Introduction

Somerset’s Safeguarding Adults Board is committed to working in partnership to enable adults in Somerset to live a life free from fear, harm and abuse.

We all share a responsibility to act as good neighbours and citizens, and prevent situations that can lead to abusive situations or put adults at risk of harm.

When harm does happen, it needs to be dealt with effectively, promptly and proportionately. The adult in need of safeguarding and protection should be kept at the centre of decision-making and be in control as much as is possible. Their views should be heard and respected throughout the safeguarding process.

The guidance contained on these pages is intended for anyone to use.  We appreciate that we have at times used terms used mainly by health, social care or law enforcement professionals and have therefore added a link to our “common terms and definitions” glossary at the bottom of each page.  However, if there is something that we haven’t explained, or that you think we could explain better, please let us know.

The guidance we have published on these pages replaces Somerset’s Multi-Agency Adult Safeguarding Procedures following the publication of our revised overarching Policy in January 2018.  It should be read in conjunction with the Joint Safeguarding Adults Policy which contains details of the principles of adult safeguarding, and will be reviewed and updated at least once a year by the Somerset Safeguarding Board’s Policy and Procedures Subgroup to make sure local practice is always up to date.

By publishing this guidance as a web-based resource, we hope will be much easier and intuitive to use and give easy access to the relevant information when it is needed.

This guidance sets out clearly how individuals and organisations will work together. It is for those who work with adults who may be at risk of harm, including paid or unpaid colleagues, carers, family members and members of the public.  It provides information to enable adults to be kept safe from abuse or neglect and what immediate action must be taken, when required, to achieve this. All individuals and organisations who work with, or support, adults experiencing, or who are at risk of, abuse and neglect can be called upon to lead or contribute to a safeguarding concern and need to be prepared to take on this duty.

Guidance is often criticised for over‐standardising practice and undervaluing the skills required when applying policies in diverse circumstances. The guidance we have published in these pages is  intended to provide a ‘framework’ for managing safeguarding interventions that are fair and just, through strong multi-agency partnerships that provide timely and effective prevention of, and responses to, abuse and neglect, with a key focus always on using professional skills to gain a real understanding of what the adult wants to achieve and what action is required to help them to achieve it.

We welcome feedback on this guidance and any comments or recommendations can be forwarded to: ssab@somerset.gov.uk

Don’t know what something means?  Click below open a list of common terms and definitions:

Common terms and definitions