Safeguarding Adults Policy

Introduction:

The purpose of this document is to set out the policy of the Practice in relation to safeguarding adults
who are attending Rising Voices Wessex choir. Further guidance may be available on local interagency
procedures via the Primary Care Organisation and / or Social Services.

Who is “an adult” at risk?

An Adult at Risk is: an adult aged 18 years or over ‘who is or may be in need of community care
services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take
care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself from significant harm or exploitation’ (No
Secrets, DH, 2000).

Those at risk may live alone, be dependent on others (care homes etc.), elderly, a carer or socially
isolated.

Forms of abuse include:

  •  Neglect – ignoring mental or physical needs, care, education, or basic life necessities or rights.
  •  Bullying – family, carers, friends.
  •  Financial – theft or use of money or possessions.
  •  Sexual – assault, rape, non-consensual acts (including acts where the individual is unable to 
     give consent), touching, indecent exposure.
  •  Physical – hitting, assault, man-handling, restraint, pain or forcing medication.
  •  Psychological – threats, fear, being controlled, taunts, isolation.
  •  Discrimination – abuse based on perceived differences and vulnerabilities. 
  •  Institutional abuse – in hospitals, care homes, support services or individuals within them,
     including inappropriate behaviours, discrimination, prejudice, and lack of essential safeguards

Abuse may be deliberate or as a result of lack of attention or thought, and may involve
combinations of all or any of the above forms. It may be regular or on an occasional or single
event basis, however it will result in some degree of suffering to the individual concerned. Abuse
may also take place between one vulnerable adult and another, for example between residents
of care homes or other institutions.

Indications include:

  •  Bruising.
  •  Burns.
  •  Excess Falls.
  •  Apparent lack of personal care.
  •  Nervousness or withdrawn.
  •  Avoidance of topics of discussion.
  •  Inadequate living conditions or confinement to one room in their own home.
  •  Inappropriate controlling by carers or family members.
  •  Obstacles preventing personal visitors or one-to-one personal discussion.
  •  Sudden changes in personality.
  •  Lack of freedom to move outside the home, or to be on their own.
  •  Refusal by carers to allow the person into further care or to change environs.
  •  Lack of access to own money.
  •  Lack of access to equipment and mobility aids when needed.

What action is required?

Where abuse of an adult is suspected the welfare of the person takes priority. When deciding
whether to disclose concerns to a third party or other agency the risk to the individual will need to be
assessed. Ideally the matter should be discussed with the individual involved first, and attempt made
to obtain consent to refer the matter to the appropriate agency if appropriate.

Where this is not possible, or in the case of emergency where serious harm is to be prevented, there
is a need to balance the protection of the individual against the duty of confidentiality. The individual
should usually be informed that there is a need to disclose information, and advice and support 
should be offered. All actions and referrals must be documented in writing (appendix 1) including any
additional contact made with other relevant parties (appendix 2).

Due regard will be taken of the individuals capacity to provide a valid consent. If a person lacks
capacity then the referrer must act in the individual’s best interest.

In assessing the risk to the individual, the following factors will be considered:

  •  Nature of abuse, and severity.
  •  Chance of recurrence, and when.
  •  Frequency.
  •  Vulnerability of the individual due to their frailty, age, physical condition etc.
  •  Others involved – family, carers, strangers, visitors etc.

Subject to the local pan Dorset Adult Safeguarding procedures, consideration should be given to:

  • Reporting the concern to Social Services using the reporting form in appendix 1, or if it is of a criminal nature the Police (appendix 2)

Adult Safeguarding Concern Reporting Form

Available to download

Notes

1. No matter what happens to a suspicion, allegation or actual incident of abuse (that is whether or
not it is processed through a statutory agency or not) all details must be recorded.
2. If for any reason it is decided not to consult with a relevant statutory agency, a full explanation of
why must be documented.
3. Recording should be factual that is no reference made to your own subjective opinions.
4. Records should be kept completely confidential and secure (always locked away) and only shared
with those who need to know about the suspicion, allegation or actual incident of abuse.
5. This form is electronically available from the Trustees of Rising Voices.

Who’s who for safeguarding vulnerable adults?

Social Care:

Care Direct – Bournemouth 01202 454979
Help Desk – Poole 01202 633902
Dorset County Council 019289557712
Out of Hours 01202 657279

Police;

Bournemouth 01202 222434
Poole 01202 223331

In an emergency:

If a vulnerable adult is potentially seriously injured: Ring 999
If someone is threatening to harm the vulnerable adult: Ring 999