Safeguarding Adults Reviews

The Care Act 2014 (Section 44) requires Safeguarding Adults Boards (SABs) to carry out Safeguarding Adults Reviews (SARs) when there is reasonable cause for concern about how partner organisations worked together to safeguard the adult and a) the adult died, and the SAB knows or suspects that the death resulted from abuse or neglect, or if b) the adult is still alive and the SAB knows or suspects that the adult has experienced serious abuse or neglect.

  • An adult in its area dies as a result of abuse or neglect, whether known or suspected;


  • Where the individual would have been likely to have died but for an intervention, or has suffered permanent harm or has reduced capacity or quality of life as a result of abuse or neglect;


  • There is concern that partner agencies could have worked together more effectively to protect the adult.

The overall purpose of a Safeguarding Adults Review is to promote learning and improve practice, not to re-investigate or to apportion blame.

The objectives include establishing:

  • lessons that can be learnt from how professionals and their agencies work together
  • how effective the safeguarding procedures are
  • learning and good practice issues
  • how to improve local inter-agency practice
  • service improvement or development needs for one or more service or agency

Safeguarding Adults Reviews provide an opportunity to improve inter-agency working, for onward dissemination of lessons learnt to partner agencies, the sharing of best practice and ultimately better safeguarding of adults at risk of abuse or neglect.

A Safeguarding Adults Review is a multi-agency process that considers whether or not serious harm experienced by an adult, or group of adults at risk of abuse or neglect, could have been predicted or prevented and uses that consideration to develop learning that enables the safeguarding adults partnership in Brighton & Hove to improve its services and prevent abuse and neglect in the future.

Any professional can make a referral for consideration of a SAR using the SAR Referral Form (docx). Referrals should be sent to the SAEB at If you have any queries or require further consultation before making a referral please contact the SAEB Business Manager at the same email address.

SAR Referrals Briefing Note (pdf) has been produced to support referrers around the key considerations when making a referral and to raise awareness of the criteria for a SAR.

Any member of the public wishing to make a referral for a SAR should in the first instance contact the SAEB or a professional or agency who were involved in supporting the adult for further discussion and to identify if the SAR process is the most appropriate route. If a SAR is considered appropriate the professional or agency involved will ensure the SAR referral form is completed on behalf of the member of the public. 

We will always endeavour to involve those close to the adult whenever possible in these reviews, so that the review can ensure their views are included, and that reviewers know as much as they can about the adult who died or experienced significant harm. We have written the following guidance to explain what happens when a SAR needs to be undertaken and what family and friends should expect from being involved in the process: SAR A Guide for Families and Carers (pdf).

Please do not use the SAR Referral Form to report abuse. If you have safeguarding concerns about an adult with care and support needs, please report that as a Safeguarding Concern by contacting:

Safeguarding Adult Reviews (SARs) – SAR Protocol & Guidance

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Published SARs

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National Analysis of Safeguarding Adult Reviews

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