Surrey Heartlands Safeguarding Toolkit for Adult Care Providers

Surrey Heartlands strives to build a positive open transparent culture developing professional curiosity whilst making ongoing improvements.

This safeguarding toolkit has been developed for adult care services who provide health and social care in Surrey Heartlands to:

  • review their relevant organisational policies and procedures
  • gain a good understanding of recommended practice
  • identify and build on existing good practice
  • identify and address areas of risk.

Information sheets, templates and useful links to websites are available to promote good safeguarding knowledge and the use of relevant legislation when keeping people safe.

Safeguarding audits and why they should be completed

Completing a safeguarding audit can help services to understand how their organisation is keeping people who use the service safe from abuse and neglect. The results will drive improvements and better outcomes for individuals.

Carrying out audits has many benefits for care providers, staff, residents and people receiving care to:

  • ensure the quality and delivery of care practices
  • ensure that national and local safeguarding guidance is being followed to an appropriate standard
  • help keep young people and adults in care provision safe from abuse and neglect.
  • reinforce the principle that safeguarding is everybody’s responsibility and develop a culture of continuous learning and improvement to promote the safety and welfare of adults at risk
  • act upon potential indictors of abuse and neglect
  • address any gaps in skills, knowledge and training
  • demonstrate areas of good practice within care provision
  • highlight areas for development where support and training can be provided
  • show that care providers are meeting safeguarding standards
  • identity where the Surrey Wide ICB Safeguarding team can offer support to improve safeguarding procedures and processes
  • ensure that care providers and staff are vigilant and act appropriately upon identifying a safeguarding concern
  • show commitment to safeguarding and that robust governance structures and systems are in place in line with the Care Act 2014
  • provide evidence for their CQC inspection visit.

Guidance and legislation

There are various legislation and guidance related to safeguarding children, and adults at risk.

  • Care Act 2014
  • Care Quality Commission registration requirements ‘Regulation 13: Safeguarding service users from abuse and improper treatment’
  • Children & Families Act 2014
  • Children Act 1989
  • Children Act 2004
  • Children and Social Work Act 2017
  • Francis Report 2013
  • Government Statement of Policy on Adult Safeguarding (HM Government, 2013)
  • Lampard Report 2015
  • Legislative frameworks developed for safeguards against exploitation including Female Genital Exploitation, modern day slavery, people trafficking, children who go missing and forced marriage, honour based violence.
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • Modern Slavery Act 2015
  • NICE guidance: Domestic violence and abuse: multi-agency working (2014)
  • NICE guidance: Safeguarding adults in care home (2021)
  • NICE guidance: Domestic violence and abuse Quality Standard (2016)
  • NICE guidance: When to suspect child maltreatment (2009 updated 2014)
  • NICE guidance: Child Abuse and Neglect (2017)
  • NHS England Prevent Training and Competencies Framework the framework (2022)
  • Safeguarding adults – roles and Competencies for Health Care Staff (Intercollegiate Document 2018
  • Safeguarding Children & Young People: Roles and Competencies for Health Care Staff (Intercollegiate Document 2019)
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable People in the NHS – Accountability and Assurance Framework NHS England (2022)
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018

Safeguarding glossary

Adult at Risk

The Care Act 2014 defines this as anyone over the age of 18 who:

  • has needs for care or support (whether or not the authority is meeting any of those needs;
  • is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect; and
  • as a result of those needs is unable to protect himself or herself against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it.


The term within the schedule refers to anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday.


Children’s Single Point of Access (CSPA) for reporting concerns about a child or young person being abused or neglected,


The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions each year by processing and issuing DBS checks for England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Disciplinary Actions

This is a response the misconduct or poor performance of an employee.


The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) is the procedure prescribed in law when it is necessary to deprive of their liberty a resident or patient who lacks capacity to consent to their care and treatment in order to keep them safe from harm.

Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse is an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer.

Domestic Homicide Reviews

A Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) is a review into the circumstances around a death of your friend or family member following domestic abuse.


Integrated Care Board (ICB), a statutory organisation bringing the NHS together locally to improve population health and establish shared strategic priorities within the NHS.

Intercollegiate documents

The intercollegiate documents provide a clear framework which identifies the safeguarding competencies required for all healthcare staff.

LeDeR - Learning Disability Mortality Review

The Learning Disability Mortality Review (LeDeR) programme was commissioned to improve the standard and quality of care for people with a learning disability.


A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf.

This gives you more control over what happens to you if you have an accident or an illness and cannot make your own decisions (you ‘lack mental capacity’).

There are 2 types of LPA:

  • health and welfare
  • property and financial affairs

You can choose to make one type or both.


The Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) will provide protection for people aged 16 and above who are or who need to be deprived of their liberty in order to enable their care or treatment and lack the mental capacity to consent to their arrangements.


Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub – Initial point of contact for reporting abuse or neglect about adult or for making a referral to adult social care.


The Mental Capacity Act 2005 is a law that protects vulnerable people over the age of 16 around decision-making.

Modern Slavery

Modern slavery is defined as the recruitment, movement, harbouring or receiving of children, women or men through the use of force, coercion, abuse of vulnerability, deception or other means for the purpose of exploitation.


The Nursing and Midwifery Council are an organisation which regulates nurses and midwives in the United Kingdom, and nursing associates in England.

Partnership Reviews

These are reviews following a safeguarding incident that does much meet the threshold for a Local Child Safeguarding Practice Review but learning has been identified.

Safer Recruitment

Safer recruitment is a set of practices to help make sure your staff and volunteers are suitable to work with children and young people.

Safeguarding Adults Reviews

A Safeguarding Adults Review (SAR) is a multi-agency review which seeks to determine what relevant agencies and individuals involved could have done differently, that could have prevented serious abuse or neglect or a death from taking place.

Safeguarding Concern

This is a worry about an adult who has, or who appears to have, care and support needs.  They may be experiencing or at risk and/or neglect and unable to protect themselves as a result of their care and support needs.

Safeguarding Champion

This is a named point of contact within the service who offers a good knowledge of safeguarding policy and procedures who help to ensure that procedures are followed.  They are also available to provide help and discussion.

Safeguarding Lead

Formal and mandatory role – should have adequate training and the skills and competencies to ensure safety and protection of residents in line with CQC guidance.

Section 42 enquiry

A section 42 enquiry relates to the duty of the Local Authority to make enquiries, or have others do so, if an adult may be at risk of abuse or neglect.

Serious Case Reviews - Child Safeguarding Practice Review (previously known as Serious Case Reviews)

A Child Safeguarding Practice Review (previously known as a Serious Case Review (SCR)) is undertaken when a child dies or the child has been seriously harmed and there is cause for concern as to the way organisations worked together.

Serious Incidents

Serious incidents are events in health care where the potential for learning is so great, or the consequences to patients, families and carers, staff or organisations are so significant, that they warrant using additional resources to mount a comprehensive response.

SSAB - Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board (SSAB)

The Board is a multiagency partnership that has representation from organisations that support adults who have care or support needs.

SSCP - Surrey Safeguarding Children Partnership (SSCP)

The SSCP brings together representatives from different organisations and it is the key statutory mechanism for agreeing how the relevant organisations in Surrey will cooperate to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. The SSCP ensures the effectiveness of what they do and provides strategic oversight.

Think Family

The term 'Think Family' means securing better outcomes for children, young people, adults and families by co-ordinating the support they receive from all services delivered by the NHS and partner agencies.

Whistle Blower

A whistleblower is a person, often an employee, who reveals or discloses information about activity within a private or public organisation that is deemed illegal or that identifies any wrong doing.