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Safeguarding Adults

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Information and support to help reduce the incidence of harm to adults at risk.

Everyone has the right to live without fear of harm. We work closely with partner agencies in the field of adult protection to reduce the incidence of harm and improve the lives of the adults at risk in our communities.

What to do if you suspect an adult is being harmed or abused.

If you are a member of the public and concerned that someone you know may be harmed in any way, or you are being harmed, please contact the Adult Access Team or the Out of Hours Service.

If you represent a care agency, care home or other commercial provider, or are a health or other care professional, please contact the Safeguarding Adults Triage Service to make a safeguarding alert.

In the event of a crisis, or if a crime is in progress or a life is at risk, dial 999 for the Emergency Service.

Copies of our leaflet, 'Safeguarding Adults' (opens in a new window) can be ordered via our Factsheet orderline.

Say no to abuse leaflet (Easy to read format). (opens in a new window)

Dorset County Council operate a 'zero tolerance' approach to safeguarding adults and every alert will be taken seriously.  We can visit you or the adult concerned and find out what is happening.  As far as possible we will work with you, to investigate and resolve the situation.  If necessary we can help you to report your concerns to the police.  We can also help with any communication difficulties you may have.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) (opens in a new window) inspect care homes and home care agencies.  They respond to complaints about poor standards of care.

What do we mean by 'Adult at Risk'?

An Adult at Risk is a person aged 18 years and over who:

  • Is or may be in need of Community Care Services. Perhaps because of mental ill health, a learning disability, age, physical disability or other illness

  • Is or may be unable to take care of him or herself or 

  • Is unable to protect themselves against significant harm or serious exploitation

Anyone who comes to the attention of Dorset County Council or the other agencies who are working to the  'No Secrets' guidance (opens in a new window) may need to have their circumstances investigated if they are reported to be harmed or at risk of harm.

What do we mean by 'harm'

"It is the violation of an individual's human and civil rights by any other person or persons." (No Secrets, 2000).

There are several types of harm. The following are the most common but the list is not exclusive:

  • Physical harm

  • Sexual harm

  • Psychological or emotional harm

  • Financial harm (theft, fraud, exploitation)

  • Neglect and Acts of Omission (failing to look after someone who needs care or support)

  • Institutional harm (where an organisation has policies or practices which are harmful)

  • Discriminatory harm (where an individual is treated unfairly compared with others)

What we do to safeguard adults

We lead in safeguarding adults at risk through:

  • Careful investigation of circumstances and responsibilities where people may have been harmed

  • Developing protection plans with the individual concerned to help stop them from coming to any further harm

Multi-Agency Safeguarding Adults policy and procedures 2013 (pdf, 1Mb) (opens in a new window)  

Multi-Agency Safeguarding Adults policy and procedures appendix 1 2013 (pdf, 26kb) (opens in a new window)  

Multi-Agency Safeguarding Adults policy and procedure feedback questionnaire (word, 31kb) (opens in a new window)

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