Adult social services
If an adult is in immediate danger, or missing, you should contact the police directly and/or an ambulance using 999.
When to report an adult safeguarding concern
The definition of an adult at risk is when a local authority has a reason to believe that an adult in its area (whether ordinarily a resident or not) is:
- in need of care or support (whether or not the authority is meeting any of those needs)
- experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect
- as a result of those needs unable to protect themselves against the abuse, neglect, or the risk of it
You may want to refer to The Care Act 2014 or NHS guidance on different forms of abuse and neglect, which are wide ranging, before reporting a concern.
If your concern involves a child, you can report this on our children's report a concern page.
When reporting a concern you may need to gain the consent of the person involved, but this is not always possible. This is also known as a person's 'capacity' to understand what is happening.
The Mental Capacity Act states to have capacity a person must be able to:
- understand the information that is relevant to the decision they want to make
- retain the information long enough to be able to make the decision
- weigh up the information available to make the decision
- communicate their decision by any possible means, including talking, using sign language, or through simple muscle movements such as blinking an eye or squeezing a hand
If you are still unsure what capacity is, or what it means, you can read a longer explanation of capacity (PDF 468KB).
More detail on the Mental Capacity Act can be found in the code of practice document (PDF 952KB).