Safeguarding adults

What is safeguarding? Is this the same as adult protection?

Yes it is. Safeguarding adults is a broader definition which includes protecting adults from harm. 

The CCG has a duty to protect adults who may be experiencing abuse or at risk of abuse. Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.

It is about people and organisation’s 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.


Who does safeguarding apply to?

The 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)
  • is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect
  • 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


What is abuse?

Abuse is not normal and never ok. Being abused means a person is being deliberately hurt by somebody else. Abuse and neglect should not happen to anyone at any time. But it does happen, often because people do not recognise that the situation they are in is not right.

Abuse and neglect can happen anywhere. It could take place in care settings including care homes, in a hospital, in the workplace, at a day centre or educational establishment, in the street or a person’s home.


What types of abuse are there?

Abuse is treatment by any other person or people that violates someone else's human and civil rights. Abuse can vary from treating someone with disrespect in a way that significantly affects their quality of life, to causing actual physical suffering.

Abuse can happen anywhere. It could take place in a residential or nursing home, in a hospital, in the workplace, at a day centre or educational establishment, in supported housing or in the street.

Abuse may be a single act or it can continue over a long time and may take different forms.


Abuse may include: 

Physical abuse including:
  • assault
  • hitting
  • slapping
  • pushing
  • misuse of medication
  • restraint
  • inappropriate physical sanctions


Domestic violence including:
  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional abuse
  • so called ‘honour’ based violence


Sexual abuse including:
  • rape
  • indecent exposure
  • sexual harassment
  • inappropriate looking or touching
  • sexual teasing or innuendo
  • sexual photography
  • subjection to pornography or witnessing sexual acts
  • indecent exposure
  • sexual assault
  • sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting
Psychological abuse including:
  • emotional abuse
  • threats of harm or abandonment
  • deprivation of contact
  • humiliation
  • blaming
  • controlling
  • intimidation
  • coercion
  • harassment
  • verbal abuse
  • cyber bullying
  • isolation
  • unreasonable and unjustified withdrawal of services or supportive networks


Financial or material abuse including:
  • theft
  • fraud
  • internet scamming
  • coercion in relation to an adult’s financial affairs or arrangements, including in connection with wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions
  • the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits


Modern slavery encompasses:
  • slavery
  • human trafficking
  • forced labour and domestic servitude.
  • traffickers and slave masters using whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment


Discriminatory abuse including forms of:
  • harassment
  • slurs or similar treatment:
    • because of race
    • gender and gender identity
    • age
    • disability
    • sexual orientation
    • religion


Organisational abuse:

Including neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, for example, or in relation to care provided in one’s own home. This may range from one off incidents to on-going ill-treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation.


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



This covers a wide range of behaviours neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding.

Everyone has the right to live safely and in control of their day-to-day lives.


If you think you are being abused or at risk, talk to us as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can contact a range of organisation and agencies for support with safeguarding concerns. You can find the details of these support services in the right hand side box on the central safeguarding page