Safeguarding Adults

Download PDF version of Safeguarding Adults Policy – 2024

The Care Act 2014 placed new responsibilities on local authorities to safeguard vulnerable adults; these new duties are to:

  • lead a multi-agency local adult safeguarding system that seeks to prevent abuse and neglect and stop it quickly when it happens
  • make enquiries, or request others to make them, when they think an adult with care and support needs may be at risk of abuse or neglect and they need to find out what action may be needed
  • establish Safeguarding Adults Boards, including the local authority, NHS and police, which will develop, share and implement a joint safeguarding strategy
  • carry out Safeguarding Adults Reviews when someone with care and support needs dies as a result of neglect or abuse and there is a concern that the local authority or its partners could have done more to protect them
  • arrange for an independent advocate to represent and support a person who is the subject of a safeguarding enquiry or review, if required.

CHISEL recognises the importance of its residents being safe from abuse and is committed to working with its partner local authorities to enable them to meet their statutory duties. This policy outlines how we determine abuse and who to contact if you or someone you know is vulnerable and being abused.

Who is an adult at risk?

An adult at risk is a person aged 18 years or over who may be unable to take care of themselves, or protect themselves from harm or from being exploited. This may be because they have a mental health problem, a disability, a sensory impairment, are old and frail, or have some form of illness.

Mental Capacity

Mental Capacity refers to the ability to make decisions for yourself about your own life. Some people have difficulties in making such decisions. This is called 'lacking capacity'.

Under the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) there are laws governing who can make decisions on someone else's behalf, which help to safeguard vulnerable people.

What do we mean by abuse?

Abuse is a violation of a person's human rights or dignity by someone else. There are many kinds of abuse; some are listed below:

  • Physical - including hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, restraint or inappropriate sanctions
  • Sexual - including rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the vulnerable adult has not consented, could not consent or was pressured into consenting
  • Psychological - including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks
  • Financial or material - including theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits
  • Neglect or acts of omission - including ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health care, social care, education services or misuse of medication, adequate nutrition or heating
  • Discriminatory - including racist, sexist behaviour and harassment based on a person's ethnicity, race, culture, sexual orientation, age or disability, and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment
  • Institutional abuse - this can sometimes happen in residential homes, nursing homes or hospitals when people are mistreated because of poor or inadequate care, neglect and poor practice that affects the whole of that service

Any of these forms of abuse can be either deliberate or be the result of ignorance, or lack of training, knowledge or understanding. Often if a person is being abused in one way they are also being abused in other ways.

Who may be an abuser?

The person who is responsible for the abuse is often well known to the person abused and could be:

  • Relatives and family members
  • Professional staff
  • Paid care workers
  • Volunteers
  • Other service users
  • Neighbours
  • Friends and associates
  • But also sometimes they could be strangers

What are the signs?

Some of the signs to look for are:

  • Multiple bruising or fingermarks
  • Injuries the person cannot give a good reason for
  • Deterioration of health for no apparent reason
  • Loss of weight
  • Inappropriate or inadequate clothing
  • Withdrawal or mood changes
  • A carer who is unwilling to allow access to the person
  • An individual who is unwilling to be alone with a particular carer
  • Unexplained shortage of money

Who should you contact if you are worried?

In an emergency, always call 999.

If you are being abused or you suspect that someone you know may be the victim of abuse but it is not an emergency you should tell someone you trust, such as a family member, support worker, social worker, nurse or police officer.

You can contact CHISEL on 020 8692 5258 to report any form of abuse for which your landlord has a responsibility or if you want support or advice in liaising with the local authority’s Safeguarding Team. We will liaise with the local authority in line with their published procedure and undertake our own investigations as appropriate.

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