Protecting adults from abuse
This page has information on the following:
What is abuse?
Abuse is behaviour that can lead to harm or distress, for example:
- physical abuse - which can include hitting or pushing
- emotional abuse - which can include bullying
- financial abuse - which includes stealing money or property
- sexual abuse - which can include sexual activity without consent
- neglect - which includes ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services, and the withholding of the essentials of life, such as medication, adequate food or heating
It can happen to both men and women, in many different places such as your own home, hospital, care home or public place. Abuse and neglect can be carried out by different people, but it's often someone known and trusted such as friends, paid for carers or family.
This is another type of neglect. It can be as a result of a person's choice of lifestyle including neglecting to care for your personal hygiene, health or surroundings and can include hoarding when it becomes extreme (including animal hoarding).
In these circumstances there is no one else responsible for this.
What is adult safeguarding (section 42 of the Care Act, 2014)?
Local authorities (social services) have a duty to look into concerns of abuse relating to adults who have care and support needs.
Adult safeguarding relates to adults who have care and support needs that are experiencing, or at risk of abuse, neglect or exploitation. In other words, being made to do things they don't want to in return for money, accommodation, 'love' and presents for example.
Adults with care and support needs may:
- be elderly and frail because of ill-health, disability or condition such as dementia
- have a learning disability
- have a physical disability or be blind or deaf
- have mental health needs including dementia
- not have capacity to make some decisions and is in need of care and support
Recognise it and report it Back to top
If you think someone who has care and support needs is being abused or you think their safety is at risk, then it is important to report your concerns to us by calling the number below.
You must never assume that somebody else will recognise and report what you have seen or heard.
Where a crime has been committed or if you're worried about someone's immediate safety, contact the police by dialling 999.
Concerns about a child
If your concern is regarding a child (someone under the age of 18), please see our First Response page for information on how to contact the right team.
Reporting abuse of an adult Back to top
To report concerns about an adult please:
Monday - Thursday* 8:30am - 5pm
Friday: 8:30am - 4:30pm
*Excludes Bank Holidays
A trained member of staff will be available between 8:30am - 5:00pm, Monday-Thursday and 8:30am - 4:30pm on Fridays (excluding Bank Holidays).
Out of hours
To report a concern outside of these hours, please contact the Emergency Duty Service.
For further guidance on reporting abuse of an adult please see the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership Adult Safeguarding Board website.
Adult safeguarding procedures
The Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent adult safeguarding enquiry procedures provide guidance on how the abuse of adults with care and support needs will be responded to.
The Care Act, 2014, establishes a duty on local authorities to make an enquiry to decide whether action should be taken whenever it appears that an adult with care and support needs is experiencing abuse or is at risk of abuse.
These procedures relate to matters concerning the abuse and exploitation and are not invoked simply in response to a perception of general vulnerability.
For further information on the Adult Safeguarding procedures please see the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership Adult Safeguarding Board website.
Emergency Duty Service Back to top
If you have a concern about the safety of a vulnerable adult and need to report it overnight, over a weekend or on a Bank Holiday, contact the Emergency Duty Service:
Can I remain anonymous? Back to top
You will be asked about your own details but as a member of the public, you can choose to remain anonymous.
What will happen after I've reported my concerns? Back to top
What happens next depends on the seriousness of the situation.
In response to a call, trained staff will carry out a careful and sensitive enquiry in line with locally agreed procedures.
The information provided will be discussed with other agencies including the police.
Meetings may be held to decide what will happen next. Information and advice will be offered so that choices can be made, and help can be provided.