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Safeguarding Adults


Keeping people safe

Some adults may be unable to protect themselves from harm. Their quality of life may be damaged by other people or they may be at risk of abuse. Abuse may be a one-off or can go on for longer periods. It can happen anywhere. It may be deliberate or it may be unintentional. Bournemouth Borough Council works with the police and other social care and health providers to keep people safe from harm. If you suspect someone is being abused, please contact us.


Find out more about Safeguarding Adults 

Who's at risk of abuse? |

What does abuse mean? |

If someone tells you they are being abused |

Reporting Abuse - Members of the Public |

Reporting Abuse - People Supporting Adults at Risk of Abuse|

Safeguarding Adults leaflet|

Safeguarding Adults easy-read leaflet |

Safeguarding Adults poster |

Financial abuse |

Protecting people from rogue doorstep traders|

Staff guide|

Council Housing Landlord's Safeguarding Adults Protocols|

Mental Capacity|

Deprivation of Liberty


Deprivation of Liberty Policy|

Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures|

Annual Report|

Bournemouth & Poole Safeguarding Adults Board|

Terms of Reference, Bournemouth & Poole Safeguarding Adults Board|

Memorandum of Agreement, Bournemouth & Poole Safeguarding Adults Board|

Other useful website |

Safeguarding Directory| (directory of support and contacts for adults who have experienced abuse, and their carers)


Who's at risk of abuse?

People may be at risk of abuse if they:

  • Depend on other people for their care
  • Are older, frail and unable to protect themselves
  • Have mental health problems
  • Have a disability
  • Have a learning disability
  • Have serious sight or hearing impairment
  • Have dementia
  • Misuse alcohol or drugs
  • Have a long-term illness.

Anyone can be an abuser. Often it is someone the person knows.

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What does abuse mean?

Abuse takes many forms. It includes:

  • hitting, injuring or restraining
  • threatening, intimidating or humiliating
  • sexual attention or activity that is not wanted
  • not giving the correct medicine
  • not providing food or clothing
  • not arranging the right care
  • keeping someone on their own
  • stealing or misusing money or property
  • pressure about wills or inheritance
  • treating someone less favourably because of race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender, disability or sexual orientation.

Abuse can happen anywhere. At home; in a care home, hospital or day centre; in public.

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If you know someone is being abused, or think they are

Call us if you see or hear someone being abused, or even if you suspect abuse. You can also contact the police. We will treat your concerns sensitively.

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If someone tells you they are being abused

  • Stay calm and listen to them
  • Offer them support
  • Write down what they tell you using their own words
  • Keep any evidence safe.
  • Get in touch with us or the police
  • In an emergency dial 999.

Please do not:

  • Press them for more details
  • Contact the alleged abuser
  • Promise to keep it secret
  • Assume that someone else knows what's going on and will get in touch

It is more effective if we all take responsibility for people at risk.

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Reporting abuse

If you know someone is being abused, or think they may be, contact:

Bournemouth Care Direct (see related information panel for contact details)

or Dorset Police

Telephone 01202 222222

If you think someone may be at immediate risk of harm contact the Police by calling 999.

You can also tell a health or social care worker such as a social worker, nurse, doctor or occupational therapist.

If you report abuse to us we:

  • take your concerns seriously
  • deal with the matter sensitively
  • make sure the person is safe
  • investigate the situation fully

We ask you to provide a name and contact details in case we need to get in touch to ensure we have all the information we need to keep the person safe.


Protecting people from rogue doorstep traders

Vulnerable people may feel pressured into buying goods or services from traders who call at their home. Read the "Guide to Buying on the Doorstep|" and "Protecting People You Care About From Rogue Doorstep Traders|" to find out more about doorstep trading and how to protect people you know from being abused in this way.


Other useful websites

Care Quality Commission|  The independent regulator of health and social care in England which helps make sure better care is provided for everyone.

Independent Mental Capacity Advocate| (IMCA) service An Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) works with someone who lacks capacity to make certain important decisions, if there is no one else to speak up for them. The advocate supports the person so that their views are put across. In Bournemouth, the IMCA service is run by Dorset Advocacy.

Independent Safeguarding Authority| helps prevent unsuitable people from working with children and vulnerable adults.

Bournemouth and Poole Local Safeguarding Children Board| aims to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

Action on Elder Abuse|  A charity working to protect, and prevent the abuse of, vulnerable older adults.

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