‘Adult safeguarding means protecting a person’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. Safeguarding is aimed at people with care and support needs who may be in vulnerable circumstances and at risk of abuse and neglect’ The Care Act 2014.
How we support you to keep safe?
Under the Care Act (2014), we have a duty to ensure that you are and remain protected from abuse or neglect. This does not only apply to safeguarding concerns involving abuse or neglect, but is a general approach we take in every case including for those who self-neglect.
As part of the assessment and the care and support plan, we take into account the need to help protect you from abuse and neglect. We will assist you to identify any risks and ways you can manage them as well as work with you to decide how much risk you can manage. We also make sure that any restriction on your rights or freedom is kept to the minimum necessary.
Where you are experiencing or at risk of abuse or neglect as described below, there are formal safeguarding procedures which we will use if necessary to work with you to identify who or what may be harming you and how we can support you in avoiding further abuse or neglect. See below for further information about safeguarding procedures.
If you do not have care and support needs you can seek support for any concerns about abuse or mistreatment to one of the relevant organisations:
What is abuse?
Abuse is when someone does or says something to make you feel that you are at risk of potential harm or danger. It can take place anywhere and comes in many forms. This is never acceptable and support is available. There are different types of abuse:
- Domestic abuse – including psychological, physical, sexual, financial (money), emotional abuse.
- Neglect - including failure to provide access to appropriate support, ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, withholding of medication, suitable nutrition, heating and other necessities.
- Organisational abuse - including neglect and poor care practice within an institution or care setting this can also include care provided in your home.
- Modern day slavery - including human trafficking, forced labour and domestic slavery.
- Physical abuse - including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, restraint.
- Discriminatory abuse - including forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion.
- Emotional/ psychological abuse - including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bullying or unjustified withdrawal of services and supportive networks.
- Self-neglect - including hoarding and neglecting to care personal hygiene, health or surroundings
- Financial abuse - including theft, fraud, internet scamming, pressure relating to financial (money) matters or arrangements (such as wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions), or the misuse of benefits.
- Sexual abuse - including rape, sexual assault, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate looking or touching, sexual teasing or innuendo.
Responsibility for reporting abuse
Every individual who witnesses, hears of or learns of an abusive or potentially abusive situation in relation to an adult at risk should report it using the details below.
If you work in a care setting you should report your concerns to your manager. However you must be able to report abuse or neglect yourself if time does not allow for management consultation. You can do this by contacting the allocated social worker or care coordinator. If you are unable to report your concerns to those mentioned contact the adult social care team directly using our online referral form.
London Multi-Agency Adult Safeguarding Policy and Procedures have been revised in line with the Care Act 2014. See pages 59-86 for Adult Safeguarding Procedures. P65 specifically for raising a concern.
You can report adult abuse using our online Safeguarding adults referral form. (Please note: If the form is completed out of office hours, the report will be picked up the next working day).
If the case is urgent and requires immediate attention you can call 020 8726 6500, however if the person is in immediate danger then call 999.
When information is received which suggests an individual is at immediate risk and/or a criminal offence may have been committed or that the individual is injured or in immediate physical danger, you should always contact the police and appropriate emergency services without delay. Ensuring that the individual(s) is safe and has access to treatment should always be a priority (whether lifesaving or routine responses for shock or minor injuries).
What do we do when we receive a safeguarding referral?
As a local authority, we have an overarching responsibility for the protection of adults at risk and for ensuring that concerns are responded to and further enquiries are carried out or followed up. This is general guidance, we recognises that all people are unique, therefore each case is treated on case by case basis.
On receiving a referral the appropriate social work team will then ensure that an initial enquiry is undertaken:
- Preliminary enquiry (information gathering) including a discussion with the adult at risk about their views and how they would like to be supported
- Following initial enquiry a decision will be made as to what happens next and whether to arrange a safeguarding planning meeting
- Arrange formal multi-agency meetings which will always involve the adult at risk and or their representative
- Some initial enquiries may lead to alternative methods of supporting the individual at risk , such as reviewing the level of support available to them, carrying out a carer’s assessment or assisting in making a formal complaint.
- In all cases the aim is to involve the person at risk, or someone who can represent them, in all discussions from the outset to make sure that any actions that follow take account of their wishes and feelings.
Duty of Care for providers (i.e care homes and domiciliary agencies)
In line with the Care Act 2014, when an employer is aware of abuse or neglect in their organisation, they are under a duty to correct this and protect the adult at risk from harm as soon as possible. They will need to inform the local authority, CQC and CCG where the latter is the commissioner.
Where we have reasonable cause to suspect that an adult may be experiencing or at risk of abuse or neglect, there still is a duty to make (or cause to be made) whatever enquiries it thinks necessary to decide what if any action needs to be taken and by whom. The local authority will confirm with the provider whether any further action is required.
In addition, provider services and agencies will have essential roles to play in:
- Gaining knowledge of signs and symptoms of abuse
- Recording and reporting factual evidence clearly and accurately
- Supporting people who are reporting symptoms of abuse
- Supporting adults at risk through the safeguarding enquiry process
- Supporting the person who may have caused the harm through the enquiry process
- Monitoring adults where concerns have been expressed previously.
You can also get more detailed information, about Safeguarding Adults, via the Croydon Safeguarding Adults Board (CSAB) website.