Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
The Suffolk MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) has been developed 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.
Building on the long established close partnership between local agencies, the MASH receives and processes all safeguarding referrals in respect of children without an allocated social worker and all vulnerable adults at risk of harm and abuse. 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.
MASH staff work together in an integrated model 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 harm, and to trigger the correct interventions, and route referrals to the right services.
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 in Landmark House, Ipswich. The MASH also has a strong partnership working with wider partners including schools, the Ambulance Service and voluntary and community organisations.
The MASH has a leadership team of managers from all of the partner agencies. The MASH Strategic Board is responsible for providing robust governance of the MASH and ensures statutory and local policy objectives are met.
If you think someone is at risk
If you are worried that a child, young person or adult is at risk of abuse, harm or neglect, please call Customer First on 0808 800 4005.
MASH Professional Consultation Line
However experienced professionals are, there may be times where they are not sure what action they should take, or they just need support and guidance to ensure they make the most informed decision.
The MASH Consultation Line is for a professional, such as a teacher, care worker or GP, to discuss the most appropriate and effective way of providing or obtaining help and support and recognising if there is a requirement for a referral to be submitted for a child or adult they feel is at risk of abuse.
Where the child or vulnerable adult may need help and protection they will be given advice and guidance about making a referral, including how to involve family members where appropriate. Where a child and family have an allocated Social Worker, the professional will need to contact the named Social Worker or Lead professional to discuss any concerns.
MASH Web Chat Service
MASH now has an enhanced web chat service. Web chat enables you to seek professional advice from Mash, using your PC/laptop/smartphone. Web chat provides a faster response and is a simpler way of gaining support and advice. Webchat is helpful for professionals who are unable to make a phone call and the ‘conversation’ can be printed. This would be the recommended way to contact the Mash Consultation Line.