Updated 1st September 2018
Safeguarding adults refers to the multi-agency procedures for protecting adults at risk from abuse or neglect.
If the person you are concerned about is over the age of 18 years of age, they have care and support needs, and you feel they are being abused or at risk of abuse from another person, you can seek help for them using the phone numbers below.
Wherever possible involve the person at risk in decisions about reporting a safeguarding concern.
Sometimes this may not be possible and sometimes you may need to act in their ‘best interests’ because they do not have the mental capacity to decide this for themselves. There are also occasions when you may need to report the concern without their permission, for example, it is in their vital interests, or other people are also at risk, or the person is unable to consent because of coercion or duress.
Dealing with allegations or concerns about abuse can be very difficult and distressing for everyone involved. Deciding what the right thing to do is can be stressful, particularly if the person you are concerned about is reluctant to accept support. If you are not sure what to do you can always seek advice.
What is abuse?
Abuse can happen anywhere
Abuse may be committed by anyone
Abuse can take many forms
Whatever the circumstances, abuse is always wrong, and we need to consider how we can support the person bring the abuse to an end.
Whether someone is experiencing abuse, depends on the specific circumstances of what is happening. These are only examples below of what amounts to abuse:
Physical abuse – includes hitting, kicking, misuse of medication, inappropriate sanctions or unlawful / inappropriate restraint
Domestic abuse – is “an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse… by someone who is or has been an intimate partners or family member regardless of sexuality.
Sexual abuse – includes rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult at risk has not consented, or could not consent or was pressured into consenting.
Psychological abuse – includes threats of harm or abandonment, humiliation, blaming, controlling, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse.
Financial and material abuse – includes theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with financial matters, or the misuse of someone else’s finances.
Modern slavery – includes human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude.
Neglect and acts of omission – includes ignoring medical or physical care needs, and the withholding of necessities, such as medication and adequate nutrition.
Discriminatory abuse – includes abuse, such a harassment, slurs or hate crime based on a person’s race, sex, disability, faith, sexual orientation, or age.
Organisational abuse – where any of these forms of abuse noted above are caused by the way an organisation practices, this is called ‘organisational abuse’.
Self-neglect – includes situations where a person is declining support with their care needs, hygiene, health or their environment, and this is having a significant impact on their overall wellbeing.
How to report a safeguarding adults concern
Report abuse or seek advice
Contact Adult Social Care: 0208 303 7777
Out of hours: 0208 303 7777
Inform the Police
In an emergency, contact the police: 999
If the person is not in danger now, contact the police: 101
For further information, please go to: