1.1 Sussex Safeguarding Adults Policy

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The Care Act 2014 was a major step forward in safeguarding adults who are experiencing, or are at risk of, abuse or neglect, and are unable to protect themselves.

Sections 42 to 47 of the Care Act set out the legal duties and responsibilities in relation to adult safeguarding.

The legal framework for the Care Act 2014 is supported by Care and Support Statutory Guidance which provides information and guidance about how the Care Act should operate in practice. The guidance has statutory status which means that there is a legal duty to have regard to it when working with adults with needs for care and support and carers.

Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about working together to support people to make decisions about the risks they face in their own lives and protecting those who lack the mental capacity to make those decisions.     

This policy and procedures provide an overarching framework to ensure a proportionate, timely and professional approach is taken, and that adult safeguarding is co-ordinated across all relevant agencies and organisations. This is essential for the prevention of harm and abuse. 

The aims of adult safeguarding are to: 

  • Prevent harm and reduce the risk of abuse or neglect to adults with care and support needs.
  • Stop abuse or neglect wherever possible.
  • Safeguard adults in a way that supports them in making choices and having control about how they want to live.
  • Promote an approach that concentrates on improving life for the adults concerned.
  • Raise public awareness so that communities as a whole, alongside professionals, play their part in preventing, identifying and responding to abuse and neglect.
  • Provide information and support in accessible ways to help people understand the different types of abuse, how to stay safe and what to do to raise a concern about the safety or wellbeing of an adult.

In order to achieve these aims it is essential that everyone, both individuals and organisations, is clear about their roles and responsibilities in regard to safeguarding policy and procedures.   Individual services and organisations should ensure their internal adult safeguarding policy and procedures reflect these Sussex Safeguarding Adults Policy and Procedures. This includes an expectation to report in a timely way any concerns or suspicions that an adult is at risk of being, or is, being abused. Where abuse or neglect takes place, it needs to be dealt with promptly and effectively, and in ways which are proportionate to the concern, ensuring that the adult stays in as much control of the decision-making as possible.  

The Care Act safeguarding duties apply to an adult who:

  • has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs),
  • is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect,
  • as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect.

The framework for statutory adult safeguarding set out within the Care Act states that local authorities are required to:

  • Lead a multi-agency local adult safeguarding system that seeks to prevent abuse and neglect, and stop it quickly when it happens.
  • Make enquiries, or ensure others do so, when they believe that an adult is subject to, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect. An enquiry should establish whether any action needs to be taken to stop or prevent abuse or neglect, and if so, by whom.
  • Establish a Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) with core membership from the local authority, the police and the NHS (specifically the Integrated Care Board) with the power to include other relevant bodies.
  • Arrange, where appropriate, for an independent advocate to represent and support a person who is the subject of a safeguarding enquiry or Safeguarding Adults Review (SAR) where the adult has ‘substantial difficulty’ in being involved in the process and where there is no other appropriate adult to help them.
  • Cooperate with each of its relevant partners in order to protect adults who are experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect.

Promoting wellbeing

Professionals should always promote the adult’s wellbeing as part of safeguarding arrangements. People have many aspects to their lives and being safe may be only one of the things which are important to them.  Professionals should work with each adult to establish what being safe means to them and how that can best be achieved.    


Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP) is a national approach to promote responses to safeguarding situations in a way that enhances involvement, choice and control as well as improving quality of life, wellbeing and safety. It is about seeing people as experts in their own lives and working alongside them to identify the outcomes they want, with the aim of enabling them to resolve their circumstances and support their recovery.  Making Safeguarding Personal is also about collecting information about the extent to which this shift has a positive impact on people’s lives. 

People are individuals with a variety of different preferences, histories, circumstances and life-styles. Safeguarding arrangements must not prescribe a process to be followed whenever a concern is raised, but rather Making Safeguarding Personal emphasises the importance of a person-centred approach, adopting the principle of ‘no decision about me without me’. Personalised care and support is for everyone, but some people will need more support than others to make choices and manage risks. A person led approach is supported by personalised information and advice and, where needed, access to advocacy support.

Six key principles underpin all adult safeguarding work. They apply to all sectors and settings including: care and support services, further education colleges, commissioning, regulation and provision of health and care services, social work, healthcare, welfare benefits, housing, wider local authority functions and the criminal justice system. 



Outcome for the adult at risk

In practice this means


Presumption of person led decisions and informed consent.

“I am asked what I want as the outcomes from the safeguarding process and these directly inform what happens.”


Having clear and accessible systems for adult’s views to be heard and influence change.


Giving people relevant information and support about safeguarding and the choices available to them to ensure their own safety.


It is better to take action before harm occurs.


“I receive clear and simple information about what abuse is, how to recognise the signs and what I can do to seek help.”


Raising public awareness about safeguarding, including how to recognise and report it.


All staff are clear on their roles and responsibilities in relation to safeguarding adults at risk.


The least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented.

“I am sure that the professionals will work in my interests, as I see them and they will only get involved as much as needed.”


The adult is at the centre of all responses to the safeguarding concern and any action taken is based on their preferred outcomes or best interests.


An approach of positive risk taking in which the adult at risk is fully involved.


Support and representation for those in greatest need.

“I get help and support to report abuse and neglect. I get help so that I am able to take part in the safeguarding process to the extent to which I want and to which I am able.”


Organisations having effective processes to be able to identify and respond to concerns or emerging risks.


Consideration of mental capacity is part of the safeguarding process, and where people lack capacity decisions are always made in their best interests.


Local solutions through services working with their communities. Communities have a part to play in preventing, detecting and reporting neglect and abuse.

“I know that staff will treat any personal and sensitive information in confidence, only sharing what is helpful and necessary. I am confident that professionals will work together and with me to get the best result for me.”

Information is shared between organisations in a way that reflects its personal and sensitive nature.


Ensuring local information sharing protocols are in place and staff understand and use them.


Accountability and transparency in delivering safeguarding.


“I understand the role of everyone involved in my life and so do they.”


The roles and responsibilities of the organisation are clear so that staff understand what is expected of them and others.



This page is correct as printed on Sunday 10th of December 2023 05:15:49 AM please refer back to this website (http://sussexsafeguardingadults.procedures.org.uk) for updates.