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Everyone has the right to live their lives free from abuse and neglect.

Safeguarding is about organisations working together to protect an adult’s right to live in free from abuse and neglect. It is also about making sure that, wherever possible, organisations listen and give regard to the adult’s wishes, choices and feelings.  The aim is to safeguard adults in a way that supports them in making choices and having control about how they want to live.

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. If an ‘adult at risk’ is experiencing or suspected to be experiencing abuse or neglect, then the Local Authority must ensure that enquiries are made; including establishing if any action needs to be taken.

Who is an adult at risk?

An adult at risk is defined in the Care Act (2014) as anyone aged 18 and over who:

  • Has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs)
  • Is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect
  • As a result of those care and support needs, is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of or the experience of abuse or neglect.

The Care Act (2014) places duties on the Local Authority, the NHS and the Police to cooperate to support adults at risk which is set out in the Care Act (2014) guidance. We require organisations that provide care funded by the NHS to comply with The Care Act (2014) and set this out in its contracts with providers. It also requires providers to comply with Somerset’s Safeguarding Adults Multi Agency Policy

Abuse may be one or a combination of different types of abuse, including physical, psychological, sexual, financial, organisational, discriminatory,   modern slavery, neglect, self-neglect and domestic abuse and violence.

Are you worried about someone?

If you are worried about a vulnerable adult, please don’t stay silent:

  • Phone Adult Social Care on 0300 123 2224
  • Email Adult Social Care at
  • Contact the Police on 101 or in an emergency call 999.

CCG responsibilities for safeguarding adults

The ‘Safeguarding Children, Young People and Adults at Risk in the NHS: Safeguarding and Accountability Assurance Framework (2019)’ outlines our statutory responsibility as a CCG to secure the expertise of designated professionals for both safeguarding adults and children:

Further information

The Somerset Safeguarding Adults Board (SSAB)

A partnership committee providing strategic leadership for adult safeguarding across the county.

Mental Capacity Act

The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) is designed to protect and empower people who may lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions about their care and treatment. It applies to people aged 16 and over.

It covers decisions about day-to-day things like what to wear or what to buy for the weekly shop, or serious life-changing decisions like whether to move into a care home or have major surgery.


Prevent is the multi-agency set of arrangements aimed at preventing individuals and groups from engaging in violent extremism.

The Channel Panel is the multi-agency mechanism that oversees and co-ordinates Prevent interventions in Somerset.  The Panel has a statutory basis under the terms of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015.

Domestic abuse

Domestic Abuse is any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members – regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse: psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional.

  • This definition includes issues such as so-called ‘honour-based violence‘ (HBV), female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage (FM).
  • Family members are defined as mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, and grandparents, whether directly related, in-laws or stepfamily.
  • Cross Governmental Definition of Domestic Abuse.

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) were introduced as an amendment to the Mental Capacity Act and came in to force in 2009. They currently apply to people living in hospitals and registered care homes. The law says that no one should be deprived of their liberty unless this has been done through a process prescribed by law and that they have speedy access to a right of appeal. The definition remains the one set out by the Supreme Court in the Cheshire West case (2014).

Safeguarding mandatory training information

The Royal Colleges have produced an intercollegiate document that sets out the minimum standards for adult and children safeguarding staffing resources.