If you see, hear, or suspect that a vulnerable person - someone with a learning or physical disability, physical or mental illness - is being harmed or abused, 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.
Please see the article below about an increase in frauds and scams being aimed at older and vulnerable people in particular.
If you think an adult is at risk of abuse and neglect, these usual processes continue to apply.
To report abuse you can:
- If you have concerns that someone is a victim of modern slavery or human trafficking, contact the police and 101.
- 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.
- If you are a patient or visitor to a hospital or other health facility, you should immediately report your concerns to a member of staff.
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
- North Durham Clinical Commissioning Group
- Care Quality Commission
If you are an employee, 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.