Slough launches hoarding protocol and toolkit for professionals

In partnership with organisations across Slough, a new hoarding protocol and toolkit has been launched.

The aim of this document is to provide information and practical guidance to professionals that work with people that hoard. 

Hoarding refers to someone who finds it difficult to remove items from their home and will continue to bring more belongings into it. Hoarding UK states that only 5% of hoarders will come to the attention of professionals (Singh  2012).

In recognition that cases are often complex and involve many agencies, the toolkit includes resources as well as an assessment tool to manage risks effectively. It details how professionals can use the multi agency risk tool to mitigate risks and work with colleagues effectively.

Mike Wooldridge, Integration Delivery Lead, NHS East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “At the CCG we have been working with the council to improve the way in which we work together in supporting people who hoard. The reasons why people hoard are varied and often complex so it’s important we communicate and coordinate between the various agencies involved so we can better support that person as well as help manage the impact of the clutter. We hope the protocol will be a valuable resource for anyone who is in contact or working directly with someone who hoards.”

Councillor Natasa Pantelic, cabinet member for social care and public health, said: “This is a great example of partnership working focusing on keeping our residents who may be vulnerable safe and well. This protocol and toolkit provides clarity on roles and responsibilities, with the aim of professionals having the right information to manage risks and a way to work with partners in complex cases.”

One of the benefits of this work is the link established with Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service. There is free training available for professionals through the ‘Adults at Risk Programme’ - https://www.rbfrs.co.uk/your-safety/adults-at-risk-programme/

The protocol can be found at: www.slough.gov.uk/hoarding

Although this protocol is for use by professional agencies, if you are concerned about yourself, a family member or friend there are several suggestions to get support.

1. Contact your GP.

2. You can also get more information about Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Safe and Well provision on their website at www.rbfrs.co.uk

3. Visit Hoarding UK’s website – www.hoardinguk.org Hoarding UK is a UK-wide charity dedicated to supporting people affected by hoarding behaviours.

Published: 20 May 2021