Safeguarding Adults

Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about people and organisations working together to prevent and stop both the risks and experience of abuse or neglect, while at the same time making sure that the adult’s wellbeing is promoted including, where appropriate, having regard to their views, wishes, feelings and beliefs in deciding on any action. This must recognise that adults sometimes have complex interpersonal relationships and may be unclear or unrealistic about their personal circumstances.

Adults at risk (of abuse and neglect)

Safeguarding duties apply to an adult aged 18 or over and who:

  • has needs for care and support (whether the local authority is meeting any of those needs)


  • is experiencing, or is at risk of abuse or neglect


  • as a result of those care needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect.

What is abuse?

Abuse is treatment by any other person or people that violates someone else's human and civil rights. Abuse can vary from treating someone with disrespect in a way that significantly affects their quality of life, to causing actual physical suffering.

Abuse can happen anywhere. It could take place in a residential or nursing home, in a hospital, in the workplace, at a day centre or educational establishment, in supported housing or in the street.

Types of abuse:

  • physical abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • psychological or emotional abuse
  • financial or material abuse
  • neglect
  • discriminatory abuse
  • institutional abuse

How do I report abuse?

If you, or somebody you know, is being mistreated or abused, you can use these contact details.

Useful links for Safeguarding Adults 

Lancashire Safeguarding Adults Board

Cumbria Safeguarding Adults