What is the MASH?
The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is Oldham’s first point of contact for:
- safeguarding referrals to protect children, young people or adults from harm, abuse or neglect; and
- care and support services which help individuals or families to meet their long-term needs, access the Early Help Service and mental health support, prevent or delay needs becoming more serious, lead independent lives and reduce dependence on public services.
A range of organisations make up the MASH including:
- Social services for children and adults
- Greater Manchester Police
- Early Help
- Education and Early Years
- Pennine Care and Bridgewater NHS Trusts
- Healthy Young Minds Oldham
- Positive Steps
- National Probation Service
- Greater Manchester & Cheshire Community Rehabilitation Company
Where there is a concern, these organisations share information to decide the most appropriate intervention to prevent harm to the person. This gives a full understanding of the situation so we are able to respond quickly and effectively.
Contact the MASH
- Safeguarding – to report a concern that a child or a vulnerable adult is, or is at risk of, being harmed, abused or neglected; or
- Support – to seek care or support for an individual or family member to help them resolve problems and lead independent lives without being dependent on public services.
Don’t ignore abuse or neglect. Any form of abuse or neglect is unacceptable, no matter what justification or reason may be given for it. Don’t keep it secret or put off reporting it. You should take action even if you are not 100% sure that abuse is taking place.
The MASH can also:
- Help with caring for someone or enabling them to live at home, or
- Support with problems such as housing, finance, family relationships, giving up smoking or weight management.
How to contact the MASH
If you suspect a person is at immediate risk of harm call 999 and speak to the Police.
You can contact the MASH from 8:40am – 5:00pm on Monday – Friday.
For urgent concerns outside office hours, you can call the Emergency Duty Team on 0161 770 6936, or the Police on 101 (999 in emergencies).
To contact the MASH:
Telephone: 0161 770 7777
Fax: 0161 770 1576
On-line referral forms
Children and Young People with mental health difficulties
The MASH is the point of access in Oldham for services for children and young people with mental health difficulties.
This includes early intervention and prevention services delivered by MIND and specialist mental health services delivered by Healthy Young Minds Oldham (formerly Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services – CAMHS).
What happens if you contact the MASH?
We take any concern that a child or adult at risk is being harmed, abused or neglected seriously.
If there is a concern that someone is suffering, or is at risk of suffering, significant harm this will be assessed by social services. Information may be shared between organisations in the MASH to inform this assessment, and to help decide what action needs to be taken.
Where concerns are below the threshold for the involvement of social services, referrals may be passed to Early Help or other services to provide support to individuals or families. But this can only happen with the consent of the individual or family involved.
Information is processed within the MASH under strict protocols in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and other relevant legislation. Information is held securely by Oldham Council and is used and shared on a strict need to know basis with limited partners, for the purposes of keeping people safe or ensuring they get the best services they need.
Sharing information about individuals with partner organisations is sometimes necessary in order to protect individuals if there are concerns they may be at risk of significant harm, to prevent or detect crime, or where it is in the interest of maintaining public safety.
Where a child protection concern is reported, the parent / carer will normally be informed unless this could place the child or someone else at further risk or undermine a police investigation. Informed consent to share information between organisations is sought from adults who are the subject of a safeguarding concern.
Where referrals are made to the MASH in order to access help or support, information is not shared between organisations without the consent of the individuals involved.
Personal information held in the MASH will be deleted when it is no longer needed for these purposes, in accordance with formal record retention policies.
Further information is available on the Data Protection page.