HMS are committed to protecting vulnerable adults from abuse, we actively work together with the people we support, families, staff and external organisations to ensure the people we support are safe and protected.

The core definition of “vulnerable adult” from the Government Guidance No Secrets, is a person: “Who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of disability, age or illness; and is or may be unable to take care of unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation”. This definition of an Adult covers all people over 18 years of age.

The guidance refers to harm in terms of 'abuse'. This might be physical, sexual, psychological, financial or material, neglect and acts of omission, discriminatory or institutional. The guidance also states that abuse may consist of a single act or repeated acts, some forms of abuse are criminal offenses, for example, physical assault, sexual assault and rape, fraud, other forms of financial exploitation and certain forms of discrimination, whether on racial or gender grounds.

No secrets guidance illustrates each type of abuse.

Physical abuse: including hitting, slapping, pushing, kicking, miuse of medication, restraint or inappropriate sanctions.

Sexual abuse: including rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to which the vulnerable adult has not consented, or could not consent or was pressured into consenting.

Psychological abuse: including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, intimidation, coercion, harassment, verbal abuse, isolation or withdrawal from services or supportive networks.

Financial or material abuse: including theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure in connection with wills, property or inheritance or financial transactions, or the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.

Neglect and acts of omission: including ignoring medical or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.

Discriminatory abuse: including racist, sexist, that based on a person's disability and other forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment.

The guidance states that vulnerable adults are entitled to the protection of the law in the same way as any other member of the public (DH and Home Office, 2000, p9).

HMS has an extensive safeguarding policy to ensure the people we support are protected. To speak to us regarding any safeguarding concerns, or to request a copy of our Safeguarding Policy, please contact our office landline number 01642 273376

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