Q. Who is a vulnerable adult – or adult at risk of harm or abuse?
An adult at risk of harm or abuse is any person who:
- has needs for care and support 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.
- organisations continue to have a duty of care to adults who purchase their own care independently i.e. self-funders.
Q. What happens when I contact Adult Social Care or the Police because I think an adult is at risk or being harmed?
When you contact Adult Social Care, you will be asked for relevant information about the person you are concerned for. You will be asked what you heard or saw. Information will then be shared on a “need to know” basis, but you will be kept informed about who has to be told – for example, the Police if a crime may have been committed.
Together all the relevant agencies will work with the person who may be being abused. They will establish what happened, and what action the person would like to be taken next. Work will also be done with the alleged abuser, and different options will be explored which will prevent, reduce or stop further abuse from happening.
If you report abuse to us we:
- take your concerns seriously
- deal with the matter sensitively
- make sure the person is safe
- investigate the situation fully
Break the silence. Contact Adult Social Care or the Police; they will listen to you and give advice about what to do.
Q. How do I recognise abuse?
Abuse can take many forms:
- Being hit or injured on purpose.
- Restraining someone inappropriately
- Intimidation, threats, humiliation, extortion, racial, verbal or psychological abuse
- Exploitation, coercion, harassment
- Sexual activity that is unwanted or not understood
- Unwanted sexual attention
- Neglect / Deprivation
- Not providing food, clothing, attention or care. Withholding of aids or equipment (continence, walking, hearing, glasses). Putting someone at risk of infection
- Failure to provide access to appropriate health or social care
- Misuse of medication by inappropriately giving medication, overdosing or withholding it
- Imposed Isolation/Confinement
- Being refused the company of others either at home or outside
- The theft or misuse of money, property or personal possessions
- Pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance
- Treating people less favourably and unfairly on the grounds of race, ethnicity, religion or belief, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation
- Self-inflicted injury may be a sign that abuse is taking place, e.g. because someone feels disturbed
- Domestic Violence
- Domestic violence is any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between adults who are or have been in a relationship together, or between family members, regardless of gender or sexuality
- Modern Slavery
- Organisational Abuse
For Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole Multi-agency Safeguarding Adults Policy please click here
For Multi Agency Procedures for the Protection of Adults with Care and Support Needs click here.
For Multi Agency Self-neglect and Hoarding Guidance click here.
If you believe that someone is being abused contact Adult Social Care or the Police. Adult Social Care and the Police will then coordinate investigations into alleged abuse.
Contact as soon as possible:
- In an emergency, call 999
- Bournemouth Care Direct:
Tel: 01202 454979, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Poole Helpdesk:
Tel: 01202 633902, email: email@example.com
- Dorset Safeguarding Board:
Tel: 01305 221016, email: DSAB@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
- Or Dorset Police:
Out of Hours Service
Bournemouth and Poole:
Tel: 01202 657279 – Evenings and weekends, including Bank Holidays.
Tel: 01305 858250