What should professionals who work with adults do to keep them safe?

Workers from a wide range of organisations need to be alert to possible safeguarding concerns for all vulnerable adults– in all walks of life.

The way in which services respond to allegations and reports of abuse are shaped by best practice in the Care Act 2014, whose principles have been adopted for use in the Isle of Man. These 6 principles include:

Responses to concerns about self-neglect or abuse are also in line with the principles of Making Safeguarding Personal (you can read some more about this by following this link.)

Any professionals working with you should refer a safeguarding concern either to the police (if they think you are in immediate danger) or to the Adult Protection Team.

The Adult Protection team will consider all of the information they have and decide if immediate action is needed to keep someone safe. This can involve, for example, calling the police or getting medical attention.

If the person is not thought to be in immediate danger a decision about whether or not an enquiry is needed is supported by an ‘enquiry report’. An enquiry should mean that the social worker will speak to and gather information from whoever is needed, to understand if you are at risk. The enquiry also needs to set out what action is needs to happen to prevent you from coming to any harm.  An enquiry is usually completed within 20 working days (or approximately one month). There should be one person that leads the enquiry.

The police will make decisions about any criminal investigations that may be needed, whilst working with the social workers.

At the earliest stages, consideration should be given to whether or not the person at risk has ‘mental capacity’ or is well enough and/or able to take part in any enquiries and make informed decisions about how they will be kept safe.

You should be kept informed of every step of the way on this decision making and you may wish to get an advocate to speak on your behalf to make sure your voice is heard.

If, following an enquiry, you are believed to still be at risk, a safeguarding plan might be needed. This is a plan that :

  • Sets out what steps are to be taken to make sure you are safe – for example who is going to do what
  • What support, therapy and/or advocacy you may need
  • How risks will be managed

You should take part in drawing up this plan.

Your safeguarding plan will be reviewed regularly with you and others. It will stop when it is believed that you are safe and no longer at risk of harm.

Hampshire Safeguarding Adults Board have produced a short video on how to recognise abuse and what to do if you have a concern. This is a helpful resource and can be found by following this link: