Raising a concern
Under the Care Act 2014, the local authority takes the lead role in receiving and managing enquiries about adults with care and support needs (or appearance of these needs) who may be experiencing or at risk of harm or abuse.
In Norfolk this is Norfolk County Council (NCC) Adult Social Services, which is separate to Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board (a strategic partnership) and safeguarding concerns which need enquiry should not be shared with NSAB but directed to NCC.
Safeguarding adult duties apply where an adult living in the local area:
- has needs for care and support (or appears to have those needs)
- is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect
- and is unable to protect themselves from that abuse or neglect because of their care and support needs
Care and support is the mixture of practical, financial and emotional support for adults who need extra help to manage their lives and be independent - including older people, people with a disability or long-term illness, people with mental health problems, and carers.
Care and support includes assessment of people's needs, provision of services and the allocation of funds to enable a person to purchase their own care and support. It could include care home, home care, personal assistants, day services, or the provision of aids and adaptations.
Being concerned about someone's general safety or well-being is not always the same as them being subject to abuse - have a look at our guidance on safeguarding with a big 'S' to understand better where those safeguarding adult duties do and don't apply as part of s42 of the Care Act 2014.
Remember, even if the safeguarding duties do not apply, and a safeguarding enquiry under s42 Care Act does not happen, Adult Social Services may still be able to support the person in the usual ways or signpost to other options.
You can raise a safeguarding adults concern to Adult Social Services:
By telephone: 0344 800 8020 – this connects you to NCC customer service centre and they will help you to find the right route for your concern.
The local authority will come back to you as soon as possible - bear in mind responses will depend on the information you provide and the level of risk you have identified; there may be other reasons for delay.
Flow diagram - end to end in safeguarding adults
To understand what happens next, NSAB have produced a graphic to explain the safeguarding adults process to show how your concern may be taken forward - updated January 2023:
To make sure you have as much information as possible ready for the call, use this checklist to see if there is anything else you need to know:
In an emergency, if the person is at immediate risk or in danger, ring 999
The Associate of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has also published detailed guidance on:
If you're not sure what you can share, have a look at our:
Quick Guide - 7 Golden Rules about information sharing
or more detailed NSAB guidance in - Information sharing in safeguarding adults