Definition of a vulnerable adult:
Principle 1 – Empowerment - Presumption of person led decisions and consent
Adults should be in control of their care and their consent is needed for decisions and actions designed to protect them. There must be clear justification where action is taken without consent such as lack of capacity or other legal or public interest justification. Where a person is not able to control the decision, they will still be included in decisions to the extent that they are able. Decisions made must respect the person’s age, culture, beliefs and lifestyle.
Principle 2 – Protection – Support and representation for those in greatest need
There is a duty to support all patients to protect themselves. There is a positive obligation to take additional measures for patients who may be less able to protect themselves.
Principle 3 – Prevention
Prevention of harm or abuse is a primary goal. Prevention involves helping the person to reduce risks of harm and abuse that are unacceptable to them. Prevention also involves reducing risks of neglect and abuse occurring within health services.
Principle 4 – Proportionality – Proportionality and least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented
Responses to harm and abuse should reflect the nature and seriousness of the concern. Responses must be the least restrictive of the person’s rights and take account of the person’s age, culture, wishes, lifestyle and beliefs. Proportionality also relates to managing concerns in the most effective and efficient way.
Principle 5 – Partnerships – Local solutions through services working with their communities
Safeguarding adults will be most effective where citizens, services and communities work collaboratively to prevent, identify and respond to harm and abuse.
Principle 6 – Accountability – Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding
Services are accountable to patients, public and to their governing bodies. Working in partnerships also entails being open and transparent with partner agencies about how safeguarding responsibilities are being met.
(Ref: The role of Health Service Practitioners DH 2011)
BMA Safeguarding Adults Toolkit
Suffolk Safeguarding Adult Board home - make a referral
Mental Capacity Act Directory
Safeguarding Professionals Team
Suffolk CCG Adult Safeguarding Lead
Tel: 01473 770000