Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
Information sharing is key…
Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and adults with care and support needs is everyone’s responsibility and the evidence nationally and locally indicates that information sharing is vital to achieving this. Despite professionals’ best efforts, information sharing is always a theme within any review process where improvements have to be made. The MASH provides the opportunity for agencies to do this better by providing all professionals with more information on which to make better decisions.
What is the MASH?
The Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent MASH is a partnership between seven key public sector organisations, covering the county of Staffordshire and the city of Stoke-on-Trent, who work together to improve safeguarding outcomes for children, adults with care and support needs and those people involved in serious domestic abuse situations.
Which agencies make up the MASH?
The seven MASH Agencies are:
- Staffordshire County Council (Adults (SAST) and Children (FRT))
- Stoke-on-Trent City Council (Adults and Children (SRT))
- Staffordshire Police (MASH Police Team)
- Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership NHS Trust (SSOTP)
- National Probation Service
- North Staffordshire Combined (Mental) Health Trust (NSCHT)
- South Staffordshire and Shropshire (Mental Health) Foundation Trust (SSSFT)
What does the MASH do?
To help improve safeguarding outcomes, the MASH is organised for agencies to share information associated with a family or household after an incident has occurred (or a referral has been received). This information will then inform the decision-making of the referral owning agency such as Children’s Social Care services, so that this decision is made in a more informed way than if only single-agency information were available. This helps to make sure that:
- Vulnerable people get a better service and are better protected.
- Multi-agency information provides detail that leads the referral to be stepped up to a higher threshold than without the extra information. This then better safeguards the subject of the referral as a more rigorous (and therefore safer) provision will be put in place.
- Multi-agency information provides detail that leads the referral to be stepped down to a lower threshold than without the extra information. This then provides a less intrusive service and reduces costs to services.
- It confirms the suggestive threshold, so that the individual receiving the referral can be confident in the decision they have made and its appropriateness.
What are the benefits?
As well as delivering value around decision-making, which is its core purpose, the MASH delivers additional value as it:
- Enables more effective and efficient information sharing
- Provides awareness raising by informing agencies already working with a family/individual (for a different purpose) of concerns that have been identified
- Provides benefits simply because agencies are co-located, which enables sharing of information to support downstream agency core business and general multi-agency working.
What type of referrals do MASH share information about?
The MASH is responsible for processing referrals in the following groups:
- Children’s Services – concerns about the welfare of a child (Child in Need section 17, or child protection section 47 of the Children Act 1989)
- Adults Services – concerns about the welfare of an adult with care and support needs (section 42 of the Care Act 2014)
- Police – concerns regarding serious domestic abuse situations.
These are then able to be processed in the MASH for information-sharing if they are indicatively assessed at one of the following thresholds:
- Children’s Social Care Services – Child in Need or Child Protection
- Adults Services – S42 investigation
- Police – potential MARAC case
- Staffordshire First Response Team (Children) 0800 1313126
- Staffordshire Adults Team (contact centre) 0845 6042719
- Stoke-on-Trent Safeguarding Referral Team (Children) 01782 235100
- Stoke-on-Trent Adults Referrals (contact centre) 0800 5610015
- Staffordshire Police MASH Team (Professionals only) 01785 235350
- Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent NHS Partnership Trust 01785 895630
Additional information can be found using this link: https://www.staffsscb.org.uk/Professionals/MASH/MASH.aspx