Safeguarding adults is about protecting those at risk of harm

Safeguarding adults online training in the UKPreventing abuse is a key component of any effective safeguarding system. Listening to concerns, promoting self determination, and offering choice supports people in protecting themselves

Doctors have a key role in safeguarding adults at risk from harm. Identifying and reporting safeguarding events is the duty of all clinicians, and doctors need to familiarise themselves with how to do this

Be sensitive to the challenges of inquiring about abuse. Does the patient want the support of a trusted person? Have you made sure the abuser is not present at the assessment?


Information sharing and reporting are necessary to protect adults at risk. Be aware of when the need to share information outweighs the right to confidentiality

Working in partnership with other agencies and organisations is recognised as good practice and fundamental to ensuring that services provided are safe and of a high quality. Adults at risk may receive care from several different providers, and so a coordinated approach is most effective in safeguarding adults


The policy and procedures are for different agencies and individuals involved in safeguarding adults, including managers, professionals, volunteers and staff working in public, voluntary and private sector organisations. They represent the commitment of organisations to:

  • work together to prevent and protect adults at risk from abuse
  • empower and support people to make their own choices
  • investigate actual or suspected abuse and neglect
  • support adults and provide a service to adults at risk who are experiencing abuse, neglect and exploitation.


According to the No secrets government guidance (DH, 2000), local authorities have the lead role in coordinating work to safeguard adults. However, the guidance recognises that successful responses need multi-agency and multi-disciplinary working.

Local implementation

Each local partnership is asked to adopt this policy and procedures so that there is consistency across London in how adults at risk are safeguarded from abuse. However, some local partnerships may want to adapt some aspects of the procedures to meet their local arrangements. For example, some boroughs may have a slightly different approach to thresholds for Safeguarding Adults action. Local partnerships could add an appendix to this policy and procedures, outlining any variations.


Individual organisations may also wish to have internal guidelines for their staff. Again, organisations are encouraged to adopt these procedures as their main guidance, but to add an appendix outlining internal arrangements such as contact details.

These procedures should also be used in conjunction with partnerships’ and individual organisations’ procedures on related issues such as domestic violence, fraud, disciplinary procedures and health and safety.


Public Guardian’s policy on protecting adults at risk

Safeguarding Adults training onlineThe Mental Capacity Act 2005 set out the role of Public Guardian. It introduced a legal duty for the Public Guardian to administer deputies appointed by the Court of Protection, and to look into complaints or concerns about the actions of deputies, registered attorneys and people acting under an order of the Court of Protection.


This rule supports the Public Guardian’s responsibility in safeguarding. It shows how Office of the Public Guardian will work with other agencies to recognise and manage suspicions, allegations and findings of abuse of adults at risk, who are within the Public Guardian’s remit.


Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) is committed to the following principles in all aspects of its safeguarding work:

Empowerment– putting people first and helping those who lack mental capacity feel involved and informed


Protection– supporting victims so they can take action


Prevention– responding quickly to suspected cases of abuse


Proportionality– making sure what we do is appropriate to the situation and for the individual


Partnership– sharing the right information in the right way

Accountability– making sure all agencies have a clear role


The Public Guardian has a legal duty to safeguard:


  • Anybody who has deputized and appointed by the Court of Protection
  • The donor of any registered enduring power of attorney (EPA) or lasting power of attorney (LPA)
  • Anyone for whom the Court of Protection has authorised someone else to carry out a transaction on their behalf, under s16 (2) of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (single orders).


OPG’s role in safeguarding adults at risk


The ways we work to prevent abuse include:


  • Making people aware of legal safeguards such as lasting powers of attorney and the services of OPG and the Court of Protection. We promote safeguarding through talks, training, presentations, publicity and work with our key stakeholders and partners


  • Supervising deputies appointed by the Court of Protection to make decisions on behalf of someone who lacks mental capacity


  • Developing and reviewing strategies and policies about protecting our clients, both within the Ministry of Justice and in partnership with other government departments and external partners


  • Making sure systems are in place to prevent or reduce the possibility of a member of OPG staff abusing an adult at risk


  • Working with other agencies, including adult social services and the police.


The ways we investigate reports of abuse include:


  • Receiving reports that an adult at risk is being abused
  • Answering requests to search the register of deputies and attorneys
  • Investigating concerns about the actions of a deputy or registered attorney, or someone acting under a

single order from the Court of Protection

  • Working in partnership with other agencies, including adult social services and the police, including

taking part in meetings and case conferences

  • Taking part in joint investigations of suspected abuse.


