Safeguarding adults

This page contains an overview of the terms ‘safeguarding’ and ‘adults at risk'. It also contains information on how and when to report a case and how to do it.

How to report a concern about a vulnerable adult who is at risk of neglect or abuse in Northumberland.

If you are concerned about a vulnerable adult who is at risk of neglect or abuse in Northumberland contact: 

Contact us:
Onecall:  01670 536 400
Text phone: 01670 536 844
Email: onecall@northumbria.nhs.uk

If you need medical advice and support fast, but it’s not life threatening, call your GP or NHS 111.

You should always call 999 in an emergency - for example when someone’s life is at risk or someone is seriously injured or critically ill.

To report a crime:

In an emergency, contact the police, tel: 999

If the person is not in immediate danger, contact the police, tel: 101

To find out more information about safeguarding children please see:

Northumberland Safeguarding Children website 
Northumberland Safeguarding Children Board Procedures
Here you will find information about safeguarding adults at risk, how and when to report a case of abuse and how to do it.

  • To contact the safeguarding adults board, please click here.
  • For further information for professionals, click here.
Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.

It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect. At the same time it is essential that we make sure the person’s views, wishes, feelings and beliefs are a key part of deciding on any action.

From 1 April 2015 Safeguarding Adults is underpinned by The Care Act 2014. This calls for effective multi agency working to ensure that adults at risk of harm are safeguarded within our communities.

An adult at risk is defined by The Care Act 2014 as a person who:
  • Has needs for care and support (whether or not the authority is meeting any of those needs)
  • Is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect 
  • and as a result of those needs is unable to protect himself or herself against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it.

Abuse and Neglect

The Care Act 2014 identifies the following categories of abuse and neglect that should be included within Safeguarding Adult policy and procedures.

Abuse may be a single act or repeated acts of suspected, disclosed or witnessed abuse or neglect.

It may be:
  • Physical abuse, including hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, restraint, or inappropriate sanctions.
  • Sexual abuse, including rape and sexual assault or sexual exploitation or acts to which the vulnerable adult has not consented, or could not consent or was pressured into consenting.
  • Psychological abuse, including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks.
  • Financial or material abuse, including theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefit.
  • Neglect and acts of omission, including ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.
  • Discriminatory abuse, including forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexua orientation or religion.
  • Organisational abuse, including everything from individual acts of very poor professional practice to pervasive ill treatment, gross misconduct and systemic failure across a service.
  • Domestic abuse, including psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse and “honour” based violence.
  • Modern day slavery, encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude.
  • Self-neglect, this covers a wide range of behaviours, including neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviours such as hoarding.
  • Radicalisation, the abusive process whereby adults with care and support needs are radicalised.
Abuse can happen anywhere - in a person's own home, a public place, care homes, hospitals, day centres or in the community. Anyone can neglect or abuse - family members, friends, neighbours, social workers, health staff, carers, volunteers and strangers. Stopping abuse or neglect is everyone’s responsibility and anyone can raise a concern.

If you or someone you know is being abused or neglected please report it.

If you require any general advice or more information please contact:

Safeguarding Adults Team
01670 622 683 (team administrator)

Please note that this is for general advice only.

 

If you are concerned that someone is at risk of, or experiencing, abuse or neglect please contact Onecall.

If your query relates to the Safeguarding Adults Board please contact the Strategic Safeguarding Manager.

 

We are a board made up of a wide range of statutory, voluntary and independent organisations.

The vision of North Tyneside and Northumberland Safeguarding Adults Board is to promote the individual’s human rights, their capacity for independence, ensuring each person is treated with dignity and respect and able to enjoy a sustained quality of life and improved wellbeing. That at all times they are afforded protection from abuse, neglect, discrimination or poor treatment and that their carers whether paid or unpaid, are safe.
 
As no single agency can act in isolation all constituent members of the Safeguarding Adults Board recognise the need for and give a commitment to work in partnership and collaboration, to ensure positive outcomes in the welfare and protection of all citizens at risk of harm from abuse.

