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Safeguarding Adults

About Safeguarding Adults

Safeguarding adults is about protecting those at risk of harm. It involves identifying abuse and acting whenever someone is being harmed. Safeguarding is everybody’s business.

The Department of Health defines a vulnerable adult as a person aged 18 years or over who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness, and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.

The Keeping Bristol Safe Partnership (KBSP) is a statutory partnership of all the organisations working to safeguard adults at risk in the city. The multi-agency policies help people to report, investigate and stop abuse, supported by Adult Care Team Managers.

An adult at risk is an adult who:

  • needs care and support, whether or not the council provides it
  • is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect
  • can’t protect themselves from abuse or neglect because of their care and support needs

Types of Abuse

Abuse is when anyone violates someone else’s human and civil rights. Abuse doesn’t have to be done on purpose; the most important thing is whether the adult at risk has been harmed. Abuse can be:

  • Physical

Any form of assault, over-medication, unnecessary restraint or bad manual handling

  • Sexual

Rape or any sexual act that the victim didn’t consent to or couldn’t understand

  • Psychological or Emotional

Threats, intimidation, coercion, harassment or bullying

  • Financial

Theft, borrowing money and not repaying it, and any pressure about wills, property, possessions or benefits

  • Neglect

Ignoring medical or physical needs, not providing access to care, withholding essentials such as medication, food, water and heating

  • Discriminatory

All forms of harassment based on a disability, ethnicity, gender or sexuality

  • Institutional

Repeated poor care and treatment of vulnerable adults, and unsatisfactory professional practice

  • Modern slavery

Slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude

  • Self-neglect

Not caring for personal hygiene, health or surroundings, including behaviour like hoarding which puts the person, or others, at risk