Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)

The Suffolk MASH helps people in the county who are at risk of harm, abuse and neglect.

What is the MASH?

Suffolk MASH receives and processes all safeguarding referrals of children and adults at risk of harm and abuse.

It consists of around 60 professionals from health, police, education, social care, probation, youth justice, mental health services and housing.

Most of the staff are based at Landmark House in Ipswich, with some designated professionals working remotely.

Why we need the MASH

The MASH was developed as a result of learning from previous experiences, especially from lessons highlighted by reviews of serious safeguarding incidents across the country.

A recurring theme of these reviews is the importance of information sharing and close working arrangements between relevant agencies.

The MASH model has been strongly endorsed in the Ofsted report Good practice by local safeguarding boards and the Munro review of child protection: a child-centred system.

The Care Act 2014 also highlights the benefits of a MASH, which includes specialist adult safeguarding professionals as a best practice example.

Information sharing

The main advantage of the MASH is that officers now share the information their agency may have on a child or adult immediately.

This is to ensure that decisions made take into account all available information.

An information sharing agreement has been established between the agencies involved with the MASH to ensure that information is shared confidentially, proportionately and securely.

Sensitive and confidential information will never leave the MASH team, but it will help inform decision making.

Watch the video below to see how information sharing works in MASH.

Guidance for professionals

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.

Calls are free from landlines and most mobiles.

MASH consultation line

If you would like to discuss whether the situation you are concerned about should be the subject of a safeguarding referral, please contact the MASH Consultation Line on 0345 606 1499.