Many children and adults are reliant on someone else to take them to meetings or appointments that relate to their welfare, care or health and as a result they are sometimes not taken to them. This may mean that a practitioner may record them as having ‘not attended’.
The Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership, Safer Leeds and Leeds Safeguarding Adults Board see this as a concern and are asking all Leeds practitioners to use “Was Not Brought” rather than “Did Not Attend” for recording or noting the non-attendance of children, young people and adults who are reliant on someone else to take them to a meeting or appointment.
The phrase “Did Not Attend” implies that the individual for whom the appointment or meeting has been arranged is responsible for not attending. There may be many reasons as to why someone doesn’t attend an appointment, however if a child or adult is reliant on someone else to make, rearrange or take them to appointments or meetings, recording or noting “Was Not Brought” is a more accurate representation of the situation.
Recording or noting “Was Not Brought” enables a practitioner to consider the reasons why a child or adult was not brought to a meeting or appointment, the implications for them not having been brought, and assess the potential risks or safeguarding concerns for them, especially if there is a repeat pattern of non-attendance.
The “Was Not Brought” approach
If a child or adult doesn’t attend an appointment/ meeting consider:
- Are they reliant on someone else to either make and / or take them to appointments or meetings? (Due to age, mental capacity, disability or accessibility).
- What are the implications of them not attending the appointment or meeting?
(eg; Not accessing medication, not inputting into a planned review, not being part of a discussion about their health and wellbeing)
- Is this a one off, or is there is a repeat pattern?
- What could be the reason for their non-attendance?
(eg; unavailability, coercion and control, neglect etc.)
Actions to take:
- Record or note the non – attendance as “Was Not Brought”
- Within the notes state:
- that the child or adult was reliant on someone else to bring them to the meeting
- any impact or safeguarding concern their non-attendance may have raised
- if this was the first or repeat non-attendance and identify any emerging patterns
- the action you have taken in response.
- Discuss episodes of non-attendance with colleagues / other agencies, if you feel there is a potential safeguarding risk as this may further identify patterns.
- Make contact with the individual (or their parent / carer) to:
- enquire why they did not come to the appointment
- encourage them to rearrange
- discuss with them any barriers which may have impacted on them attending
- arrange support to attend future meetings if needed.
- If contact cannot be made or if a further meeting cannot be agreed, do not discontinue the service or appointment without discussion with a senior colleague and consideration of your own agency’s attendance policies.