A blog post by Dee Hennessy and Laura Wareing
The Derbyshire Matrix tool was officially launched on Monday 6th February to 150 social workers, clinicians, police and fire offices, housing and environmental health officials and drug and alcohol specialists.
The tool, co-designed in one single day by a representative group of twelve such multi-agency staff, supports those involved and their advocates and carers to navigate the statutory Safeguarding process. A framework to prompt and to progress the asking and answering of necessary and difficult questions, it also encourages professionals to create appropriate circumstances for these conversations to take place.
A real sense of ownership of the tool emerged in the room during the launch as its design, usefulness and adaptability were considered in a sequence of multi-agency group work tasks. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive with comments such as ‘Excellent’, ‘Striking’ and ‘it generates conversation’. Other voices from the floor felt the In Sight tool would support people in finding their voice and asking the questions they may not otherwise be able to identify. And it was felt by some that a development of the tool could also be valuable in the child safeguarding process.
Each table was asked to score the usability of the tool. In the morning, the average score from the social workers was 9 out of 10 and in the afternoon, from the multi-agency group it was 8 out of 10. These scores were particularly impressive as it was the first time the majority of the participants had seen the tool.
The day was bookended by inspirational thought pieces from The Strategic Director for Adult Care and the Independent Chair of the Safeguarding Adults Board who outlined the ways in which the tool had the capacity to inform and to enhance practice at the front-end of service delivery.
Bill Nicol, the Safeguarding Director of the CCG — the Clinical Commissioning Group — endorsed the tool as “an innovative 21st century approach to a problem that we know has been around for far too long” and praised the partnership approach of the methodology as “the only way forward to deal with these challenges”.
One of the co-design group summed up her experience as “I feel so proud to have been a part of something that has turned out so amazing.”