Report a safeguarding concern about an adult at risk of, or experiencing, harm

Make a report about yourself or someone else

Please note:

If appropriate, you can also make a referral in a professional capacity.

The information on this page is about reporting a safeguarding concern about an adult. It will help you understand the situations where you should report a concern.

it is not the same as referring yourself or another person to Adult Social Care. You should do this if you think the person needs support, information or assessment.

What is an adult safeguarding concern?

A safeguarding concern is where you have reasonable cause to believe that an adult with care and support needs is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect.

The following situations may cause you to raise a concern about an adult:

  • An observation of the behaviour of the adult at risk
  • An observation of the behaviour of another person
  • Concern that the adult has caused or is likely to cause harm to others
  • The adult has capacity to make decisions about their own safety and wants this to happen
  • The adult has been assessed as not having capacity to make a decision about their own safety, but a decision has been made in their best interests to make a referral
  • A crime has been or may have been committed against an adult who lacks the mental capacity to report a crime and a ‘best interests’ decision is made
  • The abuse or neglect has been caused by a member of staff or a volunteer
  • Other people or children are at risk from the person who is causing the harm to the adult
  • The concern is about organisational or systemic abuse

Abuse may consist of a single act or repeated acts, or may be an act of neglect or an omission to act.

Abuse may include one or more of the following (select a heading to show more information):

Includes hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, inappropriate restraint, or inappropriate sanctions.

Includes rape and sexual assault, contact or non-contact sexual acts to which the adult at risk has not consented, or could not consent or was pressurised into consenting.

Includes emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact or communication, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks.

Includes theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.

Includes 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; failure to report abuse or risk of abuse.

Includes abuse based on a person’s ethnic origin, religion, language, age, sexuality, gender, disability, and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment.

Includes neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, for example, or in relation to care provided in one’s own home. This may range from one off incidents to on-going ill-treatment. It can be through neglect or poor professional practice as a result of the structure, policies, processes and practices within an organisation.

As defined by the Home Office: 'Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16* or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse: psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional.'

*Although this definition refers to those over 16, in the context of this policy safeguarding adults refers to victims of domestic abuse who are 18 years or over. Concerns regarding a 16 to 18-year-old should be referred to the Children’s MASH.

Encompasses slavery, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude. Traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment.

Covers a wide range of behaviour including neglecting to care for one's personal hygiene, health or surroundings. It includes behaviour such as hoarding.

Report a concern

You can report a safeguarding concern online or by phone.


Report a concern about an adult

By phone:

If you have any questions, or would prefer to make an anonymous report, contact 01793 463555. Our office hours are Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm excluding public holidays.

If you need to contact us out of office hours, you can call on 01793 436699.

To report a crime or raise a concern about abuse with Wiltshire Police, you can phone the non-emergency number on: 101.

If it is an emergency you should always dial: 999

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