Mental Health Training

Safeguarding Adults Policy

Mind Matters recognises that the welfare of adults at risk is paramount and that they have equal rights of protection.

Mind Matters will:

  • Treat all adults at risk with respect
  • Carefully recruit and select all staff whether paid, volunteers, or Training Associates
  • Respond to concerns and allegations appropriately

When there are concerns about the welfare of any adult at risk all responsible adults in the organisation are expected to share those concerns with the DSO.

Safeguarding Adults: Lead

MIND MATTERS Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) for Adult Safeguarding is:

Name: Jane McNeice

Contact details: 07833 470979

The DSO is responsible for:

  • Monitoring and recording concerns
  • Making referrals to social care services without delay
  • Liaison with other agencies
  • Arranging training for all staff and volunteers

Their role is also to oversee and ensure that Mind Matters Adult Safeguarding Policy is fully implemented. These details will be made available to all responsible adults, adults at risk, and commissioners of Mind Matters services. This includes ensuring all staff receive adult safeguarding training as appropriate.


In cases of disclosure of abuse by adults at risk, parents or carers, Mind Matters is obliged to share the information and will refer our concerns to social care services and/or the police in an emergency.

Staff Allegations

Concerns about the behaviour of adults in the organisation will be referred without delay to the DSO who will contact social care services, or the police, if a crime may have been committed

In the rare situation that the concerns are about the DSO it is important to refer directly to the Local Authority Designated Adult Safeguarding Manager (or local equivalent) who will liaise with social care services, or the police, if a crime may have been committed.

Adult Safeguarding Policy

The legal definition of the term ” adult at risk” refers to any person aged 18 years and over 16 in England who:

  • Has needs for care and support and;
  1. is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse and neglect and
  2. as a result of those care needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of, abuse or neglect.

This could include people with mental health problems, physical, sensory or learning disabilities, medical conditions, dementia, brain injury, those who are elderly and frail and also those who are family carers. Safeguarding concerns arise when an adult who has care and support needs and is, or is at risk of, being abused or neglected and unable to protect them self against the abuse or neglect or risk of it because of those needs.

Care and Support Statutory Guidance Issued under the Care Act 2014 (as amended 2016)

Government guidance is clear that all organisations working with adults at risk, families, parents and carers have responsibilities. It is important to remember that adults at risk can also abuse and that such incidents fall into the remit of this policy.

The Care Act 2014 has six key principles which should inform the way in which all of the workforce should work with adults. They are:

  1. Empowerment
  2. Prevention
  3. Proportionality
  4. Protection
  5. Partnership
  6. Accountability

Recognising Abuse

The Care and Support Statutory Guidance Issued under the Care Act 2014 outlines how abuse may take many forms and how individual circumstances should be considered. Exploitation is a particular theme in the following list of abuse:

  • Physical
  • Domestic violence, including “honour” based violence
  • Sexual
  • Psychological
  • Financial or material abuse
  • Modern slavery
  • Discriminatory
  • Organisational
  • Neglect and acts of omission
  • Self-neglect

Mental Capacity

Mind Matters fully recognises and upholds the 5 key principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in all aspects of its work by:

  • Presuming each adult at risk has capacity
  • Supporting individuals to make their own decisions
  • Recognising the right for individuals to make their own decisions, even if they may seem eccentric
  • Making sure what Mind Matters does for adults at risk (without capacity) is in their best interests
  • Making sure that anything Mind Matters does is the least restrictive action for the individual

Treating Adults with Respect

Mind Matters endeavours to treat all adults at risk with respect, regardless of ability or culture.

Rigorous Recruitment

Mind Matters always takes up a minimum of two written references and insists that any appointment, where staff have direct and/or unsupervised access to adults at risk, will only be confirmed subject to a satisfactory Disclosure & Barring (DBS) check and a check against the Barred Adults List, where eligible.

At interview Mind Matters has sound procedures and recording to ensure it is satisfied, and can evidence that the applicant is appropriate and suitable.

Induction and Training

In line with safer recruitment good practice, Mind Matters has a clear induction and training strategy detailing clear job descriptions and responsibilities and all relevant procedures.

All new staff sign to record they have received and read the Adult safeguarding policy.

Data Protection and Confidentiality

Mind Matters has a clear Privacy Policy in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations 2018 . This is on our website and is available to all adults, children, parents and carers. Staff are trained on Data Protection Act requirements and a DPA policy is included in the staff handbook and in induction information.

Mind Matters fully endorses the principle that the welfare of adults at risk overrides any obligations of confidence it may hold to others. Individual cases will only be shared or discussed on a “need to know” basis. All media enquiries will be handled by the Managing Director: Jane McNeice.


A disclosure may be communicated verbally or through behaviour by an adult at risk, or another adult in the organisation and it is important for everyone to remember the following:

If you are concerned about an adult at risk it is important that this information is communicated to the DSO or deputy for safeguarding.

You may become aware of suspected or likely abuse by:

  • Your own observations and concerns
  • Being told by another person that they have concerns about an adult at risk
  • The adult at risk tells you
  • The abuser tells you

Also remember that you may not always be working directly with the adult at risk but become concerned because of difficulties experienced by other adults, e.g.

