The Cluster-Based Safeguarding Peer Support Groups are securely established in Monmouthshire, the first pilot area. In February 2020 five more Cluster leads were appointed in Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, South Cynon, Llanelli and Llwchwr. It was unfortunate that their first planned meetings coincided with the March lockdown and face to face meetings became impossible.
Other challenges related to the pandemic included ill health, the need to self-isolate, workload issues, and the overwhelming sense of uncertainty that inevitably lead to other priorities taking precedence. Several practices merged during this challenging time, adding to the challenge of keeping basic GMS services going.
Despite these pressures, considerable progress has been made with the Safeguarding Groups over the past year. Three cluster areas agreed to provide funding after successful presentations.
Virtual meetings had consistently good attendance with a broad variety of topics presented, including domestic violence, Covid in Care Homes, Adult Safeguarding and Advance and Future Care Planning. Some groups established active What’s-app groups to discuss Safeguarding issues and a consistent safeguarding policy across cluster practices was developed, along with a safeguarding database and recording systems within practices.