Safeguarding is a term used in the United Kingdom and Ireland to denote measures to protect the health, well being and human rights of individuals, which allow people especially children, young people and vulnerable adults to live free from abuse, harm and neglect.
The Care Act 2014 introduced new legislation regarding vulnerable adults. The Act sets out a legal framework for how local authorities and other organisations should react to suspicion of abuse or neglect.
Local authorities have safeguarding duties. They must:
1. Lead a multi-agency local adult safeguarding system that seeks to prevent abuse and neglect and stop it quickly when it happens.
2. Makes enquiries, or request others to make them, when they think an adult with care and support needs may be at risk of abuse or neglect and they find out what action may be needed.
3. Establish Safeguarding Adults Boards, including the local authority, NHS and police, which will develop, share and implement a joint safeguarding strategy.
4. Carry out Safeguarding Adults Reviews when someone with care and support needs dies and as a result of neglect or abuse and there is a concern that the local authority or its partners could have done more to protect them.
5. Arrange for an independent advocate to represent and support a person who is the subject of a safeguarding enquiry or review if required.