Safeguarding vulnerable adults

What is adult safeguarding?

Adult safeguarding is about preventing and responding to concerns of abuse, harm or neglect of adults. Safeguarding concerns can be reported by anyone - members of the public, family, friends or health profesionals.

Adults have a right to be:

  • safe and able to protect themselves from abuse and neglect
  • treated fairly and with dignity and respect
  • protected when they need to be
  • able to easily get the support, protection and services that they need.

The council has a duty to investigate safeguarding concerns under the Care Act 2014 in a person-centred way to protect a person’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.

The council may make a decision that the concern does not require safeguarding investigation but might recommend other action be taken to make the person safer.  In these cases the reason for that decision, and what needs to be done, should be made clear to the person making the referral.

Who is a vulnerable adult?

A vulnerable adult is a person who is aged 18 years or over, who:

  • has care and support needs
  • who may be at risk of abuse or neglect
  • is unable to protect themselves against significant harm or serious exploitation.

The care and support needs may be due to one or more of the following:

  • mental health needs, including dementia and personality disorder
  • learning disability, physical disability or sensory impairment
  • frailty due to old age, ill health, physical disability or cognitive impairment
  • long-term illness/condition
  • substance misuse issues.