Safeguarding adults at risk

Hillingdon safeguarding adults at risk


Information for the public

We are aware of our responsibility of protecting adults at risk. Our local Safeguarding Adults at Risk policy aims to ensure that vulnerable adults are protected from any form of abuse whilst under the care of The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Safeguarding is everybody's business.

Furthermore, staff members are able to identify any possible adult abuse to patients which may have occurred prior to the patient attending or being admitted to the Trust and to take appropriate action.

In addition, the policy aims to ensure that staff are aware of the special needs of adults at risk and that they receive training and guidance in recognising abuse.

What safeguarding is and why it matters

Safeguarding adults at risk means protecting a person’s health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect. It's fundamental to high-quality health and social care.

An adult at risk is any person who is aged 18 years or over and at risk of abuse or neglect because of their needs for care and/or support.

Safeguarding adults at risk includes:

  • Protecting their rights to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.
  • People and organisation's working together to prevent the risk of abuse or neglect, and to stop them from happening.
  • Making sure people's wellbeing is promoted, taking their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs into account.

What is meant by abuse?

Abuse is defined as the 'violation of an individual's human or civil rights by any other person or persons'.

Abuse can be:-

  1. Physical - such as hitting, slapping, rough handling, misuse of medication, misuse of restraint
  2. Sexual - making someone carry out a sexual act they have not or cannot consent to
  3. Psychological - such as threats or humiliation
  4. Financial - such as theft of money/possessions, misuse of someone's benefits
  5. Neglect - such as a carer not meeting a person's care or health needs
  6. Discriminatory - any form of abuse based on discrimination because of a person's race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation etc.

Additional categories of abuse within the Care Act 2014 include:

  1. Domestic violence and abuse - including psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional, 'honour based' violence
  2. Modern slavery - including slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude, traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment
  3. Self-neglect - covers a wide range of behaviour when a person neglects to care for their personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes hoarding
  4. Organisational abuse - abuse or poor practice throughout an organisation

Who abuses?

Abuse can be perpetrated by anyone - relatives, partners, friends, neighbours, volunteers, paid care workers, or strangers - and can happen anywhere.

Where does abuse occur?

Abuse can happen in many different settings:

  • someone's own home
  • in a care home
  • in a hospital
  • in a day centre; or
  • in a public place

What do you need to do?

  • Recognise it
  • Abuse comes in many forms and more than one type may be happening at one time
  • Report it
  • If you feel you are being abused or know a person at risk, tell someone . They will work with you to make sure everyone is safe.
  • You may be worried about the consequences of reporting abuse. The person concerned may not be able to report the abuse themselves and may rely on you to voice concerns. You will be offered advice and support.
  • Never assume somebody else will recognise and report what you have seen or heard.

What will happen next?

What happens next depends on the wishes of the person and the seriousness of the situation. Once reported, concerns will be investigated in line with the Revised Pan-London Guidance for Adult Safeguarding.

Investigations will normally be co-ordinated by Social Services but may be led either by them or by the Police. Information and advice will be offered so that the person and their family can make an informed choice about any practical help they need or action they wish to. If they are unable to make an informed choice, care will be taken to support and protect them and do what is best for them.

Who can you contact?

Hillingdon Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB)

The Hillingdon Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) can be found at hillingdonsab.org.uk. The board brings together all of the agencies that are involved in safeguarding to ensure that professionals are doing everything they can to protect vulnerable adults from harm and abuse.

More information

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