Safeguarding adults

Safeguarding adults at risk of harm or in need of protection

Everyone has a fundamental right to be safe. Whatever the cause, or wherever it occurs, harm caused to adults by abuse, exploitation or neglect is not acceptable. Policy emphasises that safeguarding is 'everyone's business' and that as a good citizen we should all strive to prevent harm to adults from abuse, exploitation and neglect.

The Northern Trust Adult Safeguarding Operational Procedures can be found here.

An 'adult in need of protection' is defined as a person aged 18 or over, whose exposure to harm through abuse, exploitation or neglect may be increased by their:

a) Personal Circumstances
b) Life Circumstances
c) Who is unable to protect their own well-being, property, assets, rights or other interests;
d) Where the action or inaction of another person or persons is causing, or is likely to cause him/her to be harmed

What to do if you identify an adult in need of protection?

If you suspect someone to be at risk of harm or abuse contact the Northern Trust Adult Protection Safeguarding Team on 028 9441 3659 or email

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 adults at risk of harm or in need of protection are supported to access 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 and the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA).

Page last updated:31 July 2018