How do I report safeguarding concerns?
You might have concerns about abuse and neglect for yourself or someone you know.
- if it is an emergency dial 999
- to report a crime or potential crime to the Police you can phone the non-emergency number 101
- to report a safeguarding concern please call 01905 768053
- if you would like safeguarding advice please phone the Adult Safeguarding Team on 01905 843189 (note this number does not accept referrals)
- professionals can complete an online form to report concerns about abuse or neglect
The information below tells you more about safeguarding adults, what happens when you report abuse or neglect and links to relevant policies and procedures that inform you how local services work together to protect adults at risk of abuse or neglect.
What is adult safeguarding?
Sometimes adults with care and support needs are unable to protect themselves from the risk or experience of abuse or neglect.
'Safeguarding' is a term that describes the process for protecting them, and it is covered by law.
The Care Act 2014 (GOV.UK) sets out the safeguarding responsibilities of local services who must work together to safeguard adults in a way that supports them in making choices, and having control about how they want to live.
What is abuse and neglect?
Abuse or neglect is an action, or lack of action, that leads to harm occurring to another person.
Abuse or neglect may be deliberate or result from negligence or ignorance.
Unintentional abuse or neglect arises, for example, because pressures have built up and/or because someone with care and support needs displays difficult or challenging behaviour that is not being properly addressed.
The Care Act 2014 and statutory guidance sets out what is recognised as forms of abuse.
Concerns for someone's ability to cope at home
It maybe you are worried that someone maybe struggling at home with day to day matters. For more information and advice see concerns for someone's ability to cope at home
What will happen if the concerns are about me?
Your safeguarding concern will be passed to the Adult Safeguarding Team who will contact you.
They will discuss the outcomes you wish to achieve and whether you have support or need an advocate to help you explain what you want to happen. See the Independent Support section below.
We will establish with you who you want to be involved. Further information may need to be gathered and a decision will need to be made regarding whether a formal section 42 enquiry is required or whether there is other action that should be taken. A section 42 enquiry refers to that part of the Care Act 2014 which places a duty on the Council to make appropriate enquiries.
The aim of this process is to assist you to live the life you want, with support and protection if needed.
What will happen if the concerns are about someone else?
Further information may need to be gathered and a decision will need to be made as to whether a Local authority must make enquiries, or cause another agency to do so, whenever abuse or neglect are suspected called a section 42 enquiry ( see above).
We will need to establish whether the person you are concerned about has capacity to consent to the safeguarding process, and whether they need an advocate to support them. If you tell us you are worried about someone being abused, you may not always be told all the details of what action is taken. This is because the council has a duty to keep information about people safe.
Safeguarding Adults Board
Safeguarding is everyone's business, and it is important that organisations work together to protect people who need help and support. The main purpose of Worcestershire Safeguarding Adults Board is to promote wellbeing and reduce the risk of harm for people with care and support needs. Visit the Safeguarding Adults Board website.
The local authority will arrange for an independent advocate to represent and support a person who is the subject of a Safeguarding Enquiry or a Safeguarding Adult Review, if they need help to understand and take part in the enquiry or review, and to express their views, wishes, or feelings. If an individual is felt to be lacking capacity to engage with the safeguarding process, a Mental Capacity Assessment will be completed to test out if the person has capacity or not to make their own decisions about their protection.
Download: Safeguarding fact sheet