In addition we agree to adhere to the Care Act principles which underpin all adult safeguarding work:

Empowerment – People are supported and encouraged to make their own decisions and their decisions are based on informed consent.
Prevention – It is better to take action before harm occurs.
Proportionality – The least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented.
Protection – Support and representation for those in greatest need.
Partnership – Local solutions through services working with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse.
Accountability - Accountability and transparency in delivering Safeguarding
On 1 April 2015 Safeguarding Adults Boards became statutory.
Click here to view the Care and Support Statutory Guidance.

The Northumberland and North Tyneside Safeguarding Adults Board is a multi-agency partnership that leads  the strategic development of safeguarding adult’s work across both areas.

The main objective of the Safeguarding Adults Board is to improve local safeguarding arrangements to ensure partners act to help and protect adults experiencing, or at risk of neglect and abuse.

It does this by: 
  • Assuring itself that local safeguarding arrangements are in place as defined by the Care Act 2014 and statutory guidance
  • Assuring itself that safeguarding practice is person-centred and outcome-focused
  • Working collaboratively to prevent abuse and neglect where possible
  • Ensuring agencies and individuals give timely and proportionate responses when abuse or neglect have occurred
  • Assuring itself that safeguarding practice is continuously improving and enhancing the quality of life of adults in its area
  • Raising awareness within the wider community of the need to safeguarding adults at risk and promote their welfare
In accordance with the Care Act 2014, the SAB has three core duties:
  • Develop and publish a strategic plan setting out how they will meet their objectives and how their member partner agencies will contribute
  • Publish an annual report detailing how effective their work has been
  • Commission Safeguarding Adults Reviews (SARs) for any cases which meet the criteria for these
Since December 2016 we have been a joint Board with North Tyneside, and cover both geographical areas. North Tyneside and Northumberland Safeguarding Adults Board is made up of a wide range of statutory, voluntary and independent organisations.  It includes those organisations that have statutory responsibilities for promoting the welfare of adults and protecting adults at risk of abuse and neglect.

The SAB has an Independent Chairperson, and is supported by a number of sub-groups that contribute to the work of the Board:
  • Performance sub group
  • Workforce Learning and Development Group
  • Safeguarding Adults Review Committee
  • Sexual Exploitation sub-groups
Three of the sub-groups are joint between Northumberland and North Tyneside and have representation from both areas.  Sexual Exploitation sub-groups remain separate, with Northumberland and North Tyneside each having a group consisting of members from their respective Local Safeguarding Children’s Board and Community Safety Partnerships.
 
The SAB reports to the Overview Scrutiny Committees and also shares their annual report with the Health and Wellbeing strategic boards at North Tyneside and Northumberland.

The Care Act 2014 stipulates that Safeguarding Adult Boards must publish a strategic plan and annual report.

The SAB has produced an Annual report which provides an overview of its work and achievements over the last year. 

Click here to view the latest Annual Report.

The SAB has also produced a strategic plan which explains how its vision and priorities will be delivered over the next year. 

Click here to view the latest Strategic Plan. 

The SAB has an Information Sharing Agreement in place to ensure that information is shared safely, securely and appropriately for the purposes of safeguarding adults at risk.

Annual Reports

Strategic Plans

If you have any enquiries relating to the SAB please contact: 

Karen Wright - Strategic Safeguarding Manager
Tel: 01670 622 672 (direct line)
01670 622 683 (team administrator)
Email: karen.wright01@northumberland.gov.uk

Please note that this is for further information about the Safeguarding Adults Board only. If you are concerned that someone is at risk of, or experiencing, abuse or neglect please contact Onecall.
 
To find out more about safeguarding adults in North Tyneside or if you wish to report any concerns about residents of North Tyneside please see:

North Tyneside Safeguarding Adults

If you want to find out more about safeguarding and social care services and support for residents of North Tyneside please see:

My Care North Tyneside
Safeguarding Adults Reviews (SARs) are a statutory requirement for Safeguarding Adults Boards (SABs).

Safeguarding adults practice can be improved by identifying what is helping and what is hindering safeguarding work, in order to tackle barriers to good practice, and protect adults from harm. 

Section 44 of the Care Act 2014 places a duty on local Safeguarding Adults Boards to arrange a SAR:

When an adult, with needs for care and support, (whether or not the local authority was meeting any of those needs) in its area dies as a result of abuse or neglect, whether known or suspected, and there is concern that partner agencies could have worked more effectively to protect the adult

or

If an adult in its area has not died, but the SAB knows or suspects that the adult has experienced serious abuse or neglect and there is concern that partner agencies could have worked more effectively to protect the adult
The purpose of a SAR is to promote effective learning and improvement action to prevent future deaths or serious harm occurring again. This may be where a case can provide useful insights into the way organisations are working together to prevent and reduce abuse and neglect of adults.

There may be circumstances where the SAR criteria have not been fully met but it is felt that a review of the case would be beneficial. SAR's and Learning Reviews can also be used to explore examples of good practice where it is likely that lessons can be applied to future cases. These are decisions made by the Safeguarding Adults Review Committee.

SAR referrals

The Safeguarding Adults Review Committee considers all referrals for SARs. The group makes recommendations to the Safeguarding Adults Board on whether a SAR should be held, or if other actions should be taken to respond to the issues identified. Any agency can make a referral to the Safeguarding Adults Review Committee.

For further information regarding SARs please click here to view the North of Tyne Safeguarding Adult Review Policy and Procedure 2018 

SAR reports 

SAR findings and recommendations are reported to the SAB and action plans are produced.  The SAB then monitors the implementation of these plans, supported by the Safeguarding Adults Review Committee. The SAR report is then published, which is agreed with the family members or appropriate others.
 

Safeguarding Adult Review Reports:

In 2012 Northumberland SAB published a Safeguarding Adults Review in relation to Adult H

In December 2018 the North Tyneside and Northumberland SAB published a Safeguarding Adult Review in relation to Adult W. Click here to view the report and accompanying statement.
The following documents have been produced to assist professionals undertaking safeguarding adults work.

The North Tyneside and Northumberland Joint Safeguarding Policy provides an overarching framework for Safeguarding Adults, and sets out the course of action we should take to protect people at risk of harm from abuse.

Click here to view the North Tyneside and Northumberland Joint Safeguarding Policy.

Professionals should refer to the multi-agency safeguarding procedures and staff guidance to inform their actions when there is a concern about abuse or neglect.

Guidance for staff working in Northumberland can be found in the Northumberland 10 Step procedures.

Click here to view the Northumberland 10 step procedures.

Professionals may also consult the NSAB Safeguarding Adults Risk Threshold Tool to inform their decision making.

Click here to view the NSAB Safeguarding Adults Risk Threshold Tool

Further practice guidance (Please add link to Practice guidance section below) is also available to assist professionals in using the multi-agency policy and procedures.
To find out more information on how to help if you believe someone you know is the victim of domestic abuse please see the Domestic Abuse website

MARAC - Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference

A MARAC is a meeting where information is shared on the highest risk domestic abuse cases between representatives of local police, health, child protection, housing practitioners, Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) and other specialists from the statutory and voluntary sectors.

A victim should be referred to the relevant MARAC if they are an adult (16+) who resides in the borough and are at high risk of domestic violence from their adult (16+) partner, ex-partner or family member, regardless of gender or sexuality.  

After sharing all relevant information they have about a victim, the representatives construct a joint risk management plan that provides professional support to all those at risk and that reduces the risk of harm.

The aim of the MARAC is to manage the risk to the adult victim but in doing this it will also consider other family members including any children involved and managing the behaviour of the perpetrator.  Information shared at the MARAC is confidential and is only used for the purpose of reducing the risk of harm to those at risk. 
At the heart of a MARAC is the working assumption that no single agency or individual can see the complete picture of the life of a victim, but all may have insights, knowledge and expertise that are crucial to their safety.
To make a referral to MARAC and/or Domestic Abuse Services please see the procedural flowchart and referral documentation below.

In summary:

Complete a Risk Indicator Checklist (Please add link to doc) as the starting point.
  • Always refer to Onecall if there are any safeguarding concerns. 
  • Assessed as standard/medium risk - with consent refer to Domestic Abuse services 
  • Assessed as standard/medium risk - without consent document and signpost to Domestic Abuse services (except self referrals)
  • With or without consent if the risk is assessed as high refer to MARAC - Risk Indicator Checklist and referral MARAC referral form required

If you require further information or advice contact:
Lesley Pyle
Northumberland & North Tyneside Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence Coordinator
Tel: 01670 622 724
Email: lesley.pyle@northumberland.gov.uk 

For more information, please refer to:

Risk Indicator Checklist
NCC Domestic Abuse Process flowchart
MARAC awareness presentation

The single point of contact for Adult Social Care MARAC referrals is:
Safeguarding Adults Team
Tel: 01670 622 683 (team administrator)
 
The Northumberland and North Tyneside Safeguarding Adults Board Workforce Development subgroup oversee the implementation and delivery of a multi-agency  Safeguarding Adults Training programme.

In Northumberland a range of Safeguarding Adults training courses are delivered on  a multi-agency basis.

For further information and to book a place on Safeguarding Adults training please contact:

For Northumberland County Council and Private/Independent Sector staff:
Tel: 01670 624803
Email: learningandOD@northumberland.gov.uk

For Northumbria Healthcare staff:
Tel: 0191 2031415
Email: trainingdept@northumbria-healthcare.nhs.uk

For advice about Safeguarding Adults training please contact:
Leigh Waller
Tel: 01670 629041
Email: leigh.waller@nhct.nhs.uk

Mental Capacity Act

The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 applies to everyone involved in the care, treatment and support of people aged 16 and over living in England and Wales who are unable to make all or some decisions for themselves. The MCA is designed to protect and restore power to those vulnerable people who lack capacity. 

The MCA provides the legal framework for making decisions on behalf of people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions themselves. 

For further information please the Mental Capacity Fact sheet 

For Mental Capacity Assessment and Best Interest Decision forms please see: 

MC1 Asessment form
MC2 Best Interest decisions form
Assessment of Capacity guidance notes

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards apply to vulnerable people in England and Wales, aged 18 or over, who have mental health needs (this includes dementia), who are in hospitals and care homes, and who do not have the mental capacity (ability) to make decisions about their care or treatment. 

If they lack capacity (or are unable) to make these decisions then the law allows decisions to be made in their best interests. To meet the requirements for an assessment under the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards the following criteria must be met: 

1. The person MUST lack capacity to consent to their care or treatment in the care home, hospital or other supported living arrangement. 

2. The person is not free to leave. That means the person is not free to live where they want or with who they want. 

3. The person is under continuous supervision and control. For example: Do staff always need to be aware of where the person is, who they are with and make checks and take action if there is any doubt about this? 

If the above criteria is met, the Local Authority will undertake an assessment. This will be carried out by a Best Interests Assessor and a Specialist Doctor, and will involve speaking to family or friends, or appointing an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate. The assessment will decide how long the authorisation will last (maximum 12 months), and when it will need to re-assessed. The person will be provided with a representative during the period of authorisation, and has the right to challenge through the Court of Protection.

If the above criteria are met and the person is being deprived of their liberty in any other living accommodation, then the Local Authority may need to apply to the Court of Protection to seek their authorisation. If so, then we would need to consult with the person, their carers, relatives and representatives. 

For further advice or information please contact:
DoLS team
Email: DOLSNorthumberland@northumbria-healthcare.nhs.uk
Tel: 01670 629 700