Safeguarding adults

Safeguarding adults

What does safeguarding mean?

Safeguarding means protecting vulnerable adults from abuse or neglect and putting systems in place to prevent abuse or neglect from happening in the future.

Brent has a multi-agency procedure for responding to suspected abuse of vulnerable adults. This means we have an agreement where organisations work together with the person who we think may be abused, to safeguard that person and take what actions we can. Adult and Community Services co-ordinate the policy, with the Police and the NHS sharing responsibility for ensuring the correct process is used.

Who is a vulnerable adult?

Abuse can affect any vulnerable adult, but particularly someone who is, or may be, unable to protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation, for example:

  • Older people
  • People with mental health problems
  • Disabled people
  • People with learning difficulties
  • People with acquired brain damage
  • People who misuse substances. 

What is abuse?

Abuse is a violation of an individual's human and civil rights. It may consist of a single act or repeated acts. It can be physical, verbal or psychological, it may be an act or omission to act, or it may occur when a vulnerable person is persuaded to enter into a financial or sexual transaction to which he or she has not consented, or cannot consent. Abuse can occur in any relationship. 

Tell someone

If you feel someone is a risk of abuse it is important to tell someone. Safeguarding vulnerable adults is everyone's business and we all have a duty to report concerns if we think someone is being abused or neglected.

To report a concern or suspicion, call 020 8937 4300, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For general safeguarding adults information (non-case issues) visit the adult social services page on the Brent Council website

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards were introduced to provide legal protection for those vulnerable people with a mental disorder and a lack of capacity who are, or may become, deprived of their liberty within a hospital or care home and lack capacity to consent to being there. The safeguards exist to provide a proper legal process and suitable protection in those circumstances where, for a person's best interests, deprivation of liberty is necessary to keep them safe. The forms to apply for and complete assessments can be found here.