SCIE press release

Protecting adults at risk in London: Good practice resource

08 October 2012

A new easy-to-use online resource is launched today to help staff in carrying out their responsibilities to safeguard adults at risk. It gives practical pointers to help staff to assess the risk of abuse, to recognise it when it does occur and to respond to it appropriately. It also gives quick and easy access to the pan-London "safeguarding protocol". This helps frontline safeguarding staff across the capital, to carry out cross-borough and cross-agency work, to prevent and investigate abuse. This ease of access, and of use, helps ensure the professional communication that is so vital to effective safeguarding.

The resource is provided by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and is the latest addition to its work on safeguarding adults at risk in London. Living a life that is free from harm and abuse is a fundamental right for every person. When abuse does take place, it needs to be dealt with swiftly, effectively and in a way that is proportionate to the issues, where the adult at risk stays as much in control of the decision-making as possible. The resource's aim is to explain simply and clearly how agencies and individuals should work together to protect adults at risk.

Key principles

In May 2011, the Department of Health released the statement of government policy on adult safeguarding, which set out six key safeguarding principles, These key principles, which include empowerment, protection and prevention, underpin every aspect of the guide's messages about good practice; for example, they call on social workers to make sure that people are making their own informed decisions about what protection means to them.

SCIE's Chief Executive Andrea Sutcliffe, says:

We can all play our part in preventing adults from being placed at risk of harm. Of course this means that we have to act as good neighbours, but that principle is now enshrined with all the various professionals, across different agencies in London, that are responsible for adult safeguarding. This new resource is full of handy pointers and professional tips for staff, who are at the frontline doing this vital work. As an online resource it makes it easy for staff to work together across London. We firmly believe that adults at risk across London are best protected when procedures between statutory agencies are consistent.

The resources sections

There are twelve sections in all. One section, about recognition and indicators of adult abuse, looks at how several agencies can come together to protect adults at risk, by conducting what is called a "multi-disciplinary assessment". This assessment can look at various indicators that suggest mistreatment or abuse. It can also indicate that abuse and/or criminal offences are taking place, and that the police should be informed. Other sections in the resource look at, for instance, cross-borough protocol and how to communicate with the adult at risk.


Media contact

Steve Palmer | Press and Public Affairs Manager | Tel: 020 7766 7419 | Mob: 07739 458 192 | Email: