Adults safeguarding

What to do if you are concerned about a vulnerable adult who is at risk of neglect or abuse in Northumberland.

Are you concerned about a vulnerable adult who is at risk of neglect or abuse in Northumberland? 

If so contact Onecall: 01670 536 400

If you have speech or hearing
difficulties you can use Relay UK.  
Contact us by dialling 018001 01670 536400. 

You can find more information about Relay UK here 

If you need medical advice and support immediately, 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.

Safeguarding Adult referrals

To make a referral download and complete the Safeguarding Adults Enquiry Form. 

Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.

 People and organisations work together to prevent and stop the risk of abuse or neglect.  

This ensures adults in our communities are kept safe. 
We need to make sure the person’s views, wishes, feelings and beliefs are a key part of deciding on any action.  
Safeguarding Adults is underpinned by The Care Act 2014 
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.  
  • As a result of those needs is unable to protect himself or herself against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it. 
Anyone can raise a concern.  
If you or someone you know is being abused or neglected, please report it 

Contact safeguarding adults  

If you need any general advice or more information, please contact: 
The Safeguarding Adults Team via Onecall on 01670 536400   
If you are concerned that someone is at risk of, or experiencing, abuse or neglect please contact Onecall. 
Abuse may be a single act or repeated acts of suspected, disclosed or witnessed abuse or neglect.

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

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

The Northumberland Safeguarding Adults Board is joined with the Children's Safeguarding Partnership.

This forms the Northumberland Children and Adults Safeguarding Partnership (NCASP).  

‘It is our vision to work together and provide added value across the safeguarding system, to improve practice and outcomes, and safeguard and promote the welfare of children, young people, adults and their families in our community.' 

Click here for Northumberland Children and Adults Safeguarding Partnership information.  

If you have any enquiries relating to the Safeguarding Adults Partnership arrangements please email:

Please note that this is for further information about the Safeguarding Adults Partnership only.

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

The Care Act 2014 introduced a statutory requirement for each local authority to set up a Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB). 
The aim of an SAB is to make sure: 

The aim 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.  
  • Assuring itself that safeguarding practice is person-centred and outcome focused.  
  • Working together to prevent abuse and neglect where possible.  
  • Making sure we act promptly and proportionately when abuse or neglect have occurred.  
  • Continuously improving safeguarding practice to enhance the quality of life of adults in Northumberland.  
  • Raising awareness in our communities of the need to safeguard adults at risk and promote their welfare.  
Under the Care Act 2014, the SAB has three core duties:  
  • Develop and publish a strategic plan. 
  • This sets out how we will meet our objectives and how our 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.  

The first Annual Report since the introduction of our joint Children and Adults Safeguarding Partnership has now been published and can be viewed here.

The partnership have agreed new Strategic Priorities which are outlined in our 2023-26 Strategic Plan which can be viewed here. 

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

  • When an adult, who needs care and support: 
    • dies as a result of abuse or neglect
    • is known to have experienced serious abuse or neglect  
    • Partner agencies could have worked more effectively to protect the adult.  
The aim is to learn lessons and make improvements. It is not about blaming individual people or organisations.  
A SAR can improve the way we work together to prevent and reduce abuse and neglect.  
If the SAR criteria has not been met, we are able to carry out a review if it would be beneficial.  
SARs and Learning Reviews highlight good practice and identify learning for the future.  
These are decisions made by the Safeguarding Adults Review Group 
Please see our 7-minute guide to Safeguarding Adult Reviews 

SAR referrals  

The Safeguarding Adults Review Group considers all referrals for SARs. 

This multi-agency group advises the Safeguarding Adults Board whether a SAR should be held. It may advise other actions should be taken instead.   

Any agency or a relative can make a referral to the safeguarding adults review group. 

For information about SARs please click here to view the North of Tyne Safeguarding Adult Review Policy and Procedure 2023

Click here to make a referral to the Safeguarding Adults Review Committee.   


SAR Quality Markers

Please click here for the North East SAR Quality Marker checklist and guidance. 

Please click here for the National SAR Quality Markers guidance. 


SAR reports  

When we have completed a review we publish the findings and recommendations in a report. Action plans are then produced.   
The SAB monitors the implementation of these plans, supported by the SAR Group.  
The SAR report is then published. This is with the agreement of family members or appropriate others.  

Northumberland Safeguarding Adult Review Reports

In November 2019 the North Tyneside and Northumberland SAB published a Safeguarding Adults Review in relation to Leanne Patterson. Click here to view the report and accompanying statement.   
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
In 2012 Northumberland SAB published a Safeguarding Adults Review in relation to Adult H. 
Please click here to access the National SAR library. 

Here you will find information about Safeguarding Adults campaigns and awareness raising.

'Tricky Friends' is a short animation originally developed by Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board.
The aim is to help people with learning disabilities, children and young adults, understand: 
  • what good friendships are 
  • when they might be harmful 
  • what they can do 
This can be used by:  
  • carers 
  • family  
  • professionals  
  • organisations 
It is to raise awareness and help keep them safer while enjoying relationships.