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Our commitment to Safeguarding Adults

All people have a right to live a life that is free from violence and abuse. The experience of abuse and neglect has a significant impact on a person's health and well being.

We will make enquiries, or ask others to make enquiries, when notified of an "Adult at risk". An “Adult at risk” being a person 18 years of age or older who:

has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs) and:

is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect; and

as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect.

(Section 14.2, Care and Support Statutory Guidance, DOH, 2014).

In order to safeguard adults in the Royal Borough we:

  • listen to what adults at risk are telling us
  • encourage them to make their own decisions and agree desired outcomes
  • make sure our roles and responsibilities are clearly laid out
  • build on the existing multi-agency frameworks for safeguarding
  • link safeguarding with the other care services we provide
  • ensure there is access to mainstream community safety measures for adults

Who to contact if you suspect abuse

If the adult in question is in immediate danger or in need of medical attention, or there has been a crime committed e.g. rape or an assault, or there is a need to protect forensic evidence:

Contact the emergency services immediately - Dial 999

To make a safeguarding referral about an adult at risk, or for advice about an adult who may be being abused, contact the Royal Borough at the earliest opportunity.

During working hours contact: Advice and Information Team - 01628 683744
Outside of working hours contact: Emergency Duty Service - 01344 786543

If the adult is not in immediate danger, but the abuse is of a criminal nature contact:
Thames Valley Police - Non-Emergency number - 101

Are children involved and/or also at risk?

Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub can be contacted on 01628 683150

Child Protection is also available on this website for information.

If the allegation or suspicion involves either a care home, domiciliary care (home care) agency or NHS hospital trust also inform:

The Care Quality Commission - 03000 616161 (CQC website)     

Victims First has been launched to support victims of crime across the Thames Valley.  Victims First can provide free support to any victim of any crime in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire regardless of whether or not the crime has been reported to the police. 

Please see the link to Victims First (www.victims-first.org.uk) and a leaflet which provides more information about the service.

Other useful contacts:

RBWM Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub  01628 683150
DASH (support to anyone affected by domestic abuse) 01753 549865
Action on Elder Abuse -  0808 808 8141
Public Concern at Work -support in whistle blowing - 020 7404 6609
Berkshire Carers Service -  01628 947974
Victims First 0300 1234 148

What is abuse?

Abuse is when someone does something to another person, which damages their quality of life or puts them at risk of harm. Abuse can be a criminal act. It can happen once or repeatedly. It may be deliberate or caused by ignorance.

Abusers of adults can be anyone, family, friend, care or health worker. It is usually someone who is known to the victim. Abuse can happen anywhere. It may happen at home, in a care home, hospital, day centre or in a public place.

Why abuse happens

Some abuse is deliberate but some occurs because of ignorance, lack of support or the stress of caring for someone. Carers may be able to cope with a limited amount of stress, but when factors occur together the strain of the situation may prove too much.

Forms of abuse

Abuse can take many forms and may include:

(Berkshire Multi-Agency Adult Safeguarding Policies’ and Procedures 2016)

- Physical Abuse - Being hit or injured on purpose. Restraining someone inappropriately.
- Psychological Abuse - Intimidation, threats, humiliation, coercion, harassment, cyberbullying, racial, withdrawal of services/supportive networks, verbal or emotional abuse.
- Sexual Abuse - Involvement in or exposure to a sexual activity that is unwanted or not understood. Sexual exploitation – Receiving something in return for involvement in sexual activity
- Financial / Material Abuse - The theft or misuse of money property or personal possessions. Pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance.
- Domestic Abuse - Incidents of the above in a specifically domestic situation including so called 'honour' based violence
- Modern slavery - slavery, human trafficking, forced labour, exploitation in the sex industry and domestic servitude.
- Forced Marriage
- Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
- Mate Crime – befriended with the intention to exploit.
- Neglect - Not providing or withholding necessities, attention, care, aids or equipment, health or social care; putting someone at risk; withholding or errors giving medication.
- Self-neglect - including neglect to care for one's personal hygiene, health or surroundings and behaviour such as hoarding
- Discriminatory Abuse and Hate Crime- Treating people differently or worse than you would want to be treated because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation
  or religion. This includes includes harassment, slurs or similar treatment.
-Organisational Abuse - Repeated instances of poor care or poor professional practice within a service or agency. This is sometimes referred to as institutional abuse.

What to do about abuse


Stay calm and listen to them
Take what you are being told seriously
Reassure them that they have done the right thing by telling you
Be aware that medical or other evidence might be needed
Make a written note of what you have been told
Contact Adult Social Care or the police to report your concern (see below)

Do not

Press the person for more details (these can be taken later)
Assume that someone else is aware of the situation and will take action
Contact the alleged abuser
Promise to keep it a secret
Be afraid to contact Social Services or the police to discuss it

What to do next

Ensure the safety of the adult and any other person at risk
Tell the adult about what you propose to do and ask for their view and wishes.
If you were told of the abuse in your employment or as a volunteer in an agency or organisation follow their safeguarding procedures and policy
Assure the person that the disclosure or report will only be shared with people that need to know.

Who to Contact

Contact details for reporting to Adult Social Care and Thames Valley Police can be found above.

There are also contact details for agencies that provide further advice above.

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