The Suffolk MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub) receives and processes all safeguarding referrals in respect of children and adults at risk of harm and abuse. It was developed with the advantage of learning from previous experiences and especially from lessons highlighted by reviews of serious safeguarding incidents across the country. A recurrent theme of these reviews is the importance of having effective information sharing and close working arrangements between relevant agencies. With the need to ensure referrals and referrers get the right response first time.
The MASH is staffed by a range of professionals from Health, Police, Education, Social Care, Probation, Youth Offending, Mental Health services and Housing with the majority of staff being based at Landmark House, Ipswich.
The MASH health team is formed of Health Research Officers, Specialist Nurses and Health Visitors. They work together with other MASH staff to identify the most appropriate response to an individual's identified needs. The emphasis is on effective sharing of information to ensure early identification of potential significant harm, and trigger the correct interventions to prevent further harm and route referrals to the right services. Customer First is and will continue to be the first point of contact for all referrers to report safeguarding concerns for both children and adults. All non-safeguarding referrals for Adults will be directed to the cluster teams.
The MASH also has a strong developing partnership working arrangement with wider partners including schools, the Ambulance Service and voluntary and community organisations.
An Operational Group and a Strategic Board are responsible for developing and approving all the relevant processes and procedures needed for the MASH to run effectively.
There are lead officers for each MASH partner.