Identifying a safeguarding concern, responding and referring
If you work in health, care, housing or other parts of the public sector you may identify possible abuse or neglect during the course of your duties. This is particularly likely if your job involves visiting people in their own homes or visiting places where lots of adults at risk are present such as a care home or in a hospital.
If someone you are visiting discloses to you that they are being abused, or they have recently been abused, it is important to:
- Listen to them carefully to ensure you understand what has happened to them, when and how it happened;
- It is okay to ask questions to clarify / check understanding of what you are being told;
- Use open questions, 'tell me what happened..." or "explain what happened to me..."
- If appropriate, ask what they want to happen now; what their wishes and feeling are (or their advocate or representative if they have one);
- Make a written record of what you have been told as soon as possible, using the person's own words;
- Do not investigate the matter yourself. However you may ask questions to clarify what happened and what they want to happen now.
- Under no circumstances should you approach or discuss the matter with the alleged perpetrator.
Many organisations will have their own internal policies for their employees to follow when there are suspicions of abuse of adults at risk or children. Make sure that you are familiar with your organisation’s policy and you know who to contact if you have any concerns. This is likely to be your manage, safeguarding lead or team.
In certain circumstances you may be required to give a formal statement to the police.
Abuse or neglect of an adult-at-risk should be reported to Adult Social Care.
To report a safeguarding concern to Adult Social Care, you should use the new online portal.
If you need to discuss your concerns, please contact the Adult Social Care Contact Team on 0161 631 4777 during office hours (8.30am-4:30pm) or the Emergency Duty Team on 0161 794 8888 (between 4.30pm and 8.30am on weekdays, at the weekend and on bank holidays).
If you are concerned about someone who is feeling suicidal, there is information on help and support available on the CCG website.
Please note that if you believe that a manager may be implicated in the abuse, or your manager is not taking the matter as seriously as it should be, you should report the matter directly to 0161 631 4777 and consult your organisation's whistle blowing policy. You may also want to speak to Protect, a charity that supports whistleblowers.
Salford Royal Hospital
Telephone: 0161 206 4820
Meadowbrook Hospital Telephone: 0161 358 2400
Ramsgate House (East Salford) Telephone: 0161 358 0732
Cromwell House (Eccles) Telephone: 0161 357 1280
Prescott House (Worsley) Telephone: 0161 357 1202
Older Adults Community Mental Health (Humphrey Booth Centre): 0161 357 1344
Woodlands Hospital: Telephone: 0161 357 1260
Other useful numbers for professionals
Lead Nurse Adult Safeguarding, CCG
Telephone: 0161 212 5657
Named Nurse Adult Safeguarding Salford Royal Hospital Trust
Telephone: 0161 206 1361
Professional lead Social Care Mental Health or Principal Manager Mental Health Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (advice to GMMH staff on safeguarding: Telephone: 0161 358 2400
Police Public Protection Unit (PPIU)
Triage Desk: 0161 856 9915
Alternative phone: 0161 856 5155 or 0161 856 5129
National 24 hour freephone helpline
Telephone: 0808 2000 247
Salford helpline (SIDASS)
Telephone: 0161 793 3232
Police Domestic Abuse Unit
Telephone: 0161 856 5171
Broken Rainbow LGBT Helpline
Telephone: 0300 999 5428
Men's Advice Helpline
Telephone: 0808 801 0327
As part of a safeguarding adult enquiry, you may be required to make a statement about what you have been told or what you may have observed. A written statement is intended to inform other people about what exactly happened that might have harmed the adult at risk.
A checklist designed to help professionals who are asked to make statements can be found in the downloadable documents below. Keep all original notes and ensure these are retained and official investigators are made aware of them. Your notes should be timed, dated and signed as to who made them.
Checklist for Staff making statements:
- Use black ink
- Clearly state your name and role
- Include background information
- Number the pages
- Stick to the facts
- Include details of who the statement is about and your relationship
- Write in the first person, e.g. 'I saw...' or 'X told me...'
- Record the date, time and location of the incident (or incidents).
- Record what you understand to have happened.
- Give an accurate description of where the incident occurred. This could be a diagram or sketch.
- Try to set out the sequence of events in the order they happened.
- Explain what action you took and include details of others if you acted with others.
- Make it clear what you saw / heard and what you were told by others.
- If possible, explain the impact of the incident on the victim. Were they harmed in anyway? How do you know this?
- State who you contacted at the time, e.g. Care Quality Commission, Police, Adult Social Care
- Sign and date the statement
If you feel you need advice, please speak to your line manager or professional organisation. You can also speak to a trade union representative, seek legal advice from within your organisation or you can contact Protect (charity to support whistle blowers)
Where this is relevant, any evidence must be protected. This could be evidence of physical assaults and especially serious and sexual assaults or incidents of rape. This may include securing the scene of the incident to protect evidence along with other items such as clothing and bedding until further advice is received from the police.
Details of all the latest news from Salford Safeguarding Adults Board.