be planned so that the annual reporting back on work managed within any subcommittee, working group, or other process outside the main meeting, is spread throughout the year.

Meetings of the Partnership are open only to Partnership members and to invited attendees.

Decision making

Wherever possible the Chair shall attempt to reach decisions by consensus. However, where this proves not to be possible then matters will be settled by a simple majority of those members present who are entitled to vote.

No organisation shall exercise more than one vote, except in the case of elected Members of Devon County Council and Torbay Council who will each have voting rights separate from those of Officers of the Councils or delegated Adult Social Care members employed by Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust.

In the case of equity of votes the Chair shall have the casting vote.

The Chair or, in the absence of the Chair, the Vice Chair, in consultation with the 4 Member agencies set out in Section 1 of Schedule 2 of the Care Act 2014 (Devon County Council, Torbay Council and their delegated Torbay and  South Devon NHS Foundation Trust Adult Social Care members, NHS Devon ICB and Devon and Cornwall Police), shall decide any issue which requires a decision by the Partnership between meetings if it does not, in the opinion of the Chair, require a special meeting to be convened. The decision will be reported and submitted for ratification to the next meeting of the Partnership.

The Partnership may delegate such of its functions as it considers appropriate to sub-groups and / or task specific working groups.


The Chair may determine that any particular item of business at a meeting of the Partnership be treated as confidential. The presumption is that items will not be confidential unless this is a reasonable requirement. Reasonable requirements might include, but are not restricted to, the matter involving sensitive personal data, commercially sensitive information, or information that might prejudice another process.


In order to provide effective scrutiny, the Partnership is independent. It is not subordinate to, nor subsumed within, other local structures. Each partner organisation retains their own existing lines of accountability for safeguarding and the promotion of the welfare of adults with care and support needs by their services.

The principal means of accountability of the Partnership will be its Annual Report and of the minutes of its meetings other than any confidential items.The Partnership will make public minutes of its meetings, once these have been agreed at the subsequent meeting, except for the minutes relating to any confidential section of the meeting.

Annual report

In line with the requirements of Schedule 2 of the Care Act 2014, the Chair of the Partnership shall send copies of the annual report to:

  • The Chief Executives and the Leaders of Devon County Council; Torbay Council and Torbay & South Devon NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Devon and Cornwall Police’s Chief Superintendent
  • The Chief Executive of Healthwatch
  • The Chairs of Devon and Torbay Health and Wellbeing Partnerships.

The Safeguarding Adults Partnership will offer to present a report to the Health and Wellbeing Partnerships annually, including the Partnership’s annual report.

The Partnership shall also send its annual report to the appropriate Scrutiny Committee of Devon County Council and Torbay Council.

Business plan

A lead is taken in the strategic development of the Partnership’s Business Plan by:

  • receiving an annual report on the work of standing groups and other working groups
  • making decisions on the proposed business plan for the coming year
  • agreeing themes for future Partnership themed workshops and development meetings.


The Partnership will get assurance of how key safeguarding responsibilities are being discharged by all members by:

  • undertaking agreed self-audits on key safeguarding responsibilities of all members
  • providing performance management information on agreed topics
  • receiving reports on Safeguarding Adults Reviews’ learning best practice from other review processes
  • receiving updates on Devon Safeguarding Children Partnership; and Torbay Safeguarding Children Partnership from the Chair where there is shared learning arising from performance review, child practice reviews (or SAR) and any other audit activity, where there is crossover between safeguarding adults and safeguarding children
  • receiving reports on safeguarding work not led by the work of sub-committees, working groups or other processes
  • receiving reports on safeguarding work led by individual members or standing sub-groups and other working groups

Finances and resources

Members of the Partnership are expected to consider what assistance they can provide in supporting the Partnership in its work. This might be through payment to the local authorities or to a joint fund established by the local authorities to provide, for example, secretariat functions for the Partnership.

Members might also support the work of the Partnership by providing administrative help, premises for meetings or holding training sessions. It is in all core partners’ interests to have an effective Partnership that is resourced adequately to carry out its functions. Core members of the Partnership are responsible for the agency budget contribution to the Partnership and ensuring that the allocated agency resources, financial and human, are utilised to meet the Partnership’s objectives.

