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Good practice guidance for professionals


Professionals working in social care, NHS services, police, probation and housing services, adult education are expected to have a sound knowledge of adult protection.

A sound knowledge of adult protection includes:

  • being able to recognise and report abuse
  • reporting and co-operating with all types of investigations
  • assisting with carrying out safeguarding enquiries under Section 42 of the Care Act

The County Durham Inter Agency Policies, procedures and forms meet the requirements of national legislation under the Care Act 2014. We also strive to keep abreast of  good practice guidance from organisations such as Social Care Institute of Excellence and Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.

The policies and procedures ensure that relevant agencies and services work together to prevent abuse and support adults who may have been the victim of abuse. They also identify Training to ensure these requirements are adhered to.

Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)

SCIE improves the lives of people who use care services by sharing knowledge about what works. Their resources, training and consultancy services can help safeguarding boards, care providers, housing providers and local authorities to protect children and adults at risk of abuse or neglect.

Governance of adult safeguarding

Self-neglect and adult safeguarding

Disclosure and Barring Service

If you dismiss or remove a person from regulated activity (or may have done so had they not left) because they have harmed or posed a risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult, then you have a legal duty to refer the person to the DBS.

Duty of Candour

Duty of Candour is a legal duty on hospital, community and mental health trusts and all provider organisations registered with Care Quality Commission (CQC) to inform and apologise to patients and service users if there have been mistakes in their care that have led to significant harm.

Sharing information and Duty to Co-operate

The Care Act sets out a duty for the council (Durham County Council) and partner organisations to co-operate under Section 6 and 7. This includes co-operating with adult protection and safeguarding enquiries. It reinforces the need for agencies to work in partnership and share relevant information to assist the council in the exercise of its functions.

Safe Places Scheme

The 'Safe Place To Be' initiative is one strand of an overall strategy led by Police and Crime Commissioner to support those who are either a victim of a hate crime, or who may feel vulnerable or threatened. The purpose is to create and develop a network of safe places in central public areas for anyone who feels threatened or anxious due to real or perceived behaviour of others around them.

Independent Mental Capacity Advocate Service

The Independent Mental Capacity Advocate service can be used for adults who are victims of abuse and lack mental capacity. It is a specialist advocate whose role is to speak for the person and clarify their needs, wishes feelings and beliefs in relation to any key decisions that need to be made.

They can be appointed by professionals involved in a safeguarding case whether the person is befriended or not. The IMCA service can be contacted by calling 0191 281 8737.

Hoarding and self-neglect

Information from the Hoarding and Self Neglect Conference:

In addition, information has been provided courtesy of Deborah Barnett, from Training, Advice, Solutions and Consultancy (T-ASC) that has been developed to complement the conference resources:

Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) have written some guidance to help inspectors and social care providers to understand the sexuality needs of people using services.

This guidance is for CQC inspection staff and registered providers. 

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