Safeguarding Adults

The South Eastern Trust has specially trained staff that can provide information, advice, support and protection for any adult who may be at risk of harm from abuse, exploitation or neglect.

What is abuse, exploitation or neglect?

The majority of adults live full, independent lives free from harm caused by abuse, exploitation or neglect. However, there is a growing recognition that some adults, for a wide variety of reasons, may have been harmed or may be at risk of harm.  This abuse can happen in different ways and may include:

  • Physical abuse – where the abuser hits, pushes, kicks, treats the person roughly or worse
  • Mental abuse or bullying – involving threats, name-calling, insults, humiliation and meanness
  • Sexual abuse – for instance being touched or hit in private places, or even being sexually assaulted. Sexual abuse can be verbal too, through comments and jokes that make the person feel threatened or embarrassed
  • Financial abuse or theft – this can be as straightforward as someone stealing money or valuables, or keeping some or all the money that should be used to pay bills
  • Neglect – this includes not providing enough or the right kind of food for a vulnerable adult, or not taking good enough care of them. Leaving someone unwashed or in dirty or wet clothes, not getting them to a doctor when they need one or not making sure they have the right medicines all count as neglect
  • Exploitation – exploitation is the deliberate maltreatment, manipulation or abuse of power and control over another person; to take advantage of another person or situation usually, but not always, for personal gain from using them as a commodity

This abuse can occur in any setting either in the persons own home, a care home, hospital, day centre, place of employment etc. and can be committed by any person.

  • Reporting abuse, exploitation or neglect

    Adult Safeguarding is about protecting adults, aged 18 or over, who may be at risk of harm from abuse, exploitation or neglect and who also may not be able to protect themselves from the action or inaction of others. If you have a concern that you or someone you know is or may be, at risk of harm there are a number of ways of reporting it.

    1. You can contact the local PSNI on their 101 number or their 999 number if there is immediate danger.
    2. You can contact South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust on (028) 9250 1227
    3. You can contact the Out of Hours Regional Emergency Social Work Service ( 5.00 pm-9.00 am Mon-Fri & 24 hrs at weekends and Bank holidays )
    4. You can contact the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority on (028) 9051 7500 if the concern is about a residential or nursing home, a day-care facility or a hospital

    Or you can talk to a trusted adult who will be able to help you with you concern. Below are the contact details of a number of other agencies who can also offer you support.

    If you ever feel in immediate danger or think someone else may be in immediate danger, Dial 999.

    If you have a concern about a vulnerable adult who you think is being abused and they are unable to protect themselves contact:

    Adult Protection Gateway Team
    Ward 29 Downshire Hospital Site
    Ardglass Road

    Tel:  (028) 9250 1227

    If you prefer, you can also speak to your GP or any other health care professional, and they will contact the service on your behalf.

  • Other useful contacts

    Women’s Aid NI
    Age NI
    Victim Support NI
    Men’s Advisory Project
    Rainbow Project  
    Disability Action
    Nexus Institute

    Action on Elder Abuse Helpline Tel:  0808 808 8141

    24hr Domestic Violence Helpline  Tel:  0800 917 1414

Contact Details

If you have a concern about a vulnerable adult who you think is being abused and they are unable to protect themselves contact us.

Call us(028) 9250 1227