Partnership member agencies may contribute annually towards resources at an agreed level, having regard to the differing size, resources and responsibilities of each agency.

The financial year will run from 1 April to the 31 March each year.

Devon County Council will administer the budget on behalf of the Partnership. The Business Manager for TDSAP will have the authority to act as the Partnership’s budget holder for the authorisation of payments, or to escalate such decisions as required by Devon County Council or Torbay Council’s  scheme of delegation. The Business Manager will consult with the Chair on financial decisions.

The Partnership’s budget is kept under review by receiving an annual budget report and agreeing funding proposals.


The Partnership shall have power to create sub-groups as it deems necessary. These may be standing groups or task and finish groups.

The Partnership will have the following sub groups:

  • an Operational Delivery Group, including safeguarding adults leads from key local partners
  • a Community Reference Group
  • a Learning & Improvement Group
  • a Safeguarding Adults Review Core Group
  • a Performance and Quality Assurance Group.

Where the Partnership creates an ongoing Subgroup, it will agree Terms of Reference for the group, which specify what authority is to be delegated and the reporting mechanism to the Partnership.

When required, task and finish groups will be set up deliver key pieces of the work commissioned by and reported to the Partnership. These task and finish groups will comprise of representatives nominated by Partnership members who have sufficient knowledge and skills to contribute to the required task.

Conflict resolution

In the event of any dispute between Partnership Members, the Partnership will collectively take all reasonable steps within the powers available to its Members to resolve it. When a matter cannot be resolved through the course of a Partnership meeting, the matter shall be referred to the appropriate officers of the members who shall meet to resolve the matter with the Chair’s nominee, who will be either the Vice-Chair of the Partnership or the Chair of the advisory sub-group, with the Chair determining which of those is best placed to attend to the particular matter.

If the dispute is not resolved, the Chair’s nominee will escalate it to the Chair of the Partnership for a further attempt at resolution. The Chair may consult with others, such as senior managers of the agencies involved.

In the event that the dispute cannot be resolved in accordance with the above procedures and within a reasonable time, having regard to the nature of the dispute, the members concerned may refer the matter to such body or person to act as a mediator as they may agree, the costs of such mediation to be borne by the members concerned.


The Partnership will be supported by a Business Manager and a Business Support Officer.

Review of constitution

The Partnership’s constitution will be reviewed every 3 years by the Partnership or as required, in accordance with statutory or regulatory provisions or other organisational changes that may require a change to the membership.

Appendix A: Membership of Torbay and Devon Safeguarding Adults Partnership

Organisation Role
Independent Chair of TDSAP
Vice Chair
Devon County Council Director of Integrated Adult Social Care
Torbay Council Director of Adult and Community Services
Devon County Council Councillor and Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Health
Torbay Council Cabinet Member for Adult Services and Public Health
Devon County Council Public Health Director of Public Health
Torbay Council Director of Public Health
Devon Partnership NHS Trust Deputy Director, Safeguarding and Public Protection
Devon and Cornwall Police Partnership Superintendent
NHS Devon ICB Chief Nursing Officer
Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Associate Director of Safeguarding
Living Options Devon Deputy CEO
Healthwatch CEO
Advisor to the Partnership – Care Quality Commission Inspection Manager/s Torbay and Devon
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service Safeguarding Manager
East Devon District Council / Pan-Devon Housing Representative Strategic Lead – Housing, Health and Environment
HM Prison Service A/Deputy Governor of HMP Exeter

HMP Exeter

The Probation Service Head of Devon and Torbay Probation
Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Named Doctor for Safeguarding
South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust Deputy Director of Clinical Care
Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust Director of Nursing and Professional Practice
Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust Head of Safeguarding Adults, Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards
Livewell Director of Safeguarding and quality
Advisor to the Partnership Designated Nurse for Safeguarding Adults -NHS Devon ICB
Advisors to the Partnership Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Service Manager and MCA Lead – DCC
MCA and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Lead Practitioner -Torbay
Advisor to the Partnership Principal Social Worker Commissioning – DCC
Advisor to the Partnership Business Manager TDSAP
Advisor to the Partnership Safeguarding Adults Practice Lead TDSAP


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