Safeguarding adults

Safeguarding is everyone’s business. If you’re concerned about a vulnerable adult who is being harmed, or an adult who cannot protect themselves from harm, the following information may help you to decide if you need to contact us.

What is safeguarding adults?

Safeguarding is the multi-disciplinary work we do to minimise and manage risk to adults who may be vulnerable with the aim of:

  • Prevention, empowerment and protection of adults
  • The retention of independence, well being and choice
  • The right to access a life free from abuse and neglect

The safeguarding duties outlined within the ‘Care and Support Statutory Guidance, October 2014’ 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

All staff should refer to and use as appropriate the information and contacts below when considering making an alert.

View the Teeswide inter-agency policy and procedures.

Who is vulnerable to abuse and in what way?

Adults may be vulnerable because they are frail or have ill health, a learning or physical disability. They may be unable to take care of themselves against significant harm or exploitation.

The Care Act 2014 provides a comprehensive framework for the care and protection of adults, stating the following aims:

  • To stop abuse or neglect wherever possible
  • Prevent harm and reduce the risk of abuse or neglect to adults with care and support needs
  • Safeguard adults in a way that supports them in making choices and having control about how they want to live
  • Promote an approach that concentrates on improving the life of the adult concerned
  • Raise public awareness so that communities as a whole, alongside professionals, play their part in preventing, identifying and responding to abuse and neglect
  • Provide information and support in accessible ways to help people understand the different types of abuse, how to stay safe and what to do to raise a concern about the safety or well-being of an adult
  • Address what has caused the abuse or neglect

In order to achieve these aims, it is necessary to:

  • ensure that everyone, both individuals and organisations, are clear about their roles and responsibilities;
  • create strong multi-agency partnerships that provide timely and effective prevention of and responses to abuse or neglect;
  • support the development of a positive learning environment across these partnerships and at all levels within them to help break down cultures that are risk-averse and seek to scapegoat or blame practitioners;
  • enable access to mainstream community resources such as accessible leisure facilities, safe town centres and community groups that can reduce the social and physical isolation which in itself may increase the risk of abuse or neglect; and
  • clarify how responses to safeguarding concerns deriving from the poor quality and inadequacy of service provision, including patient safety in the health sector, should be responded to.

The following six principles apply to all sectors and settings including care and support services, further education colleges, commissioning, regulation and provision of health and care services, social work, healthcare, welfare benefits, housing, wider local authority functions and the criminal justice system. The principles should inform the ways in which professionals and other staff work with adults. The principles can also help SABs and organisations more widely, by using them to examine and improve their local arrangements.

  • Empowerment – People being supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and informed consent. “I am asked what I want as the outcomes from the safeguarding process and these directly inform what happens.”
  • Prevention – It is better to take action before harm occurs. “I receive clear and simple information about what abuse is, how to recognise the signs and what I can do to seek help.”
  • Proportionality – The least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented. “I am sure that the professionals will work in my interest, as I see them and they will only get involved as much as needed.”
  • Protection – Support and representation for those in greatest need. “I get help and support to report abuse and neglect. I get help so that I am able to take part in the safeguarding process to the extent to which I want.”
  • Partnership – Local solutions through services working with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse. “I know that staff treat any personal and sensitive information in confidence, only sharing what is helpful and necessary. I am confident that professionals will work together and with me to get the best result for me.”
  • Accountability – Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding. “I understand the role of everyone involved in my life and so do they.”

We have a statutory duty under the Care Act 2014 to make arrangements for ensuring that its own functions, and services provided on its behalf, are fulfilled with regard to the need to safeguard adults at risk of neglect or abuse.

What are the CCG’s responsibilities in safeguarding adults?

CCGs are the major commissioners of local health services and are legally responsible for assuring themselves that the organisations from which they commission services have effective safeguarding arrangements in place – ’ Assurance & Accountability Framework: safeguarding Vulnerable People in the Reformed NHS (2013)’

They have to demonstrate that there are appropriate systems in place for discharging their responsibilities in respect of safeguarding adults, including:

  • Plans to train their staff in recognising and reporting safeguarding issues
  • A clear line of accountability for safeguarding, properly reflected in the CCG governance arrangements
  • Appropriate arrangements to co-operate with local authorities in the operation of Local Safeguarding Adults Boards
  • Ensuring effective arrangements for information sharing

How does the CCG discharge its responsibilities to safeguard adults? 

The CCG employs a Head of Quality and Safeguarding to provide safeguarding adult expertise to the CCG.

The CCG is represented at Executive Level at Teeswide Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Board and the Head of Quality also attends all local Adult Safeguarding Committees.

The Head of Quality and Safeguarding also:

  • Provides specialist advice and support across the health economy within Teesside.
    Provides professional advice, expertise and guidance to inform effective commissioning arrangements.
    Monitors adherence to statutory requirements, CQC and the commissioners specific quality standards relating to safeguarding adults across commissioned provider services.
  • Attends Tees Wide Multi agency groups providing healthexpertise across the Tees area.

What should you do if you have concerns for the safety of an adult?

If you are concerned that an adult is at immediate risk of significant harm you should call the police – Dial 999.

If your concerns are not immediate but you believe a vulnerable adult may be at risk, you should contact the Social Care department in the area in which the adult lives. Below is a list of contact details of the Local Authority departments covering the HAST CCG locality:

When calling the Local Authority be prepared to give as much information as you possibly can.

Stockton on Tees  Hartlepool 
During working hours:

Tel: 01642 527764 

First Contact
Tithebarn House
High Newham Road
Stockton-on-Tees
TS19 8RH

Out of hours: Emergency Duty Team
Tel: 08702 402994

During working hours:

Tel: 01429 284284

First Contact & Support Hub
Civic Centre
Victoria Road
Hartlepool
TS24 8AY

Out of hours: Emergency Duty Team
Tel: 08702 402994

For further information please refer to: Tees Wide Multiagency Safeguarding Adults Procedures

Read the latest news from the Teeswide Safeguarding Adults Board

Find out more about Teeswide Safeguarding Adults Board