What is Adult Safeguarding and who is at risk?

What is Adult Safeguarding and who is at risk?

Everyone finds themselves in situations when they need help from others at some point in their life. When you get help from another person, you place your trust in them. You hope that they won’t take advantage or harm you. But if they do you’ll spot the telltale signs and take action.

However, some people don’t recognise when they’re a victim of abuse or neglect. They don’t see the harm caused by a particular relationship, or don’t know how to escape their situation. The person may be someone who finds it difficult to protect themselves and needs care and support because of a physical or learning disability, their mental health, age or illness.

Adult safeguarding is all about identifying adults at risk of harm and working to improve their quality of life. So, if you come across a situation where you think a person is a victim of abuse or neglect make sure you report it.

What is abuse and what can you do to help protect a person at risk?

Protecting vulnerable adults from harm is everybody’s business. As you go about your day-to-day business, remember that abuse or neglect can happen to anyone, anywhere. Abuse might take place over a long time, or be confined to just a single incident. The abuser could be member of staff at a care home or a hospital, a carer or friend at a day centre, or relative in the family home. They might not even realise their behaviour is causing harm to another person.

Regardless of the situation and persons involved – you must act if you suspect harm is being caused to a person at risk.

Abuse can be…

  • Physical: when a person is physically hurt or restrained by another person.
  • Sexual: when a vulnerable person is forced into a sexual activity without consent.
  • Psychological or emotional: when an adult is threatened or upset by an abuser.
  • Financial: when someone takes or controls another person’s money, property, possessions or benefits without their permission.
  • Neglect: when a person is deprived of medical or physical care, education services or basic the necessities of life, such as food, drink and heating, by another person.
  • Discrimination: when someone is abused because of their race, sexuality, gender, age or disability.
  • Institutional abuse is mistreatment that takes place in a residential home, nursing home or hospital.

Do you know how can you help if you suspect abuse it taking place?

We need staff to be our eyes and ears and to report any concerns about a person’s welfare.

To make sure you can take action if you suspect abuse is taking place:

  • Know how to report abuse or raise a safeguarding alert.
  • Know who the contact is to discuss any safeguarding concern you have.
  • Take part in adult safeguarding training courses available.

Safeguarding adults from abuse - an inter-agency procedure

This procedure produced by the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board (HSAB) is used by public agencies and by private and voluntary services in Hertfordshire to protect vulnerable adults from abuse. 
Similar to child protection it continues to be vital that all agencies have clear procedures to enable them to work together to safeguard adults from abuse.

The latest version of this procedure can be found on the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board (HSAB) website.

What is Hertfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board?

The Hertfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board is a group of organisations in the county that work together to make sure adults at risk can live in an environment free from abuse, harassment, violence or aggression.

The Board is made up of representatives from each of these voluntary and statutory member agencies, such as the Police, health services and the county council.

Members of the Board work with their partners to ensure that Hertfordshire is a safe place for all adults at risk of abuse to live and work by putting in place straightforward ways to report suspicions and robust investigation procedures.

For more information about Hertfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board go to http://www.hertsdirect.org/services/healthsoc/supportforadults/worriedabout/vulnadult/HSAB/ or you can download the Hertfordshire multi-agency policy and procedure.

For more information about adult safeguarding in East and North Herts CCG please contact Tracey Cooper.

Last modified: 

26 Jan 2017