Sleeping Rough

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 26th February 2019.

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Photo of Liam Byrne Liam Byrne Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) (Digital Economy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Rough Sleeping Strategy, published in August 2018, what steps he is taking to ensure that (a) Safeguarding Adult Reviews are conducted when a person who sleeps rough (i) dies and (ii) is seriously harmed as a result of abuse or neglect and (b) the implementation of processes to (i) record and (ii) learn lessons from those deaths.

Photo of Heather Wheeler Heather Wheeler Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

My Department is working with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) through the Rough Sleeping and Homelessness Reduction Taskforce to ensure that Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SARs) are conducted when appropriate and that rough sleepers have the health care they need, when they need it.

We are ensuring that where a homeless person dies, or there has been serious harm, SARs take place where appropriate, so that local services can learn lessons from these tragic events to better prevent them from happening in the future.

DHSC is working with Safeguarding Adult Boards to ensure that SARs are conducted when a person who sleeps rough dies, or is seriously harmed as a result of abuse or neglect, whether known or suspected, and there is concern that partner agencies could have worked more effectively to protect the adult. Lessons learned from these reviews will inform improvements in local systems and services.

They are working with the Local Government Association (LGA) to develop a series of national events in 2019/20 to look at safeguarding and homelessness and how we can share learning from reviews into rough sleeper deaths. DHSC is also commissioning King’s College London to conduct a thematic review of the national SAR library on rough sleeping cases.

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