Adult safeguarding

Adult safeguarding

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30 June 2022

  • What is Adult Safeguarding?

    About Adult Safeguarding

    The term ‘adult safeguarding’ can cause confusion.  Please take time to read this section and watch the short video entitled ‘What is Safeguarding’.  We all wish to ensure that every adult maintains the right to live a safe life and we should work together to support and safeguard this right. 

    When we refer to the term Adult Safeguarding, The Care Act 2014 defines the cohort that the legal framework applies to, it is this legal framework that the local authority safeguarding adult team has a responsibility to implement.  

    This does not include every adult we feel needs our assistance to remain safe but specifically relates to:

    Adults with care and support needs

    • Who are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing one of the 10 categories of abuse
    • Who are unable to protect themselves due to their care and support needs

    We will have a number of our patients for whom we need to act, or offer to act, in order to keep them safe who DO NOT meet the above criteria.   This simply means that we need to access another service or system for the support rather than the local authority safeguarding adult team.

    It is critical to understand this subtle but important point – to ensure your referral is directed appropriately and not misdirected to the safeguarding adult team, thereby creating needless delay.

    Watch a 15 minute talk by our local Head of Service to allow you to understand what ‘adult safeguarding’ is, the local authority responsibility and what information is helpful when a referral is made.


  • Serious Violence

    About Serious Violence

    From children to the elderly, serious violence can affect people across all stages of life. Many survive serious violence but suffer ongoing physical, mental or emotional health problems.

    Serious violence, as defined in the National Serious Violence Strategy, includes

    “…homicide, knife crime and gun crime, and areas of criminality where serious violence or its threat is inherent, such as in county lines drug dealing… and other forms of serious assault”. It does not currently include domestic abuse, sexual abuse and alcohol, but this is under review.

    Serious violence is a national priority due to its growing prevalence and impact. There has been a significant rise in serious violence, with increases in homicide, knife and gun crime in virtually all police force areas since 2014. Over the last five years, serious violence in Staffordshire has steadily increased. It is predicted that serious violence and the exploitation of the vulnerable will continue to grow and will remain a significant challenge for local services.

    The ICB's and Partnership’s commitments to reducing violence

    The ICB's are fully committed to support the serious violence agenda and alongside multi agency partners have signed a concordat to evidence that contribution and support.

    Members of the ICB's and health provider organisations are members of the Violence Reduction Executive Board and contribute to work streams associated with the local Violence Reduction Delivery Group (as part of the Violence Reduction Alliance) and regionally the West Midlands Injury Surveillance Group and NHSE Serious Violence Forums.

    The motivation and commitment to improve the lives of vulnerable young people, women and girls and stop serious violence before it begins has resulted in numerous initiatives across Stoke-On-Trent and Staffordshire including the Navigator pilot scheme delivered by Catch 22, working out of UHNM’s Accident and Emergency Department, supporting and education young people who have been injured or at risk of injury as a result of serious violence. The Safer Schools Alliance has supported a PSHE programme to be funded across city and county, educating young people about the risks of violence, county lines and child exploitation. There have been recent developments in producing a Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy which will be rolled out early 2022 and many more pieces of work where partner agencies have been working together to make the city and county safe for our children, young people and vulnerable adults.

    If you would like to know more or be involved in reducing violence across Staffordshire and Stoke-On-Trent please contact Stephanie Nightingale, Designated Nurse for Safeguarding Children

    Useful Documents

    Government response - Serious violence consultation 

    Practice summary on preventing serious violence

    Serious Violence Strategy 

  • Categories of Abuse

    Physical Abuse

    • History of unexplained falls
    • Unexplained bruising in well protected or soft parts of the body e.g. ears or buttocks
    • Multiple bruising in different stages of healing
    • Unexplained burns – unusual location or type
    • Unexplained fractures
    • Unexplained lacerations or abrasions
    • Slap, kick punch or finger marks
    • Injury shape similar to an object
    • Untreated medical problems
    • Weight loss due to malnutrition or dehydration

    Sexual Abuse

    • rape
    • indecent exposure
    • sexual harassment
    • inappropriate looking or touching
    • sexual teasing or innuendo
    • sexual photography
    • subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts
    • sexual acts or indecent exposure to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into

    Financial Abuse

    • fraud
    • theft
    • taking property without permission
    • assuming ownership of money or items
    • scamming (which can be in person, by letter, phone and internet)
    • coercion in relation to an adult’s financial affairs including the writing of or changing a Will, and misuse of benefits
    • Financial abuse can involve small and large amounts of money or value of property

    Discriminatory Abuse

    Discriminatory abuse is often on the grounds of age, race, gender or gender identity, culture, religion, sexual orientation or disability.

