Safeguarding vulnerable adults

A vulnerable adult is any person aged 18 years or over who is, or may be, unable to take care of themselves or who is unable to protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation.

This may be because they have a mental health problem, a disability, a sensory impairment, are old and frail, or have an illness. Due to their vulnerability the individual may be in receipt of a care services in their own home, in the community or in a residential care home, nursing home or other institutional setting.

It is a top priority for the Northern Trust to keep all our patients and clients safe. It is the Trust's responsibility, together with other agencies when appropriate, to investigate cases of alleged or suspected abuse of vulnerable adults. All suspected abuse should be reported to the Trust and it is our responsibility to investigate this and put plans in place to keep the person safe.

What to do if you suspect a vulnerable adult is being abused

If you are concerned or suspect that a vulnerable adult you know is been abused, you should contact the Trust on 028 2563 5512. If it is out of normal working hours, contact the Emergency Social Work Service on 028 9504 9999.

If someone is in immediate danger or has been harmed you should call 999.

The Northern Trust has a responsibility, together with other agencies, to investigate and keep the person safe. To make sure a vulnerable adult who is at risk of abuse receives protection, support and access to the criminal justice system the Northern Trust works in partnership with the other health Trusts, Health and Social Care Board, Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) and the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA).

Page last updated:23 December 2015