Wiltshire has officially unveiled its first Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).
The MASH is designed to build upon existing partnership work in Wiltshire to further improve the safeguarding of vulnerable people across the county.
It is the first time that a multitude of agencies across Wiltshire will be based at the same location, sharing information to provide a more co-ordinated, timely and proportionate response to welfare and safeguarding concerns.
Wiltshire’s MASH is housed at County Hall, Trowbridge and already provides a fully functioning service to the public.
The agencies currently co-located in the MASH include Wiltshire Council Children’s Social Care and Common Assessment Framework (CAF) co-ordinators, Wiltshire Police and local community health services through the inclusion of a specialist safeguarding nurse.
It also incorporates external involvement from Swindon Borough Council on a virtual basis while further partnership integration is anticipated in the coming months.
In total, 45 people are employed to work within the MASH with up to 100 cases being handled every week.
Wiltshire Police Detective Superintendent, Caroline Evely, said: “This is a significant step for the county in further improving our work in protecting vulnerable people.
“I believe the most important aspect of the MASH is the co-location of all partner agencies as this will allow us to respond to safeguarding concerns more efficiently and effectively.
“Having seen this project develop from the very start, I’m satisfied that the MASH can only be of benefit to those working in safeguarding and, more importantly, to those that will need to use the service in the future.”
Laura Mayes, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for children’s services, said: “We know that joined-up working and information sharing between agencies help to make better decisions more quickly.
“The creation of the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub is therefore a valuable and important step to offer a timely, coherent and unified multi-agency response to safeguarding children and young people.”
John Gilbert, Swindon Borough Council’s board director commissioning, said: “We already have a very strong relationship with our partner agencies and the MASH will build on our existing practices to ensure we continue to protect the most vulnerable children in Swindon.”
Jacqui Chidgey-Clark, director of quality and patient safety at NHS Wiltshire CCG, said: “Wiltshire CCG is delighted to have contributed to the development and the ongoing commissioning of the MASH. This is a welcomed enhancement for the welfare and safety for vulnerable people in Wiltshire.”