Safeguarding adults

What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding is the multi-disciplinary work we do to minimise and manage risk to adults who may be vulnerable.  Safeguarding encompasses the following core elements:

  • Prevention of harm and abuse through provision of high quality care
  • Effective responses to allegations of harm and abuse, responses that are in line with local multi agency procedures
  • Using learning to improve service to patients

Safeguarding vulnerable adults is everyone’s business. It depends on people understanding and doing the following things:

  • Being aware of the risks of abuse and neglect that vulnerable adults can face
  • Knowing what help is available
  • Understanding their responsibilities
  • Working together to report and investigate concerns
  • Working together to prevent abuse and neglect

Northern Devon Healthcare Trust is signed up to the Devon-wide multi-agency procedure for responding to suspected abuse of vulnerable adults. This means we have an agreement where organisations work together with the person who we think may be abused, to safeguard that person and take what actions we can. Adult and Community Services (Devon County Council) co-ordinate the policy, with the Police and the NHS sharing responsibility for ensuring the correct process is used. More information on this can be found via the following link:

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) 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.

More information on the types of abuse, along with the signs and symptoms can be found on NHS Choices.

Or access our patient information leaflet.

The Trust’s safeguarding adults policy is compliant with the Care Act 2014, which introduced the following changes:

  • The term adult at risk (of abuse or neglect) replaces the term vulnerable adult
  • Safeguarding ‘alerts’ are now referred to as safeguarding ‘concerns’
  • The ‘investigation’ process is now referred to as ‘enquiries’
  • The types of abuse have been extended to include self-neglect, modern slavery and domestic abuse
  • The ‘enquiry’ process is very much driven by the adult at risk and can form a range of activities rather than a rigid process of meetings

Making an alert

If you have concerns that someone you know is being abused and then please call Devon County Council on 0345 1551 007 to raise a safeguarding alert.

Last updated: October 3, 2017