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Hertfordshire County Council


Safeguarding adults at risk

Information and advice on adult safeguarding in Hertfordshire

What is adult safeguarding?

  • Hertfordshire County Council's Adult Safeguarding Board works to help protect adults at risk of abuse or neglect.
  • Any abuse is wrong. Everyone has the right to live their life free from violence, fear and abuse.
  • Our vision is that all adults at risk are cared for and supported in an environment free from abuse, harassment, violence and aggression.

The signs of adult abuse

  • People being abused may become withdrawn, depressed or tearful. They may also be angry or aggressive. They could have unexplained or frequent injuries.
  • They might not have any money for leisure activities or to buy food. They might lose their appetite, stop going out or stop welcoming visitors. They may not want to be left alone with certain people.
  • They may not take as much care as normal with their appearance, such as not bathing or shaving.

Who is at risk and who might abuse them?

  • Adults at risk are adults in need of care and support. They're often older or have a mental health problem or learning disability.
  • Abuse can be from family, friends, neighbours, a stranger or other patients.
  • It can also be caused by paid staff, carers and volunteers.

What are the different types of abuse?

  • Physical such as hitting or pushing. Sexual abuse such as inappropriate touching, sexual assault or rape.
  • Psychological or emotional abuse such as being shouted at, ridiculed, or bullied. Financial or material abuse, including misusing, withholding or stealing someone's money or belongings.
  • Organisational abuse - when any of the above types of abuse are caused by an organisation. This is failure to provide care or the provision of inappropriate care that results in someone being harmed.

What should you do if you suspect an adult is being abused or neglected?

  • If you or someone you know is being abused or neglected, call us on 0300 123 4042 (open 24 hours a day).
  • For adults receiving mental health services, contact Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation Trust on 0300 777 0707.
  • If there is immediate danger to life, risk of injury or if a crime is being committed dial 999. If there is no immediate risk but a police response is required as soon as practicable due to the seriousness of the incident and / or potential loss of evidence then dial 101.

Hertfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board (HSAB)

  • A multi-agency partnership, with representation from the organisations that work with and support adults at risk in our community.
  • Our vision is that all adults at risk live in an environment free from abuse, harassment, violence or aggression.
  • HSAB coordinates the activity of the various partner organisations in Hertfordshire to safeguard and promote the welfare and well-being of 'adults at risk'.