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Doing nothing isn't an option. You must report your concerns.
Telephone 0117 922 2700
In an emergency telephone 999
Textphone 18001 followed by 101
Texphone in an emergency 18000
What information will I need to give?
- why you're concerned
- the vulnerable adult's name, age and address
- if anyone lives with them
- if they're getting help from any organisation
- who may be doing the abuse
Don't delay in reporting abuse if you're not sure about some of these details.
If reporting the abuse puts you at risk you can chose to do so anonymously.
A vulnerable adult is someone over 18 who has, or may need, help with their everyday living tasks and who is, for any reason, unable to protect themselves. This can include:
- disabled people who have physical or sensory impairments
- people who have learning difficulties
- people who experience mental ill health
- older people
- people who live in care homes
Abuse is the violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by someone else. Abuse might be unintentional, the important factor is whether the vulnerable person is harmed or not. Abuse can be:
Physical abuse - any form of assault, over-medication, restraint or poor manual handling practice.
Sexual abuse - rape or any sexual act which was not actively consented to or the person did not have the capacity to understand .
Psychological / emotional abuse - threats, intimidation, coercion, harassment.
Financial abuse - theft, borrowing money without repayment and any pressure in connection with wills or property, possessions or benefits.
Neglect - ignoring medical or physical needs, not providing access to appropriate care, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate food, water and heating.
Discriminatory abuse - all forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment based on a person’s disability, ethnic origin, gender or sexuality. This is often called hate crime.
Institutional abuse - repeated instances of poor care, ill treatment of vulnerable adults, and unsatisfactory professional practice. This is often an indicator of more serious problems.
Abuse can occur in any setting
- at home
- in sheltered housing
- in supported living settings
- at day centres and other day services
- in care homes
- in hospitals
- wherever people are dependant on the care of others for their well-being
Abuse happens to people in all sections of society.
- You have a duty to report any concerns about abuse.
- Your employer will have a reporting procedure. Make sure you know what you have to do.
- Or use the Alerter's Guide on this page.
- If you do not want to use your employer's procedure contactBristol Care Direct- contact details above.
- Training is available for people working with vulnerable people. Adult Care Training
- There is a partnership - Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) - of all organisations working to safeguard vulnerable adults in the city. View the 2011-12 SAB Annual Report (pdf, 402 KB) (opens new window).
- The partner organisations have a policy - No Secrets in Bristol – to provide processes and support to report, investigate and stop abuse.
- An Adult Care Manager monitors reporting and co-ordinates work to promote and implement the No Secrets in Bristol policy.
- Adult Care team managers co-ordinate investigations into suspected abuse.
This Bristol’s Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) guide, aimed at vulnerable adults and their families, explains how to recognise signs of abuse and aims to encourage the reporting of abuse. It recommends early reporting of allegations to Bristol Care Direct or local police.