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Centre4, 17a Wootton Road, Grimsby,
North East Lincolnshire,
DN33 1HE
Tel: 01472 236680

Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Policy and Procedures


The CPO policy adheres to the multi-agency policy, procedures and practice guidelines for the protection of vulnerable people in North East Lincolnshire.


CPO concurs with the definitions outlined in the aforementioned policy for “Who is a vulnerable adult”; “What is abuse”; “Who abuses”.


CPO staff and volunteers will follow the guidelines set out in the aforementioned policy for alerting appropriately where there is concern about possible abuse.


The Managing Director will ensure that copies of the policy, procedures and practice guidelines and information leaflets are kept in the office and are accessible to staff and volunteers. 


The Managing Director has responsibility for ensuring that all staff and volunteers are made aware of the policy, procedures and practice guidelines for the protection of vulnerable adults and know where copies are held within the office.


Safeguarding officer

Fiona Wilkinson

Safeguarding Officer and Operations Manager



17a Wootton Road


DN33 1HE

Telephone: 01472 236680



This policy sets out procedural guidance to ensure that CPO Ltd is effective in making suitable arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of vulnerable adults, and to give staff direct guidance on their responsibilities regarding Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults. The policy should also be read in conjunction with Safeguarding Children Policy and any other relevant documentation.



This policy is applicable to all staff members who work for CPO Ltd here on in are referred to as The Organisation. The policy is to support staff to deal with vulnerable adults age 18 years and over. Anyone under the age of 18 will be supported via the Child Protection Policy.


Roles and responsibilities



Staff training and continuing professional development:

The Organisation will enable staff to participate in training on safeguarding and promoting the safety and welfare of vulnerable adults provided on Organisational induction and by the Adult Protection Unit. The training will be mandatory to all staff members


Supervision and support:

The Organisation recognises the importance of providing supervision and support to staff who work directly with vulnerable adults and as such will facilitate the delivery of appropriate support and supervision where necessary.


Safe recruitment and vetting procedures:

The Organisation will have in place robust recruitment and vetting procedures for all staff, (including agency staff, students and volunteers), working with vulnerable adults or who handle information about vulnerable adults, in line with national and local guidance. This will include thorough checks being carried out as part of the recruitment process, gaps in employment history will be checked and accounted for, qualifications checked, with references always being taken up; where a criminal record review is mandatory on employment these will be undertaken routinely at the appropriate level. The organisation will uphold its obligations under law and national collective agreements to not discriminate against applicants for employment on the grounds of age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or creed. This document provides a good practice framework to comply with the principles set down in the organisations Equality Policy.


Effective interagency working:

Effective inter-agency working involves agencies and staff working together to safeguard and promote the welfare of vulnerable adults in accordance with local and national guidance. To this end 


The Organisation will:-

  • Work with local authorities to commission and provide coordinated and, wherever possible integrated services;

  • Ensure that it has in place easily accessible policies, procedures and guidance in place for safeguarding of vulnerable adults


Robust complaints procedures:

The Organisation has in place robust complaints and whistle blowing procedures which are extended to all commissioned services. The Organisation guarantees that staff and service users using these procedures appropriately will not prejudice their own position and prospects.


Managing Director

  • To ensure adequate resources are made available for the effective implementation of the policy.

  • Ensure that the organisation not only takes into account its clinical responsibility for safeguarding but that it exercises a public health responsibility in ensuring the health and wellbeing of vulnerable adults.

  • Ensure that safeguarding and promoting the welfare of vulnerable adults is identified as a key priority area in all strategic planning processes.

  • Ensure the organisation has developed local strategic objectives, priorities and targets for safeguarding vulnerable adults that complement those set nationally.

  • Ensure the organisation co-operates with the Local Authorities in the operation and shares responsibility for the effective discharge of its functions in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of vulnerable adults.

  • Ensure there is an open culture between local agencies and good direct communication between senior managers so that they accept and address concerns brought to their attention.

