Safeguarding Adults

Every day abuse of vulnerable adults at risk goes unreported. Unlike the high profile cases of child abuse reported in the media with widespread condemnation, abuse of adults often goes unrecognised.  

We take the issue of abuse of vulnerable adults very seriously, and encourage the reporting of suspected abuse, ensure appropriate action is taken, and make sure the information and concerns are shared to protect vulnerable adults.

Who is a vulnerable adult?

  • The Supporting Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 states that a vulnerable adult will be a person aged 18 or over who is in a specific situation, one of which is:
  • Receiving any form of healthcare AND
  • who needs to be able to trust people caring for them, supporting them and/or providing them with services (s59 Supporting Vulnerable Groups Act 2006).

Whilst this statutory definition makes clear that anyone accessing healthcare services may be a vulnerable adult, No Secrets (DH 2000) specifically defines a vulnerable adult as someone:

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 (DH 2000).

As such vulnerable people could include older people, people with learning disabilities, people with mental health issues, people with neurological conditions, people with disabilities and people in end of life situations.

Abuse can come in a variety of forms

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Psychological or emotional abuse
  • Financial or material abuse
  • Neglect
  • Discriminatory abuse
  • Institutional abuse


If you consider yourself to be a vulnerable adult, are a patient at our hospitals and think you may be experiencing abuse please contact us.  If you are concerned about suspected abuse of a patient of our hospitals please contact us.

Safeguarding Adults office 01772 722449


Julie Seed - 01772 522493 (internal 2493)

Quality of Care investigation

CQC lead


Kathryn Flinn - 01772 522449 (internal 2449)

Advice & Support for staff & B1 & ethical issues

Decisions and serious investigations & management

Related Documentation

Adult Safeguarding Strategy 2013 [pdf] 40KB