The Trust is committed to the safeguarding and welfare of vulnerable adults. All of our staff have a duty to uphold the values of the Trust and safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. The Director of Nursing and Patient Experience is the Director responsible for safeguarding.
Who is a vulnerable adult?
A vulnerable adult is someone who is over 18, who may not be able to take care of themselves or protect themselves against significant harm. They may already be receiving services because of disability, age or illness, or they may want to ask for services.
What is abuse?
Abuse is behaviour towards a person that either deliberately or unknowingly causes them harm or endangers their human or civil rights. Some forms of abuse are criminal offences, for example physical assault and rape, fraud, and other forms of financial exploitation, and certain forms of discrimination, whether on racial or gender grounds.
Examples of Abuse:
Physical harm, including hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, restraint, or inappropriate sanctions;
Sexual harm, including rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the adult has not consented, or could not consent to or was pressured into consenting to;
Psychological harm, including threats of physical hurt or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, over-controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, and isolation;
Financial or material exploitation, including theft, fraud, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions, benefits, or direct payments;
Neglect and acts of omission, including ignoring medical or physical care needs; failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services; the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating;
Inappropriate discrimination, including racist, sexist, and that based on a person’s disability, and any other forms of related harassment.
Everyone has the right to live in peace with no fear of abuse!
Anyone can become an abuser. Most abusers are known by the vulnerable adult. The abuse can happen anywhere – in the home, in the community, in day or residential care, in hospital or at college. Abusers can be a:
- family member
- paid carer
- health or care professional
- work colleague.
Sometimes people are easy targets, but whether abuse is deliberate or unintentional – it hurts.
What do I do if I have a concern, suspicion or allegation that an adult is being harmed or exploited?
In emergency situations seek appropriate medical attention and contact the police, as would be done with anyone in that situation. The protection of the vulnerable adult from harm is the first priority.
In non-urgent situations it is important that the information is reported to Adult Social Care so that a social worker can play a part in planning how to respond to any specific case.
Referrals may be made during working hours through the Short Term Assessment and Reablement Teams (STARS):
North STARS Tel: 01204 337680
South STARS Tel: 01204 337000
Advice about how to report a concerns can also be obtained from NHS staff in the hospital and the community.
What happens if I report my concern to the NHS?
We will listen and take you seriously. We will work with you to establish the facts and talk with you about who you want to be involved and help you know which agencies can help you. If necessary, we can help you to report the abuse to the police or other agencies that may be able to help with an investigation.
Together with other agencies we can make plans to help you feel safer, and improve your wellbeing. We can help with any communication difficulties you may have because of your disability or illness.
Safeguarding Annual Report 2014-15 [368kb] PDF