Today’s theme is Prevention and Safeguarding in Local Communities

What do we mean by adult safeguarding?

Living a life that is free from harm and abuse is a fundamental right of every person. All of us need to sign up to this principle and to follow it in acting as good neighbours and citizens. All agencies and organisations across Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth must be committed to preventing abuse and neglect, raising safeguarding concerns and putting adults at the centre of our work.

Adult safeguarding means protecting and upholding the health, wellbeing and human rights of all adults, with additional duties towards adults with care and support needs and at risk of or experiencing abuse or neglect, enabling them to live safely. Adult safeguarding is everyone’s business and we all have a role to play.

What do we mean by care and support needs?

This means adults whose independence and wellbeing would be at risk if they did not receive appropriate health and social care support e.g.:

  • Adults with physical, sensory & mental impairments and/or learning disabilities whether present from birth or due to advancing age, chronic illness or injury.
  • Informal carers e.g. family and friends providing personal assistance & care to adults on an unpaid basis.

Abuse and neglect can happen in a variety of settings and some individuals or groups can be particularly vulnerable. Responsibility to prevent and respond to abuse or neglect therefore rests with a wide range of organisations, agencies and individuals and is part of adult safeguarding practice.

Preventing Abuse and Neglect

All of us – organisations – local communities – individual citizens – need to share a common aim to promote safety, prevent abuse and protect adults at risk of abuse and neglect. Through a strong focus on prevention our aim should be to enable adults to live an independent life free from harm, whilst making their own choices and decisions.

Prevention can cover many different types of support, services and facilities. There is no single definition for what constitutes prevention activity as this can range from wide scale as well as targeted interventions aimed at addressing vulnerability factors that may increase a vulnerable person’s risk of abuse, neglect or exploitation.

Impact of vulnerability on an adult’s ability to protect themselves from abuse or neglect

  • Loneliness, social isolation, limited social contacts and living alone
  • No family, no friends, visitors or professionals to talk to about their experience
  • Poor health or disability
  • Dependence on other people to meet vital care and support needs
  • Mental frailty e.g. poor memory, lack of or fluctuating capacity, medication effects, depression
  • Routines and practice in care settings resulting in poor or unsafe care
  • Fear of consequences of speaking out

What is my role in safeguarding?

As part of Safeguarding Adults Week, you are encouraged to enhance your knowledge about safeguarding and consider your role.

Safeguarding refers to measures designed to protect the health, wellbeing and human rights of individuals. These measures allow children, young people and adults at risk to live free from abuse, harm and neglect. See how you can make a difference on the Ann Craft Trust website.