Search site

How to raise concerns about the safety and wellbeing of an adult with care and support needs. The different types of abuse and neglect. What happens when concerns are raised, including what happens during and following a safeguarding enquiry, and information on how the Safeguarding Adults Boards work.

Reporting abuse

If you know someone is being abused, or think they may be, call:

  • Bournemouth Care Direct on 01202 454979
  • Dorset Adult Access Team on 01305 221016
  • Borough of Poole Adult Social Care Help Desk on 01202 633902

If it is outside of normal office hours, please call the Out of Hours Service on 01202 657279.

If you think someone may be at immediate risk of harm contact the Police by calling 999.

You can also tell a health or social care worker such as a social worker, nurse, doctor or occupational therapist.

If you report abuse to us we:

  • take your concerns seriously
  • deal with the matter sensitively
  • make sure the person is safe
  • investigate the situation fully.

We ask you to provide a name and contact details in case we need to get in touch to ensure we have all the information we need to keep the person safe.

Who is at risk?

People may be at risk of abuse if they:

  • depend on other people for their care
  • are older, frail and unable to protect themselves
  • have mental health problems
  • have a physical or learning disability
  • have serious sight or hearing impairment
  • have dementia
  • misuse alcohol or drugs
  • have a long-term illness.
What is abuse?

Abuse takes many forms. It includes:

  • any form of harm such as:
    • hitting, injuring or restraining
    • threatening, intimidating or humiliating
    • sexual attention or activity that is not wanted
    • keeping someone on their own
  • any form of neglect such as:
    • not giving the correct medicine
    • not providing food or clothing
    • not arranging the right care
  • financial abuse such as:
    • stealing or misusing money or property
    • pressure about wills or inheritance
  • discrimination, i.e. treating someone less favourably because of race, ethnicity (opens in a new window), religion, age, gender, disability or sexual orientation
  • domestic violence and abuse.

Abuse can happen anywhere - at home, in a care home, hospital or day centre or in public.

Someone tells you about abuse

If someone tells you they are being abused:

  • stay calm and listen to them
  • offer them support
  • write down what they tell you using their own words
  • keep any evidence safe
  • get in touch with us or the police
  • in an emergency dial 999

Please do not:

  • press them for more details
  • contact the alleged abuser
  • promise to keep it secret
  • assume that someone else knows what's going on and will get in touch.

All public services, the police, local authorities and the NHS, take adult abuse very seriously - we usually refer to this as 'Adult Safeguarding'.  Protection from abuse is more effective if we all take responsibility for adults at risk.

Safeguarding Adults Boards

For information about the work of the safeguarding adults boards, including information for professionals, please follow the links:

Bournemouth and Poole Safeguarding Adults Board (BPSAB) (opens in a new window)

Dorset Safeguarding Adults Board (DSAB) (opens in a new window)



Feedback Form
Leads to Insight