    Examples are:

    • Hate crime (acts of violence or hostility directed at people because of who they are or who someone thinks they are)
    • ‘Mate crime’ (sometimes used to describe a crime committed against an adult by someone who has befriended them)
    • Derogatory comments
    • Harassment
    • Being made to move to a different resource/service based upon an adult’s age
    • Being denied medical treatment on grounds of age or mental health


    • ignoring medical emotional or physical needs
    • failure to provide access to appropriate health care and support or educational services
    • withholding the necessities of life including medication, adequate nutrition and heating


    self neglect can sometimes be as a result of a person’s choice of lifestyle and covers a wide range of behaviour including neglect to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and can include hoarding when it becomes extreme (including animal hoarding). In these circumstances there is no abuser.

    Emotional abuse

    • threats of harm or abandonment
    • blackmail
    • deprivation of contact
    • humiliation and ridicule
    • blaming
    • controlling
    • intimidation
    • coercion
    • harassment
    • isolation
    • cyber bullying
    • shouting and swearing
    • unreasonable support of services or support networks
    • denial of cultural or religious needs
    • denial of access to the development of social skills

    Organisational abuse

    Neglect, poor practice within an institution such as a care home or hospital and also poor practice in relation to care provided in the adult’s own home. This can be only one incident or a series of incidents which are neglect or poor practice as a result in organisations poor policies, procedures and practice.

    Domestic abuse

    The Home Office definition of domestic abuse (2013):

    • Incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence, or abuse by someone who is or has been an intimate partner or family member regardless of gender or sexuality
    • Includes psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse; so called ‘honour’ based violence; Female Genital Mutilation; forced marriage
    • Includes anyone aged 16 or over

    Many people think that domestic abuse is about intimate partners, but it is clear that other family members are included and that much safeguarding work that occurs at home is, in fact is concerned with domestic abuse.

    Modern slavery

    • slavery
    • human trafficking
    • forced labour and domestic servitude


    About PREVENT

    PREVENT is a national programme to stop people becoming terrorists and supporting violent extremism.

    The strategy helps to support individuals who are vulnerable to being groomed into becoming terrorists.

    Most vulnerable people visit health care settings on a regular basis and we may be the first to spot changes in behaviours that may indicate that an individual is being radicalised.

  • Liberty Protection (LPS) takes over from Deprivation of Liberty (DoLS) in 2022

  • Domestic Abuse

    Useful Resources

    Podcast - Domestic Abuse by Dr Janey Merron

    Bright Sky app | Hestia ‘Bright sky’ is a very helpful App they can download (it can be locked and disguised to look like a weather App.

    Hollie Guard Personal Safety APP  ‘Hollie Guard’  is a personal safety App which can be programmed to alarm, alert the police and voice record by shaking the phone or pressing the alert button

    Routine enquiry about domestic abuse

    Identifying Domestic Abuse in PC setting

    Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference Guidance for GPs

    Domestic Abuse Policy V5

  • Practice Admin

    This area is in development. Please check back here soon. 

  • Safeguarding with Disabilities

    This area is in development. Please check back here soon. 

  • Learning Disabilities

    This area is in development. Please check back here soon. 

  • Learning from Case Reviews

    This area is in development. Please check back here soon. 

  • Useful Links

    Useful Links and Organisations

    In addition to our in-house materials, NHS Health Safeguarding for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent also refers to and links with a number of other resources and data. 

    A selection of those are listed below:

    Staffordshire Safeguarding Children Board

    Please scroll down the front page to sign up to the monthly newsletter.

    Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Adult Safeguarding Partnership Board



    General Medical Council

    Care Quality Commission

    GOV.UK Safeguarding Children

    GOV.UK Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults

    Modern Slavery in the UK - Anti-Slavery International

    Social Care Institute for Excellence - Safeguarding Adults

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