Who could be at risk?

There are many different forms of abuse and they all result in behaviour towards a person that deliberately or intentionally cause harm. It is a violation of an individual’s human and civil rights and in the worst cases can result in death.

Who are 'Adults at Risk of Harm'?

The safeguarding duties apply to an adult who:

  • is 18 and over
  • has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs)
  • is experiencing, or at risk of harm of, abuse or neglect and as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of harm of, or experience of abuse or neglect.

Child exploitation

How is East Riding dealing with child exploitation?

Child exploitation is child abuse. It is complex and brings many challenges that cannot be dealt with quickly by a single agency, which is why, in the East Riding, we are working together to implement a Contextual Safeguarding approach to mitigate the risks to children and young people. This is done by reducing the incidents of missing episodes and safeguard children and young people from child exploitation, trafficking and modern day slavery.

The Contextual Safeguarding Strategy and related guidance sets out how the East Riding will work towards ensuring the effective and coordinated measures and responses are in place to safeguard all children and young people at risk of, or who are experiencing, exploitation.

The East Riding Contextual Safeguarding Strategy 2019 - 2022

Who may have care and support needs?

This may be a person who:

  • is elderly and frail due to ill health, physical disability or cognitive impairment
  • has a learning disability and or a sensory impairment
  • has mental health needs including dementia or a personality disorder
  • has a long term illness/condition
  • misuses substances or alcohol.

What is the definition of abuse?

Whilst neither the Care Act of 2014 nor its statutory guidance specifically defines abuse, it does state that professionals should not limit their view of what constitutes abuse or neglect as it can take many forms and the circumstances of the individual case should always be considered.

The Care Act statutory guidance goes on to provide a detailed definition of each of the ten types of abuse which is listed below. Further to this, the guidance highlights that incidents of abuse may be one-off or multiple, and affect one person or more. Therefore professionals should look beyond single incidents or individuals to identify patterns of harm.

Why might a person be vulnerable?

There are many factors that could increase the risk of abuse. Some of these are listed below:

  • People dependant on others for assistance, especially with finances and personal care

  • Mental incapacity, communication difficulties, decreased mobility

  • Those without visitors

  • Those subjected to hate crimes

  • People having care in their own homes

  • Not knowing where to turn to for help

  • People might also think that the standard of care they are receiving is all they can expect.

Abuse of Adults at Risk does not have to be deliberate, malicious or planned. It sometimes happens when people are trying to do their best but do not know the right thing to do. Sometimes the person who causes harm does so because of frustration even in the caring context.

However, irrespective of why the abuse might happen, any abuse of an Adult at Risk is harmful. This makes it vitally important to ensure that those involved with the care and wellbeing of Adults at Risk have a clear sense of what signifies abuse and what must happen should abuse be suspected or discovered.

Everyone is a potential victim of crime or abuse but the following conditions can increase that vulnerability:

  • a learning disability

  • mental health issues

  • a physical or sensory impairment

  • is frail or an older person.

Where does abuse occur?

Abuse can occur anywhere and is not confined to any one setting.

Just because there are no records of abuse having occurred does not mean it has not happened or is happening now. It is important to remain alert for the signs at all times, for example abuse can occur:

  • in a nursing, residential or daycare setting
  • in a person's own home
  • in another place previously assumed safe, for example - prison
  • in a hospital or public place
  • in education, training or a work-place setting.

Forensic Medical Examination of Adults

Across North Lincolnshire and East Riding of Yorkshire Safeguarding Adults Partnerships a pilot project is operating in the area of Forensic Examination of adults.

A Forensic Medical Examination of Adults Inter-agency Policy has been created to provide an outline of the process that will be undertaken in relation to the consideration of, examination and reporting when adults at risk of harm have sustained an injury due to physical abuse or neglect and outline the governance framework that supports the pilot.

The aim of the project is to provide consistent service delivery with agreed coordinated response times and effective communication with relevant system partners, including with two Local Authorities and Humberside Police.

This policy applies to all staff undertaking forensic examinations for adults and any staff members involved in any part of the process including decision making panels.

Please see below for the Forensic Examination of Adults Inter-agency Policy:

Multi-agency Forensic Examiner Policy

A patient information leaflet is also available to understand more about the Forensic Medical Examination:

Patient Information Leaflet Forensic Medical Examination

This is also available in Easy Read. Please see below:

Forensic Medical Examination Easy Read Leaflet

Are you worried that an adult is at risk?
Report a concern
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01377 241273

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