Hoarding Panel

Hoarding Panel

Hoarding is a complex set of behaviours, often connected to past trauma.  Although it is tempting for practitioners to seek to address a person’s hoarding by arranging for a blitz clean in their home, the blitz clean can be further traumatising for the person. 

For people with hoarding behaviours, expert advice from trained professionals, mental health treatment and peer support are generally more helpful in achieving lasting change.

However, where the person has care and support needs and has hoarding behaviours which are potentially hazardous to themselves or others, for example where there are fire risks or public health concerns, then a self-neglect or neglect safeguarding concern should be raised. 

Through multi-agency safeguarding work, the risks can be evaluated together and a safeguarding plan developed.  The safeguarding plan could include:

Contact:        Hoarding Panel helpwithhoarding@islington.gov.uk

Referral criteria:

The Panel will normally only accept cases for discussion in the following circumstances:

  • Where the hoarding is graded at 5 or above on the hoarding clutter image rating scale (Appendix A of the Islington Hoarding Procotol) and:
  • The presenting organisation has attempted to follow the guidance in this protocol (see section 10 of the Islington Hoarding Protocol) but has been unable to resolve the situation, or
  • The presenting organisation has been unable to gain the cooperation of other organisations to take action, or
  • The presenting organisation has good reason to believe that there is severe hoarding (5 or greater on the hoarding clutter scale) but has been unable to gain access to the property or engage with the person involved despite persistent attempts and needs the assistance of other agencies.

Who can refer: Anyone      

What to include in the referral:

Organisations should email requests for a hearing by the Hoarding Panel to helpwithhoarding@islington.gov.uk.

Requests must be accompanied by:

  • a completed Clutter Image Rating Scale;
  • a completed hoarding assessment tool (see Appendix B of Islington Hoarding Protocol);
  • photographs of the property/clutter where available;
  • evidence supporting one or more of the criteria. Evidence should include referral to London Fire Brigade, consideration of vulnerability, contacts with next of kin, involvement of other support services, safeguarding, tenancy conditions enforcement, antisocial behaviour enforcement, clearing and cleaning work undertaken;
  • any other relevant information;
  • contact details for all other organisations and individuals who are or have been involved in the case.

All information must be sent electronically and securely in accordance with the Islington Hoarding Protocol’s information sharing agreement

How often does the Hoarding Panel meet:

The Hoarding Panel meets every six weeks.  It is chaired by Adult Social Care and includes core representatives from:

  • Mental Health Services
  • Housing
  • London Fire Brigade


Downloadable document:



Hoarding disorder - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Advice for carers and support workers- Hoarders and fire safety | London Fire Brigade (london-fire.gov.uk)

Islington Directory for support for hoarding