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Reporting abuse

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'.

To report abuse or neglect

If the person is in immediate danger call 999 straight away.

  • Concerned about an adult? Call Social Care Direct 24 hours a day on 03000 267 979 - a trained officer will listen carefully to your concerns, give advice, and accept a safeguarding adults report 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
  • if you are a patient or visitor to a hospital or other health facility, immediately report your concerns to a member of staff.
  • Concerned about a child including a young person aged 16 or 17 years of age? Please visit Durham Safeguarding Children Partnership - Concerned about a child

Please note

Fraud and scams

Please see the information below about an increase in frauds and scams being aimed at older and vulnerable people in particular:

Domestic abuse

Harbour Support Services offer support those affected by domestic abuse. Services include refuges, community outreach and more.

Contact Harbour on 03000 202 525 (24 hours) or through their website which also offers a live chat

There is also help at:

Easy read posters

Public Health Scotland, Safe Lives and Partners have produced some information about Domestic abuse and Covid-19, including some easy read posters about Gender based violence:

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

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.


Radicalisation is another form of grooming and abuse which organisations may have a duty to report under the Prevent duty to prevent someone being drawn into terrorism. If you are concerned that someone is becoming radicalised, visit: