How to report concerns
Below we explain how to report possible abuse or neglect of an adult with care and support needs.
If what you are concerned about is that the person doesn’t have any support or care or the care they are receiving is inadequate, you should request a care needs assessment using one of these two forms:
You can complete a care needs form for yourself or another person, although if you are completing the form for someone else, you should have their permission first.
If you’re working with an adult with care and support needs and you want to seek initial advice
Professionals should consult with their organisation’s Safeguarding Lead.
Professionals should also consult the OSAB Understanding Safeguarding (Thresholds Matrix) – January 2021, which gives a brief description of the ten categories of abuse and outlines some examples of concerns. This should help professionals decide if the concern they have should be monitored internally, consulted upon with the County Council’s Safeguarding Team or immediately referred as a safeguarding concern.
If, after consulting with your Safeguarding Lead or the Safeguarding Team a referral is advised, professionals should use the below guidance on ‘How to Make a Good Safeguarding Referral’ to support when raising a concern.
To formally report concerns
The OSAB Understanding Safeguarding (Thresholds Matrix) – January 2021 outlines in which circumstances professionals should raise a safeguarding concern, if they think a person is experiencing abuse or neglect. Ensure you have spoken to the person you are referring, before making the referral. The Adults Service will contact the person being referred and are likely to disclose the source of the referral (when referred by a professional).
If you are working with an adult with care and support needs and you need to raise a safeguarding concern, please visit Oxfordshire County Council’s Raising Safeguarding Concerns page NB The Safeguarding Adults Board is not the owner of this form and does not deal with individual safeguarding concerns. This is the role of the County Council’s Safeguarding Adults Service.
All information is treated with the utmost confidentiality and sensitivity. Both the referrer, and the person who is being abused, will be contacted. And the person who is being abused will be included in the decision-making process.
If you need to raise a concern outside of standard office hours and the concern is urgent, please call the Emergency Duty Service on 0800 833 408.
If your concerns are about someone not receiving the level of care you think they should, they may need a Care Needs Assessment. Please visit Oxfordshire County Council’s Assessment form for professionals page to gain access to the online referral form.
For Members of the public
Please visit Oxfordshire County Council’s Raising a Safeguarding Concern page. This form will ask you a number of questions about the person you are concerned about, whether it’s yourself, a friend or neighbour.
Once you have completed the form, someone from the Adult Safeguarding Team should contact you within three working days to discuss your concerns.
You can also raise a concern over the phone by calling 0345 050 7666 during office hours or the Emergency Duty Service number (0800 833 408) outside of those hours. Safeguarding is not an emergency service so if someone requires immediate protection because they are being harmed, call the Police on 999.
What Happens Next?
Every concern raised about the possible abuse of an adult at risk is taken seriously.
When a concern is raised it goes direct to the Safeguarding Adults Service, Oxfordshire County Council.
The wishes of the adult at risk will always be listened to and acted upon, and then a decision will be made about what needs to happen next.
The next step may be a formal Section 42 enquiry, which is likely to involve further discussions with professionals and relevant others to ensure the individual’s safety.
Any safeguarding plan will try to ensure the best possible outcome for the adult at risk is achieved.
In Oxfordshire, there is a very good track record in achieving this goal.