MASH national core elements

The Norfolk MASH service delivery model is aligned to the recognised five national core MASH elements:

1. All notifications relating to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children to go through the hub

All concerns, whatever the level, must be routed through the hub to ensure that low level repeat concerns from a variety of partners can be identified in the MASH. The hub can then prevent the concerns from being masked by volume or lost in the bureaucracy of a partnership.

This focuses on anything with regard to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults. This will enable effective interventions at the earliest opportunity.

Having one route in and one decision-making process ensures a standard of risk assessment that can be regularly audited.

This approach was strongly endorsed by the Ofsted report, ‘Good Practice by Local Safeguarding Children Boards’ and ‘The Munro Review of Child Protection’.

Safeguarding referrals for adults at risk who do not have an allocated worker are routed via the MASH. The MASH processes are mirrored by Safeguarding Adults Practice Consultants when safeguarding issues arise on allocated cases.

2. Co-location of professionals from core agencies to research, interpret and determine what is proportionate and relevant to share

This is critical to ensuring all partners have the confidence and trust to engage fully in effective working.

The duty of care for agency information remains with the ‘owner’ at all times. Decisions to share information are made on a case-by-case basis within the statutory framework to ensure the necessary information is available. All information should be disclosed within the security of the hub.

3. The hub is firewalled, keeping MASH activity confidential and separate from operational activity and providing a confidential record system of activity to support this

This provision is required to ensure sensitive information remains in a confidential environment and is disclosed on a strictly ‘need to know’ basis.

4. An agreed process for analysing and assessing risk, based on the information, and distribution of a suitable information product to the most appropriate agency for necessary action

The partnership aims to make effective and efficient decisions by having the most complete information at the earliest stage.

By using a standardised risk assessment and threshold model, partners can make decisions in a clear and consistent manner. MASH will provide proportionate and relevant information to the most appropriate agencies.

5. A process to identify victims and emerging harm through research and analysis

MASH provides a secure environment where information is subjected to ongoing research and analysis.

This will help identify victims and perpetrators by understanding repeat notifications. It will also aid the identification of individuals who will suffer increasing levels of harm in the future. Early identification of this nature enables services to intervene at a much earlier time, providing opportunities to reduce harm and long-term costs.

Analysis within the MASH enables the commissioning and prioritisation of resources to improve safeguarding provision.