Standard Operating Procedures- Section 42 Enquiries
The information contained in this Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is to assist partners in the
processing of Section 42 (S42) enquiries initiated under the Care Act 20141
Suffolk has a successful and longstanding system for multi-agency working on safeguarding concerns through its Multi-Agency
Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
This document has been co-produced with colleagues from the MASH, Local Authority, Police and Health (CCG and NSFT).
This SOP is intended to build on the work undertaken by the MASH, ensuring S42 enquiries are
undertaken by all partners in a timely and consistent way, creating streamlined person-centred
S42 enquiries are a vital safeguard for adults at risk. Enquiries can be led either by Suffolk County
Council (SCC) or by the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT), depending where the main
case management responsibility lies. This will normally be the agency with most direct involvement
and knowledge of the individual concerned. The case manager should complete all aspects of the
enquiry. This means NSFT should send the completed paperwork to the relevant SCC team for quality
assurance and entry onto SCC database. This ensures up to date information is readily available.
Police action must be integrated into the case analysis by either SCC or NSFT. The police supply
information about their actions in respect of an individual or individuals but they can never be case
managers. It is for the police to provide SCC and NSFT with information promptly when asked and it
is for SCC and NSFT to incorporate that information in their analysis and their investigation summary
The SOP will extend to all partners across the ‘Suffolk System’. Initially it is focused on enquiries that
require contributions from the Norfolk & Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT). Additional agencies will be
encompassed in future versions of this SOP.