The ways we work to stop abuse include:


  • Applying to the Court of Protection to suspend, discharge or replace a deputy and to cancel or revoke an


  • Providing reports to the Court of Protection under Sections 49 and 58 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005,

to help the court make informed decisions

  • Reviewing our client files and visiting clients where we know abuse has happened in the past or if we

feel there’s a risk abuse might happen.











Legal basis for the safeguarding of vulnerable adults

Safeguarding adults

Safeguarding of vulnerable adults must have a concise legal basis on some of the live issues in modern day Safeguarding.  Anybody involved in safeguarding vulnerable adult will have a better idea as to the imminent legal changes to Safeguarding processes.

The Care Act 2014 is made, Safeguarding is no more a  policy based but enshrined in decree.  The definitions of ‘vulnerable adult’ and ‘significant harm’ set out in ‘No Secrets’ have been removed and we will set out how Care Act 2014 widens the scope for whom Safeguarding applies, with direct implications for those suffering from mental health problems.  A large number of those with mental health problems who are in need of care also self- neglect and so we will briefly look at how Safeguarding practices will now apply to this group.


Safeguarding leads will be made aware of the core principles that the Care Act will bring including the legislative power to pass on some but not all of the Local Authority’s safeguarding duties. How will this impact the care of adults with mental health problems?  How will safeguarding investigations take place and more importantly, how will the safeguarding responsibility be shared?  ‘Wellbeing’ is now a legal principle, how will this effect a safeguarding plan for those with mental health problems?  Safeguarding Adult Boards are now on a statutory footing, what powers do they now have?


An update to capacity issues and best interests’ assessments will be given with highlights of recent case law including the UF case. The Courts are leading the way on balancing asserted positive risk taking against the facts.


Restrictive Practices – The implementation of practices that limit an individual’s action and freedom to act independently without consequence.  How should adults be safeguarded from restrictive practices?  What constitutes unlawful restriction? We will aim to briefly set out what is considered best practice.


In a single year, one National Health Service Trust reported 38 incidents while another reported over 3,000 incidents.  Is this evidence of endemic organisational abuse?  What are the forms of control and restraint?  When is it appropriate to use and when is it not?  What are the civil and criminal repercussions of illegal control and restraint?


We shall look at the professional and legal duty to keep correct safeguarding documentation.  Practitioners, advocates and those that have been delegated investigative powers will be required to produce reports.

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Take the Right Steps to Help Keep Adults Safe

Safeguarding adults training in the UKTaking the right steps in safeguarding adults is about protecting those at risk of harm. It involves identifying abuse and making a move whenever someone is being harmed. The Department of Health defines a helpless adult as a person aged 18 years or over who is or may be require of community care services cause by mental or other disability, age or illness, and who is or not capable to take care of him or herself, or incapable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.

Taking the right steps to help keep adults safe is the responsibility of everyone, as well as all health workers. Anybody can move up a safeguarding concern. All allegations of abuse need to be taken seriously whether made by a healthcare worker, patient, carer, or other service provider. Any concerns reported to a healthcare worker should be followed up by inquiries about the nature and circumstances of the allegation. It is very important to ask about the safety of the person when the allegation is raised and any support the person is already receiving.


Adults abuse can occur in a variety of environments, including their homes, hospitals, assisted living arrangements and nursing homes.

Because of issues about identification, stigma, and institutional systems, concerns about allegations of abuse are known to be under-reported. Only a small proportion of adult abuse is currently detected.

People with health needs make up a large proportion of the referrals for adult abuse, including people with physical disabilites, mental health difficulties, learning disabilities and people with substance misuse.

One systematic review of studies of elder abuse has found that about a quarter of vulnerable elderly people are at risk of abuse, with only a small proportion of these currently detected.[2]

In the UK a cross-sectional survey of family carers for people with dementia found around a third reported important levels of abuse.

The primary objectives of safeguarding adult is to keep an individual safe and prevent further abuse from occurring.

The six principles of good safeguarding practice are:

  • Empowerment
  • Protection
  • Prevention
  • Proportionality
  • Partnership
  • Accountability

Interventions should be designed at making life easier, such as providing mobility support or treating physical and mental illness to help individuals uphold independence. Such actions decrease barriers to patients making their own choices and reduce their dependence to others.


To live a life free from abuse and harm is a basic human right. We are all responsible for the protection of people at risk from abuse.  Vulnerable adults rely on us. So Take the right steps to help keep adult safe. If we don’t, who will? To ignore abuse and neglect is to allow it to continue and that is never acceptable.




