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Protection of Vulnerable Adults Policy and Procedure

1  To be read in conjunction with:

‘Safeguarding Adults Policy 2010 – policy and procedures to ensure the prevention and protection of vulnerable adults from abuse – Southampton, Portsmouth and Hampshire.’

2  Aim of Policy

2.1 The aim of this policy is to ensure the safety of vulnerable adults by outlining clear procedures and ensuring that all staff members are clear about their responsibilities.

3  Responsibilities

3.1 All members of staff and volunteers have a responsibility to be aware of this policy and to report any suspicions that they might have concerning adult abuse.

4  Definition

4.1 A vulnerable adult is a person aged 18 years or over who may be unable to take care of themselves or protect themselves from harm or from being exploited.

 4.2   This may include a person who:

  • is elderly and frail
  • has a mental illness including dementia
  • has a physical or sensory disability
  • has a learning disability
  • has a severe physical illness
  • is a substance misuser
  • is homeless

5  What is abuse?

5.1 Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons. It can take a number of forms:

  • Discriminatory abuse e.g. racial, sexual or religious harassment
  • Emotional/psychological abuse e.g. intimidation or humiliation
  • Financial abuse e.g. theft or exerting improper pressure to sign over money from pensions or savings etc.
  • Institutional abuse e.g. failure to provide a choice of meals or failure to ensure privacy or dignity
  • Neglect or acts of omission e.g. being left in wet or soiled clothing, or malnourished
  • Personal exploitation – involves denying an individual his/her rights or forcing him/her to perform tasks that are against his/her will
  • Physical abuse e.g. hitting, pushing, shaking, inappropriate restraint, force-feeding, forcible administration of medication, neglect or abandonment
  • Sexual abuse e.g. involvement in any sexual activity against his/her will, exposure to pornography, voyeurism and exhibitionism
  • Violation of rights e.g. preventing an individual speaking his/her thoughts, wishes and opinions

6  Rights of Vulnerable Adults

 6.1 The vulnerable adults have the right to:

  • to have alleged incidents recognised and taken seriously
  • to receive fair and respectful treatment throughout
  • to be involved in any process as appropriate
  • to receive information about the outcome.

7  Reporting Procedures

7.1 All those making a complaint, allegation, or expression of concern, whether staff, service users, carers or members of the public should be reassured that they:

  • will be taken seriously
  • their comments will usually be treated confidentially although their concerns may be shared if they or others are at significant risk
  • if service users, PDF will make every effort to provide immediate protection from the risk of reprisals or intimidation
  • if staff, they will be given support and afforded protection.

7.2 If an allegation is made to a member of staff or there is a suspicion of abuse, then the member of staff should inform their line manager as soon as possible.

7.3 The line manager should make a written record of the allegation or suspicion of abuse (see appendix 1) and contact local Social Care (see appendix 2) on behalf of the service user to report the incident.

7.4 If a staff member has been told about the allegation of abuse in confidence, they should attempt to gain the consent of the person to make a referral to another agency. However, the gaining of the consent is not essential in order for information to be passed on. Consideration needs to be given to:

  • The scale of the abuse
  • The risk of harm to others
  • The capacity of the victim to understand the issues of abuse and consent

7.5 If there is any doubt about whether or not to report an issue to Social Care then it should be reported.

7.6  In emergency situations (e.g. where there is the risk or occurrence of severe physical injury), where immediate action is needed to safeguard the health or safety of the individual or anyone else who may be at risk, the emergency services must be contacted.

7.7 Where a crime is taking place, has just occurred or is suspected, the police must be contacted immediately.

8  Recruitment and Training

8.1 PDF will ensure that all staff whose roles include working with vulnerable adults are carefully selected, screened, trained and supervised. Our safe recruitment policy and procedure for all staff adheres to the Equal Opportunities framework and is supported by an induction programme and a probationary period under which all staff receive support, monitoring, supervision, guidance and evaluation of performance.

9  Disclosure Checks

9.1 As part of the recruitment procedure, all newly appointed staff that have contact with vulnerable adults will be disclosure checked at a level appropriate to their role.

10  Relevant Legislation

  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • Department of Health – ‘No Secrets’ 2000
  • Children Act 2014

11  Associated Policies

 12  Appendix 1

Please complete our online incident form 

13   Appendix 2

Contact Details for reporting abuse of Vulnerable Adults (Portsmouth)

Adult Social Care Help Desk 

Tel: 023 9268 0810.

Local police station

0845 045 4545  

In an emergency dial 999

14   Approval and Amendment History

Authorised at Trustees’ Meeting held on

Amendment History









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