  • Domestic Violence incidents
  • Mental Health problems
  • Substance and Alcohol Abuse Incidents


  • Do not delay
  • Do not investigate
  • Seek advice from the DSO or deputy for safeguarding
  • Make careful recording of anything you observe or are told

Responding to Concerns

Mind Matters ensures and emphasises that everyone in the organisation understands and knows how to share any concerns immediately with the DSO. This is done by staff training/information in staff areas/staff handbook/induction information. Everyone including the DSO will deal with concerns using the following:


You are worried that a vulnerable adult has been abused because:

  • You have seen something
  • A vulnerable adult says they have been abused
  • Somebody else has told you they are concerned
  • There has been an allegation against a member of staff
  • There has been an anonymous allegation
  • An adult has disclosed they are abusing a vulnerable adult
  • A vulnerable adult has disclosed they were abused in the past


Make a careful record of what you observe or are told. Talk to the Designated Safeguarding Officer (DSO) for your organisation within 24 hours.

Use your organisation’s Adult Safeguarding Policy to identify who this is if you do not already know.


Should refer the concern to Social Care Services and/or the police (in an emergency) and follow up in writing within 24 hours (if the allegations are against a person with a “duty of care” the Adult Safeguarding Manager/Board will co-ordinate the next procedural steps)

Remember: Consultation should not delay a referral. In an emergency dial 999

Complaints/Disciplinary & Grievance Procedures

Mind Matters has clear policies about handling allegations, dealing with complaints and its own disciplinary and grievance procedures.

Mind Matters is mindful that these procedures may confuse people on the next appropriate steps to take. Mind Matters is clear that, in any case where a complaint has been made with regards to any inappropriate or poor practice, it will discuss the situation with the local authority Adult Safeguarding Manager and/or social care services before making an open decision about the best way forward.

It is the responsibility of the DSO to ensure that these procedures are rigorously adhered to. In the case that the DSO is implicated, it is the duty of the person concerned to contact social care services direct, or the police if a crime has, or may have been, committed.

Social care services will manage any investigations, overseen by the local Designated Adult Safeguarding Manager (or local equivalent) in accordance with local Safeguarding Adults Board procedures.

With regards to disciplinary and grievance procedures, Mind Matters is very clear that it will take no steps until it has fully discussed and agreed a strategy with the Designated Adult Safeguarding Manager, social care services and/or the police. Any investigation will override the need to implement any such procedures.

Record Keeping

All records will be kept securely. Only the DSO and/or those with authority to do so will have access and records will only be kept as long as necessary.

Normally these records will be passed to social care services when there is a concern and the DSO deems it appropriate to do so. All records will be written by the person with the concern within 24 hours, on headed paper and will be factual and non-judgmental.

It is helpful to record any known details of the adult at risk(s) involved e.g. name, address, date of birth etc.

Policy Date

This policy was agreed on 31 August 2016 and will be reviewed annually or when there are substantial organisational changes/changes in legislation.


Policy Reviewed : March 2022

Signed: Jane McNeice

DSO: Jane McNeice

Date: 25th March 2022


A separate record for staff signatures will be maintained to evidence they have seen and understand this policy.










Signs of possible abuse in adults


  • A history of unexplained falls, fractures, bruises, burns, minor injuries
  • Signs of under or over use of medication and/or medical problems unattended


  • Alteration in psychological state e.g. withdrawn, agitated, anxious, tearful
  • Intimidated or subdued in the presence of the carer
  • Fearful, flinching or frightened of making choices or expressing wishes
  • Unexplained paranoia


  • Pregnancy in a woman who is unable to consent to sexual intercourse
  • Unexplained change in behaviour or sexually implicit/explicit behaviour
  • Torn, stained or bloody underwear and/or unusual difficulty in walking or sitting
  • Infections or sexually transmitted diseases
  • Full or partial disclosure or hints of sexual abuse
  • Self-harming

Neglect or Omission

  • Malnutrition, weight loss and /or persistent hunger
  • Poor physical condition, poor hygiene, varicose ulcers, pressure sores
  • Being left in wet clothing or bedding and/or clothing in a poor condition
  • Failure to access appropriate health, educational services or social care
  • No callers or visitors




Financial or Material

  • Disparity between assets and living conditions
  • Unexplained withdrawals from accounts or disappearance of financial documents
  • Sudden inability to pay bills
  • Carers or professionals fail to account for expenses incurred on a person’s behalf
  • Recent changes of deeds or title to property


  • Inappropriate remarks, comments or lack of respect
  • Poor quality or avoidance of care


  • Lack of flexibility or choice over meals, bed times, visitors, phone calls, etc.
  • Inadequate medical care and misuse of medication
  • Inappropriate use of restraint
  • Sensory deprivation e.g. denial of use of spectacles or hearing aids
  • Missing documents and/or absence of individual care plans
  • Public discussion of private matter
  • Lack of opportunity for social, educational or recreational activity
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