If you see, hear, or suspect that an adult with care and support needs is being harmed, abused or neglected, you must report what you know. 'The worst thing you can do is nothing'.
If the person is in immediate danger call 999 straight away.
If you think an adult is at risk of abuse or neglect, these usual processes continue to apply.
To report abuse or neglect you can:
- call Social Care Direct 24 hours a day on 03000 267 979 - a trained officer will listen carefully to your concerns, give advice and take a referral if necessary, even if you want to remain anonymous.
- contact the police on 101 if you have concerns that someone is a victim of modern slavery or human trafficking
- immediately report your concerns to a member of staff. if you are a patient or visitor to a hospital or other health facility
Fraud and scams
Please see the information below about an increase in frauds and scams being aimed at older and vulnerable people in particular:
Harbour Support Services is continuing to support those affected by domestic abuse. Services are still open and able to support people in refuges, through telephone and video support sessions. Harbour can be contacted 24 hours a day on 03000 202 525. There is also help at:
- Durham County Council - domestic abuse
- Durham County Council - adult and children's social care during Covid-19
- Gov.uk: support for victims of domestic abuse
Safeguarding easy read factsheet
We have produced an easy read document that provides some general information about types of abuse, how to spot the signs and what happens when you report it.
Other useful contacts are:
- County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust: compliments, comments, concerns and complaints
- Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust
- NHS County Durham Clinical Commissioning Group
- Care Quality Commission
If you are a member of staff, student on placement or a volunteer:
- You must report your concerns to the designated person or post holder (usually a manager).
- If you know or suspect that another worker or volunteer has harmed an adult or failed to provide proper care and support you must report this. You can also use your agency's Speaking Out or Whistle Blowing procedures.
Public agencies, such as the NHS, must identify and tackle abuse and neglect. All agencies must have their own procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse.