Safeguarding adults

Protecting the health, wellbeing and human rights of people, and allowing them to live a life that is free from harm, abuse and neglect.

We are strongly committed to ensuring that adults at risk are protected from abuse and that any concerns are thoroughly and fairly investigated.

Safeguarding is everybody’s business – it is essential that everyone is alert to the possibility of abuse and reports it immediately if they suspect it may be happening.

What can you do if you suspect abuse is happening?

If you suspect abuse is happening – to you or someone you know – it is essential that you do something about it.   Tell someone you trust, or someone who provides you/the person concerned with help or care, such as a trusted relative, friend or neighbour, doctor, community nurse, hospital nurse, or other health professional, home care assistant, member of staff.

What do we mean by Safeguarding adults?

‘Safeguarding adults’ is the term often used when talking about the abuse of adults who are vulnerable or ‘at risk’.

Under section 42 of the Care Act 2014, safeguarding enquiries must be made if an adult appears to:

  • Have needs for care and support (whether or not these are being met)
  • Be experiencing, or be at risk of, abuse or neglect
  • Be unable to protect him/herself from the risk of / experience of abuse or neglect as a result of those care needs
Types of abuse

There are ten main types of abuse:

  • Physical – this could include hitting, slapping, punching etc
  • Financial – this includes theft, deception and withholding your belongings
  • Emotional / Psychological – this type of abuse might involve bullying, threats or humiliation
  • Neglect – being left without food, heating, medication or personal care etc
  • Sexual – rape and other sexual acts to which the person has not given consent
  • Organisational – covers neglect and poor practice within an institution or specific care setting, or in one’s own home. Can be through neglect or poor professional practice resulting from policies/culture/systems
  • Discriminatory (including hate crime) – being treated unfairly because of age, race, religion, gender, sexuality, disability etc
  • Modern slavery – covers human trafficking/forced labour/domestic servitude, forcing individuals into a life of abuse or inhumane treatment
  • Self neglect – covers a wide range of behaviour such as neglecting to care for one’s own health/hygiene/surroundings/hoarding, etc
  • Domestic violence and abuse – includes psychological/physical/sexual/financial/emotional abuse/”honour” based violence, forced marriage including female genital mutilation (FGM). Domestic abuse not just about intimate partners – it can involve any family members
What happens if abuse or neglect is reported to us?

Our staff are committed to handling concerns as quickly, effectively and courteously as possible. We work closely with other agencies to investigate all reported concerns and help and support the person involved.

If you report a safeguarding concern to any of our staff, we will:

  • Help you to decide how we can stop the abuse and discuss how we can support you to recover
  • Where possible, give you the opportunity to talk to an independent person such as an advocate
  • Tailor our response to your particular needs and situation
  • Create a plan to show who is going to do what (the plan will be shown to you and agreed with you. You can keep a copy if you wish and if it is safe for you to do so)

Whatever actions are agreed will be reviewed with you, and any other people involved in stopping the abuse, to make sure the actions are working and to decide whether any changes need to be made.

Making Safeguarding personal

We will always try to ensure that the person affected by abuse is fully involved in the whole process of safeguarding.

This means that you will be provided with support and information, consulted throughout the process, encouraged to make your own decisions and to identify what you need to make yourself feel ‘safe’.

You will be asked what you want to happen and how you can be helped to keep yourself safe.

If the person involved lacks mental capacity to understand and make decisions around their own safeguarding, a Best Interests Decision will be made on their behalf, and this will often involve an independent advocate.

Unauthorised ‘Deprivations of Liberty’

If someone is being prevented from going out or doing what they want without proper authorisation, this is called a ‘deprivation of liberty’. This can be illegal and there are strict rules about this called the ‘Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards’ (DoLS), which are a part of the Mental Capacity Act (2005).

If you suspect that a person is being illegally deprived of their liberty – either in a care home or hospital or in the community – you should report this in the same way as any other type of abuse.