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) and;
  • is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect; and
  • 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.

These adults for example may be:

  • Frail due to age, ill health, physical disability or cognitive impairment, or a combination of these
  • Have a learning disability
  • Have a physical disability and/or a sensory impairment
  • Have mental health needs including dementia or a personality disorder
  • Have a long-term illness/condition
  • Users of substances or alcohol: Addaction North Somerset is a local organisation providing treatment and support to those people who are affected by alcohol or drugs. The referral form is available for professionals to download. 
  • Unable to demonstrate the capacity to make a decision and is in need of care and support.

This list is not exhaustive.

For those who do not meet the criteria as an adult at risk of harm but who nevertheless appear to be at high risk there are alternative sources of referral and support.

  • GP
  • Adult Care on 01454 868007
  • If a vulnerable adult is in immediate danger dial 999 and ask for police assistance


A  poster and leaflet are available for you to download and display at your place of work on the "Concerned about an adult" page.