1. What is safeguarding?

Adult Safeguarding – what it is and why it matters

Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the adult’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, having regard to their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action. This must recognise that adults sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships and may be ambivalent, unclear or unrealistic about their personal circumstances.

Who might need safeguarding services?

Safeguarding duties apply to an adult who:

  • has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs) and;
  • is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect; and as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect.

These adults for example may be:

  • Frail due to age, ill health, physical disability or cognitive impairment, or a combination of these.
  • Have a learning disability
  • Have a physical disability and/or a sensory impairment
  • Have mental health needs including dementia or a personality disorder
  • Have a long-term illness/condition
  • Users of substances or alcohol
  • Be unable to demonstrate the capacity to make a decision and is in need of care and support.

This list is not exhaustive.

For those who do not meet the criteria as an adult at risk of harm but who nevertheless appear to be at high risk there are alternative sources of referral and support. Such as:
Your GP, B&NES Community Services on 01225 396000. If an adult is in immediate danger dial 999 and ask for police assistance.