SAR 6 SAR leaflet

Safeguarding Adult Reviews: Information for families  


When an adult who needs care and support either dies or suffers serious harm and

  • Abuse or neglect is thought to have been a factor, and
  • Partners could have worked more effectively to protect the adult concerned

then the Care Act 2014 says that the local Safeguarding Adult Board may need to review what has happened. This is called a Safeguarding Adults Review or SAR for short.

These reviews are to see if there are examples of good practice and also whether or not any lessons can be learned about the way organisations worked together to support and protect the person who suffered harm.

The people in charge of the review understand this is likely to be a very difficult time for you and your families, friends and carers, but we want to learn as much as possible about how to do things better in the future.

We would welcome your involvement in the process as much as possible. We believe you should have the opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have and to share your thoughts and opinions.

This leaflet tells you what happens when a SAR is required to be undertaken, and what you should expect.

What are Safeguarding Adult Reviews?

Safeguarding Adult Reviews are one way to improve responses to keep adults who need care and support safe from abuse or neglect and aim to prevent what happened, happening to others.

They will try to ensure that public bodies like social services, councils, police and other community based organisations understand what happened and identify where responses to the situation could be improved.

From this, the public bodies hope to learn all the right lessons including those which impact how they work together. These reviews will not seek to lay blame but to consider what happened and what could have been done differently. They will also recommend actions to improve responses to keep adults with care and support needs safe from abuse or neglect in the future.

Safeguarding Adult Reviews are part of the Care Act 2014 and became law from 1st April 2015.  They do not replace but may be in addition to the inquest or any other form of inquiry or review.

How will we undertake the review?

There are different ways in which a SAR can be done, but they involve gathering as much information from as many sources as possible.  We can then try to work out exactly what happened, and why.  We will consider whether things could or should have been done differently, and ask how things could be done better in the future.

Your involvement in this review:

We think you are the best placed to help us understand what happened. Your contribution will be valuable and may help change the way the community, including public bodies, respond to keeping adults with care and support need safe from abuse or neglect.

We acknowledge this will have been a very difficult time for you and we do not want to add to your distress but it is important we inform you the review is taking place and to give you an opportunity to be involved.

If you do decide to take part in the review, we will ask you to share your understanding of what happened and why.

You can give your thoughts and views in all or some of the following different ways:

  • Face-to-face meeting with us,
  • Via a telephone conversation, or
  • In writing or via a recording.

What happens to the information you share?

The information you share will help us to build a comprehensive picture of what happened and in turn will help us identify recommendations for change. These recommendations will then be put into an action plan.

Your input will be confidential, and you will not be named in the final report.

How long will the review process take?

It is really difficult to say how long a review will take, it very much depends on the amount of information to be gathered and/or people spoken to. You will be given a point of contact who will contact you by your preferred means to keep you updated so that you know how the review is progressing.

Next Steps:

The decision to take part in this review is entirely yours and if you do not wish to take part your decision will be respected. We will notify you when the review is completed, and the report is available.

If you would like to take part or have any further questions about the review process, please contact the person who has signed the letter attached to this leaflet. They will either answer your questions or direct you to someone who can.


The Care Act says that the SAB should consider publishing the review so that others may also learn from the findings. Your views on this will be taken into consideration but it is hoped that you will support any decision to publish the report which will be anonymised, and no real names used.

Updated Feb 20