The purpose of this policy is to outline the duty and responsibility of volunteers and Committee Members working on behalf of Pagham and District Residents’ Association in relation to the protection of vulnerable adults from abuse. The Committee member designated with responsibility for any reporting is;
Janet Dale, Secretary, Telephone no. 01243 697593
A Vulnerable Adult
For the purpose of the document ‘adult’ means a person aged 18 years or over. Some adults are less able to protect themselves than others, and some have difficulty making their wishes and feelings known. This may make them vulnerable to abuse.
“A Vulnerable Adult is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation”.
What is abuse?
Abuse is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights by any other person or persons.
Abuse may consist of a single act or repeated acts. It may be physical, verbal or psychological, it may be an act of neglect or an omission to act, or it may occur when a vulnerable person is persuaded to enter into a financial or sexual transaction to which he or she has not consented, or cannot consent. Abuse can occur in any relationship and it may result in significant harm to, or exploitation of, the person subjected to it.
The Department of Health in its ‘No Secrets’ report suggests the following as the main types of abuse;
- Physical abuse – including hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, misuse of medication, restraint, or inappropriate sanctions.
- Sexual abuse – including rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the vulnerable adult has not consented, or could not consent or was pressured into consenting.
- Psychological abuse – including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks.
- Financial or material abuse – including theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.
- Neglect and acts of omission – including ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.
- Discriminatory abuse – including racist, sexist, that based on a person’s disability, age or sexuality and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment.
Volunteers and trustees may receive disclosures of abuse and observe vulnerable adults who are at risk.
In the event of an incident or disclosure:
- Make sure the individual is safe
- Assess whether emergency services are required and if needed call them
- Offer support and reassurance
Report this to your designated Committee Member, Janet Dale
It is important to remember that the person who first encounters a case of alleged abuse is not responsible for deciding whether abuse has occurred. This is a task for the professional adult protection agencies. It is not the responsibility of Pagham and District Residents’ Association to determine whether abuse is actually taking place however there is a responsibility to act on any concerns through contact with the appropriate authorities.
Who To Contact If Concerned About An Adult
Talk to your designated Committee Member:
Janet Dale, Telephone No. 01243 697593
Safeguarding for Adults at Risk in West Sussex recommends that:
If you are concerned or have a concern about someone else and the think the danger is immediate:
Phone the police now on 999
If it is less urgent, you can either:
Phone Sussex Police on 101
Contact West Sussex Adult Social Care Services in one of the following ways:
Mon – Fri, 0900 – 1700 hours: Telephone on 01243 642555
Out of office hours: Telephone Safeguarding on 01903 694422