  • Ensure, in partnership with the Director of Finance, that the Safeguarding Adults function is adequately resourced within the organisation

  • Ensure that their staff access safeguarding training and supervision and support relevant to their role and responsibilities;


Operational Manager

  • Ensure that annual service/team plans/contracts include reference to their contribution to safeguarding

  • Ensure that the services are provided in a way that ensures a safe environment for vulnerable adults and minimises any risks; this includes the need to investigate clinical incidents and inform the members of the Board of any incidents 

  • Ensure their staff members in contact with vulnerable adults are familiar with and implement local safeguarding policies, procedures and guidance.

  • Ensure their staff members are clear about their professional roles and responsibilities in relation to safeguarding vulnerable adults.

  • Ensure their staff make comprehensive and accurate records for each adult where significant harm is suspected 

  • Ensure their staff members work effectively with professionals from other relevant organisations to safeguard vulnerable adults.

  • Ensure their staff working with vulnerable adults have a consistent understanding of the thresholds for intervention, including the requirement to share information appropriately.

  • Undertake regular audit of safeguarding practices.

  • Ensure safeguarding responsibilities are identified in appraisal and Personal Development Plans.

  • Ensure that staff members involved in safeguarding adults are adequately supported through supervision or referral to specific support areas where necessary.

  • Ensure that all new starters are given a full local induction including any relevant information about Safeguarding Adults

  • Offer and co-ordinate support for all staff involved in an investigation


Individual Staff Members

  • Be aware of Organisation, Adult Protection unit and multiagency policies procedures and guidance for safeguarding adults and the importance of listening to vulnerable adults, particularly when they are expressing concerns about either their own or other people’s welfare. Take part in training, including attending regular updates so that they maintain their skills and are familiar with procedures aimed at safeguarding and promoting the welfare of vulnerable adults, 



  • Ensure staff receive a full local induction on commencement with the organisation

  • All front line staff working with vulnerable adults should access regular supervision and support in line with local procedures outlined below.

  • All staff working with vulnerable adults should maintain accurate comprehensive and legible records.

  • All staff should know how to act on concerns that a vulnerable adult may be at risk of significant harm through abuse or neglect in line with local guidance.

  • All staff should know who to contact to discuss or to report any concerns about a vulnerable adult’s welfare.

  • All staff in contact with vulnerable adults understand what to do and the most effective ways of sharing information in line with local and government guidance if they believe that a vulnerable adult may require additional services or are considered to be suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm.

  • All staff members, as part of their work with vulnerable adults ensure that the needs of the adults are considered and that where necessary they are assessed and appropriate referrals made.

  • To make available to adult protection conferences relevant information about the adult in line with local procedures.

  • All staff have a duty to report any adult protection issues through the relevant channels

  • Providing knowledge and information to the organisation regarding individuals involved in adult protection

  • Reporting to the organisations safeguarding officer the numbers of cases on a monthly basis

  • Liaising with all organisations involved 


The Adult Safeguarding Officer

  • Providing knowledge and information to the organisation regarding individuals involved in adult protection

  • Reporting to the organisations numbers of cases and progress of current cases on a monthly basis

  • Leading on all investigations.

  • Liaising with all organisations involved e.g. Police, Benefits office and Social Care inclusion.




Vulnerable Adult

A vulnerable adult is a person aged 18 years or over and who may need community care services by reason of mental or other disabilities, age or illness and who may be unable to take care of him or herself or unable to protect him or herself from significant harm or exploitation.



Abuse is behaviour towards a person that either deliberately or unknowingly, causes him or her harm or endangers their life or their human or civil rights. Abuse includes physical, sexual, psychological, financial, discriminatory abuse and acts of neglect and omission. An individual, a group or an organisation may perpetrate abuse. It includes domestic violence and institutional abuse. Abuse can be passive or active;

It can be an isolated incident or repeated. It may occur as a result of a failure to undertake action or appropriate care tasks.


The Mental Capacity Act MCA 2005

Provides the primary framework to support and provide safeguards to people who may or do lack mental capacity regarding specific decisions Mental capacity is the ability to make a decision and is decision and time specific. For a person to be deemed as lacking capacity for a particular decision they must 1) have ‘an impairment of or disturbance in the functioning of their mind or brain’ and 2) ‘that impairment or disturbance must make the person unable to make the particular decision’


Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) 

Are there to prevent arbitrary decisions that deprive vulnerable people of lack mental capacity of their liberty, by giving them rights of appeal, representatives and for authorised deprivation to be monitored and reviewed.



