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Suspected abuse or neglect of an adult at risk

If you believe that an adult is at risk of being abused you should contact us. An adult at risk is any person aged 18 or over who is in need of community care services by reason of:

  • mental or other disability, age or illness and
  • who is or may be unable to take care of him/herself or
  • unable to protect him/herself from significant harm or serious exploitation

Where to report a concern

If you believe that someone is being abused please contact the Community Access Team (CAT), or the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) for help and advice. 

The Community Access team can be contacted 8.30am - 5pm from Monday to Thursday and 8.30am – 4.30pm on Friday. If you have an urgent concern outside these hours, or over a bank holiday, please call the Emergency Duty Team (out of hours).

A safeguarding referral form is now available for professionals and members of the public to raise safeguarding concerns in relation to members of the public, service users, carers and organisations. The form can be completed at any time but please note that the completed form is sent to the Community Access Team for review. 

Everyone will be signposted to complete the information online in the first instance, this will be the initial step to accessing adult social care. Where an individual cannot complete the referral online, the Community Access Team will be available to take the information.

Report a safeguarding concern

Care homes

If you are concerned about bad practices, poor quality care or abuse in a care home and you need further advice contact the following organisations.

Abuse or neglect

  • can be a violation on individuals’ human or civil rights by another person or persons;
  • may consist of a single act or repeated acts;
  • can occur in any relationship or setting;
  • may result in harm to, or serious exploitation of, the person subjected to it;
  • physical, including hitting, slapping, punching, kicking, misuse of medication, restraint, or inappropriate sanctions;
  • sexual, including rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the person has not consented or was pressured into consenting to;
  • psychological, including emotional abuse, threats, humiliation, intimidation, verbal abuse;
  • financial or material, including theft, fraud, exploitation, the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits;
  • neglect, including ignoring medical or physical care needs, the withholding of adequate food, heat, clothing and medication;
  • discriminatory, including racist, sexist, based on a person’s disability, and other forms of similar treatment;
  • institutional abuse or mistreatment by a regime or by any individual within any building where care is provided

Although the above list is fairly comprehensive it is not exhaustive.

Who does it?

Sadly it can be anyone including ones nearest and dearest. Research by Action on elder abuse suggests that as many as one in 11 older people in the UK are mistreated or neglected by those they trust the most. Two thirds of these are abused by members of their own family. Care staff, too, can be abusers. There are many examples of this, including those where the abusers have deliberately chosen to work in environments where there will be adults at risk, such as those with learning disabilities.

Any types of abuse may be carried out as the result of deliberate actions, negligence or ignorance.

Where does it happen?

Abuse can happen anywhere – in a person’s home, in the street, in a residential or nursing home, at a day centre or resource centre, in a hospital or indeed any place where people might be.

What is being done?

Our social care service have the lead role in safeguarding adults at risk of harm from abuse and neglect. 

If you report adult abuse, you will be asked for basic information about the person you are concerned about, and who is the alleged abuser. You will be asked about yourself, and what you heard or saw. Information will then be shared on a need to know basis, but you will be kept informed about who has to be told, for example, the police if a crime may have been committed.

Together all the relevant agencies will work with the person who may be being abused, to establish what has happened, and what action the person wants taking next. Work will also be done with the alleged abuser, and multi-disciplinary options will be created which will prevent, reduce or stop further abuse from happening.

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility, if you see something, say something.

Further information

Further information about safeguarding adults: 

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