Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults

Knowing the Signs, Speaking Out

All adults should be able to live free from fear or harm and have their rights and choices respected.

What is adult abuse?

There are many different types of abuse, see the document on this page. It may:

  • be physical or sexual
  • involve taking money without permission
  • include bullying or humiliating
  • include not allowing contact with friends and family
  • involve withholding food or medication

Abuse can be the result of a single act or may continue over many months or years. Abuse can be accidental, or a deliberate act.

An abuser may be – a relative, a partner, someone paid to provide care and services, a volunteer, a neighbour, a friend or stranger.

Abuse can happen anywhere:

  • at home
  • in a care home
  • in hospital
  • in sheltered housing
  • in supported living centres
  • at day centres and other day services
  • outside in a public place

How can I tell if abuse may be happening?

Adult abuse is not always easy to identify as sometimes the nature of the abuse is not visible and/or often the person being abused is afraid to speak out. However, there are some more common signs of abuse which if seen may suggest that abuse has occurred.

Which adults are vulnerable to abuse?

Some adults are less able to protect themselves than others and some have difficulty making their wishes and feelings known. This may make them vulnerable to abuse. They may also be vulnerable because they are in need of community care services due to mental health problems, physical or learning disability, age or illness.

In Huddersfield we work together with the Local Authority, Police, Health and local independent and voluntary sector organisations to improve and develop further services to keep vulnerable adults safe. We are all committed to preventing the abuse of adults and responding quickly when abuse is suspected.

How can I report adult abuse?

If you are being abused, or you suspect someone else is being abused contact Gateway to Care on 01484 414933 http://www.kirklees.gov.uk/community/yourneighbourhood/crimeSafety/safeguardingAdults.aspx

By reporting abuse you are alerting the council or the police to concerns which may affect more than one person.

Adults in care

If you are concerned about the quality of care provided by a nursing home, residential home, or domiciliary provider you should contact the Care Quality Commission on 0300 061 6161. See the Care Quality Commission website for more information.

What is ‘No Secrets’?

This is government guidance issued in 2000, encouraging social services authorities to work with other agencies to develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure protection of vulnerable adults. In 2008, the government began a national consultation exercise to review the No Secrets guidance. The consultation has recently ended and any recommendations for changes are expected later this year. 


Got a question?

Call us today on 01484 424744