Develops an understanding of safeguarding

Safeguarding training in the UKPeople who use health and care services should be treated with dignity and respect, receive high quality, compassionate care and be safe from harm and abuse.Ensuring that this happens is the prime responsibility of those who provide and commission services and the main focus for those who regulate standards in care. Clarity on roles and responsibilities is especially important at a time when:

Public and political concerns have been raised by a number of shocking failures of care and cases of abuse that have shaken confidence in the care system

Major organisational changes in the UK safety National Watch, and the transfer of safeguarding responsibilities to new organisations, have led to some uncertainty


The Care Act, as it comes into effect, will place adult safeguarding arrangements on a statutory basis and bring in new duties.


It’s important to remain focused on outcomes rather than just the process of safeguarding. The outcomes should be

  • To make sure of the safety and wellbeing of anyone who has been subject to abuse or neglect
  • To make a  move against those responsible for abuse or neglect taking place
  • To promote well-being and prevent abuse and neglect from happening in the first place
  • Learn and make changes that could prevent similar abuse or neglect happening to other people

The development of adult safeguarding working arrangements has resulted in too much focus on a specific process and not enough on agreeing which actions will achieve the most positive outcomes for people. In some cases, other powers and actions could be used more quickly and beneficially rather than solely pursuing current formal safeguarding procedures. An appropriate balance needs to be struck between referring cases on for safeguarding investigation and an understanding of what other remedies there are available which could tackle and resolve the issue.


Safeguarding is everybody’s business. Therefore providers are required to meet essential standards of care and people using services are safeguarded additionally through monitoring by providers and commissioners, regulation and inspection. People’s welfare should also be secured by good commissioning, contracts management and, for some people, by care management or other forms of review.


It is for local safeguarding partnerships to make an agreement about how decisions are made, in different health and social care settings, as to what should be appropriately considered a safeguarding issue and addressed through a safeguarding investigation and what should be more appropriately dealt with through

other routes including complaints, employment law, contract monitoring and compliance, regulation and quality improvement processes. All of these routes, used effectively, will safeguard people. The important thing is for all options to be considered, recorded and co-ordinated and for the best interests of the person who has been abused always to be at the forefront of people’s minds.


A common theme in the learning from Serious Case Reviews for adults has been that information about poor and dangerous services was not collated or linked with other information so that intervention might have taken place before serious harm or death occurred. Local partnerships therefore need to have effective procedures for sharing information and means of communication in place to intervene before a problem becomes a crisis.


At a local level some partnerships have set up multi-agency groups which regularly review data and intelligence about care services and plan joint actions. Good practice would be to ensure that there is effective information sharing between staff responsible for monitoring the performance of care providers and those responsible for investigating safeguarding incidents. This is needed to ensure that co-ordinated

and proportionate action is taken to tackle poor care and that the threshold into safeguarding investigation is kept under regular review.




Adult protection – Safeguarding Adults Training in the UK

Safeguarding Adults Training in UKSafeguarding adults means helping adults at risk live free from abuse and neglect. This used to be called ‘adult protection’.

Adults at risk are people who are vulnerable because of their mental health, physical disability, age or illness. They may find it difficult to protect themselves from abuse. Everybody can help adults at risk to live free from harm.

Social care plays an important role in helping people with care and support needs to live full lives, free from abuse and neglect. This includes preventing abuse, minimising risk without taking control away from individuals, and responding proportionately if abuse or neglect has occurred.

Local authorities, care providers, health services, housing providers and criminal justice agencies are all important safeguarding partners.

Aegis4training is having this online training course, for anyone who encounters adults at risk of abuse in the community, in a person’s own home, in a hospital, in a day care or residential setting. This includes formal and informal carers, volunteers, health and social care professionals.

  • Discover how values and attitudes can block recognition and effect the decisions professionals make regarding taking action.
  • The course reflects on the law, including key legislation and guidance regarding issues of consent and duty of care.
  • Assured that  you will be trained adequately in the issues surrounding the safeguarding of adults at risk in just a few hours with this online training.
  • Explore commonly held attitudes towards adults at risk and how these impact on the service provided.
  • The training outlines the signs, indicators, definitions and types of abuse including unintentional harm.
  • Finally, it is explained what to do if you have any concerns, what your responsibility is, what happens next and the role and responsibility of managers.

This course also package with scenarios to assist you to think about what you would do in a given situation.

Lessons includes the following:

  • Learning Objectives
  • Overview
  • Definitions and Useful Terms
  • Relevant Regulations
  • Roles and Responsibilities

For more details you can go to