Training requirements for each staff member is identified within the Statutory and Mandatory Training Policy. Staff must attend training, in line with the organisational training policy and training needs analysis.


Reporting of Safeguarding adults incidents

All staff members have a responsibility to report any safeguarding adults suspicions through the appropriate route. These should be reported via the organisations incident reporting safeguard system.  


Procedure for the Management of Suspected Abuse of Vulnerable Adults

The aim of this procedure is to provide guidance for any member of staff who suspects abuse of a person who is vulnerable, whether the alleged perpetrator is a member of staff or the public.


Examples of Forms of Abuse

  • Physical - for example hitting, slapping, burning, pushing, restraining, or giving too much medication or the wrong medication.

  • Psychological- for example shouting, swearing, frightening, blaming, ignoring a person, humiliating a person or taking advantage by inappropriate use of power.

  • Financial - for example, the illegal or unauthorised use of someone's property, money, pension book or other valuables. Controlling a victim's ability to acquire, use, and maintain financial resources.

  • Sexual - for example forcing a patient to take part in any sexual activity without their consent - this includes inappropriate touching.

  • Neglect - for example, where a person is deprived of food, heat, clothing, comfort, stimulation or social contact or essential medication and attention.


A vulnerable adult may also experience abuse that is racist, religious or cultural in nature.


Who abuses?


The person responsible for abuse is often well known to the person being abused. They may be: 

  • A relative, friend or neighbour; 

  • A paid or volunteer carer; 

  • A health, social care or other worker; 

  • Another resident or service user; or 

  • An occasional visitor or service provider. 

Your prime responsibilities are to call the emergency services, if necessary, and to report any concerns to your line manager.


The seriousness or extent of the abuse is not always clear and therefore the following factors need to be considered when considering the appropriateness of intervention:


  • The vulnerability of the individual

  • The nature and extent of the abuse

  • The length of time it has been occurring

  • The impact on the individual

  • The risk of repeated or increasingly serious acts involving this or other vulnerable adults.



The following action must be taken by all staff and volunteers, who are concerned about possible abuse: 

  • Reassure the victim that family do not have to be informed of the allegations if that is their wish 

  • Obtain medical treatment and contact emergency services if this is needed. 

  • Listen carefully if a vulnerable adult discloses abuse to ensure that they are heard and not discouraged from reporting abuse. 

  • Clarify the bare facts of the reported abuse or grounds for suspicion of abuse. Avoid going into detail about the abuse with the victim and do not speak with the perpetrator about what has happened. 

  • Explain that you must inform your line manager. See how the victim of abuse feels about involving others such as the Police and the Community Care Directorate. 

  • Report concerns to your line manager as soon as possible. 

  • Make an accurate record of the allegations or grounds for suspecting abuse.

Raising a concern


Raising a concern/suspicion of abuse when the alleged perpetrator is a carer, relative or friend of the participant.

  • Any concern relating to a participant must be raised with the Safeguarding officer and reported as an incident via the Incident Reporting Safeguard system


Immediate Investigation of Concerns (within 24 hours)

Fact finding will be undertaken by the Safeguarding Officer, manager and staff member involved, the information that should be collated should include the following

  • Nature of abuse/details of incident

  • Has the person got capacity – note mental capacity is decision and time specific, so more than one capacity test may need to be carried out 

  • Gather any previous reports of information/ changes in the individuals behaviour

  • Agree a process for what will happen and document e.g., will you just be monitoring the situation or will a formal investigation need to take place. A decision must then be made on how to proceed.


Where it is believed that as any incident has occurred the following people should be contacted:-

First contact for all staff is the organisations safeguarding officer – Fiona Wilkinson – CPO Ltd, Centre4, Wootton Road, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, DN33 1HE

Tel 01472 236680


Other organisations - 

Grimsby Police Station, Victoria Street, Town Centre, Grimsby DN31 1PE
01472 359171 

Social Care and Inclusion –

 North East Lincolnshire Council, Municipal Offices, Town Hall Square, Grimsby, DN31 1HU, 

(01472) 313131 

North Lincolnshire Council, Brumby Resource Centre, East Common Lane, Scunthorpe, South Humberside
01724 297 979


  • As vulnerable adults may lack capacity in line with the Mental Capacity Act 2005 staff must contact the safeguarding officer to ensure that capacity is properly assessed for each decision/area of concern and that decisions are made in the best interests of any adult who is assessed as lacking capacity, using the two-stage test (MCA 2005). These decisions should follow the principles of best interest or least restrictive alternatives

  • Following the initial investigation, whether the allegation is substantiated or not, arrangements will be made by the safeguarding officer to inform the person and their next of Kin (if agreed by the person) of the allegation, the investigation and any actions undertaken by the investigating team. This will be undertaken with due regard for the need to ensure staff confidentiality in accordance with the Data Protection Act. A senior member of management external to the investigation should also be present. 

  • Whilst a criminal investigation is being undertaken any internal investigation should not proceed without legal advice being sought from the Police team investigating the incident and the Organisations Solicitors.

  • If The Adult protection Unit thinks it is appropriate to implement the Multi Agency Policy and procedures, Organisational investigative procedures must be implemented in partnership with these guidelines.

  • Access will be given to any information or statements collected during the initial investigation in line with the Data Protection Act

  • Where an APU investigation is undertaken an internal investigation will also be conducted as outlined in the Organisational Disciplinary procedure, to ensure that investigations of allegations against staff are conducted in a fair and consistent manner.

  • Following completion of an investigation a designated manager will undertake a root cause analysis and complete an action plan. This will be followed up in line with the Incident/Hazard Reporting Policy to ensure that any recommended changes in practice or procedure are shared throughout the Organisation.

  • Due care and attention must be given to the disclosure of information relating to staff in line with the Data Protection Act. Relevant information may need to be shared with other agencies, however staff information must not be shared with the abused or their relatives.



  • A monthly report detailing incidents reported within the organisation will be provided to the safeguarding officer.

  • The safeguarding officer will provide a progress report monthly for Safeguarding incidents currently open to them.

  • Monitoring will also take place through the incident reporting procedure and training will be monitored through learning and development.

  • Staff will also be monitored via individual supervision in order to ensure appropriate support is given.

  • Dissemination of the policy will be via the Safeguard system.


Lone Actors


‘Lone actors’ are those presenting a risk of carrying out ideologically-driven acts of violence, alone or in pairs (referred to as a Dyad). Independently of a network-based conspiracy.

Attacks have increased significantly in recent years; reflecting a trend towards low-complexity terror attacks.

The threat from potential ‘lone actor’ attacks is a priority nationally for the Counter Terrorism Policing teams.


Behaviours when considered together, may indicate that an individual is a ‘potential lone actor’ and is moving towards taking violent action. Research on previous Lone Actor attacks identifies behaviours and indicators that, when considered together, may suggest an individual is moving towards taking violent action:


  • Having various motivations/grievances; sometimes with no clear ideology. Individuals without ideology or motive may still be capable of constructing or acquiring items which cause harm.

  • Latching on to multiple ideologies, blending them with personal grievances.

  • Personal problems sometimes lead to a susceptibility to ideological influences, and vice versa.

  • Poor mental health features in some cases.

  • Self-radicalising online.


‘Lone actors’ act alone, but are they really alone? They are part of society, with neighbours, colleagues, case workers, family members and even friends.

Often less secretive than expected, and generally someone will know of their intentions, beliefs grievances or extremist ideology due to “leakage”.

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Not all lone actors will necessarily display all of the above behaviour categories as they are interchangeable, and can follow any order. This is not exhaustive.

Selective Timeline: UK based ‘Lone Actors’

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Conducted an impulsive and brutal knife attack on members of the public at Victoria Station in Manchester. He was detained under the Mental Health Act.

If you have any information concerning potential ‘lone actors’, please contact Counter Terrorism Policing via the Action Counters Terrorism website:

Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Policy/Procedure
Version 7
Updated 4th February 2022

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