Making Safeguarding Personal

Independent Advocacy

Stage 1: Alert

Stage 3: Undertaking Enquiries


What Constitutes a Safeguarding Concern and how to Carry out an Enquiry (Local Government Association)

Using the Inherent Jurisdiction in relation to Adults (39 Essex Chambers) 

September 2023: Links have been added to What Constitutes a Safeguarding Concern and how to Carry out an Enquiry published by the Local Government Association and Using the Inherent Jurisdiction in relation to Adults published by 39 Essex Chambers, as above.

1. Introduction

On receipt of an alert the lead agency will make a decision regarding the most appropriate way to respond to the alert. The outcome of the decision may be:

  • that on the basis of the information provided, the alert meets the threshold to initiate a safeguarding adults enquiry and therefore the alert becomes a referral;
  • that it is more appropriate for the concern to be addressed through another process;
  • that further information is required in order to make this decision.

2. Definition of a Referral

See also Local Contacts for contact information for the Safeguarding Teams and the Emergency Duty Team.

An alert becomes a referral when the details reported are assessed by a manager within the Lead Agency as meeting the threshold to instigate a safeguarding adults enquiry. This should be done in consultation with other relevant organisations where appropriate.

3. Purpose of a Referral

The purpose of a referral is for the lead agency to initiate action under these safeguarding adults procedures.

4. Information Required when making a Referral

You may be asked for the following information when making a referral. You do not need to know everything below, but it would helpful to have your records to hand when making a referral.

Please keep your own record of the conversation and decisions made.

The consent of the alleged victim to refer, and any wishes or feelings they may have expressed regarding how they wish the process to proceed are very important. However If this information is not available or consent not obtained it must be made clear why this is the case.

4.1 Details of the adult

This includes:

  • name, address and telephone number;
  • date of birth, or age;
  • details of any other members of the household including children;
  • information about the primary care needs of the adult (for example, disability or illness);
  • funding authority, if relevant;
  • ethnic origin and religion;
  • gender (including transgender and sexuality);
  • communication needs due to sensory or other impairments (including dementia), including any interpreter or communication requirements;
  • whether the adult knows about the alert;
  • whether the adult has consented to the alert being made and, if not, on what grounds the decision was made to raise the alert;
  • what is known of the person’s mental capacity;
  • what are their views about the abuse or neglect;
  • what they want done about it (if that is known at this stage);
  • details of how to gain access to the person and who can be contacted if there are difficulties;
  • details of the GP;
  • any other agencies involved

4.2 Information about the abuse, neglect, self-neglect or harm

  • How and when did the concern come to light?
  • When did the alleged abuse or neglect occur?
  • Where did the alleged abuse or neglect take place?
  • What are the details of the alleged abuse or neglect?
  • What impact is this having on the adult?
  • What is the adult saying about the abuse or neglect?
  • Are there details of any witnesses?
  • Is there any potential risk to anyone visiting the adult to find out what is happening?
  • Is a child (under 18 years) at risk?
  • Are any other adults who may require safeguarding at risk?
  • Any immediate actions that have been taken.
  • Were emergency services contacted? If so, which?
  • What action was taken?
  • What is the crime number if a report has been made to the police?
  • Details of any immediate plan that has been put in place to protect the adult from further harm;
  • Have children’s services been informed if a child (under 18 years) is a risk?
  • Details of the person alleged to have caused the harm (if known):
    • Name, age and gender;
    • Address (if known);
    • What is their relationship to the adult?
    • Are they the adult’s main carer?
    • Are they living with the adult?
    • Are they a member of staff, paid carer or volunteer?
    • What is their role?
    • Are they employed through a personal budget?
    • Which organisation are they employed by?
    • Are there other people who may be at risk from the person causing the harm?

5. Roles and Responsibilities

The receiving lead agency will decide if the criteria for safeguarding have been met.

An alert to the relevant lead agency referral point will be taken from anyone who has a concern that an adult is at risk. When the concern meets the safeguarding adult’s threshold will trigger a referral into safeguarding adults procedures.

The lead agency will consider the referral under the criteria defined in the Care Act 2014:

It is known or suspected that an adult:

  • has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs);
  • is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect;
  • 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.

The lead agencies will also consider the referral against the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Thresholds guidance (see Thresholds).

If the receiving agency believes a crime has occurred this should be reported to Leicestershire Police via 101, or via the Leicestershire Police website where a written referral can be made. Once this has been reported, the lead agency will have a reference number and they can then contact the Adult Safeguarding Hub at Leicestershire Police at in order to request and organise a strategy discussion. As is usual in the Safeguarding Adults Process, the local authority, or designated agency (via the Oversight Process) will lead the Safeguarding Enquiry.

6. Timescales

A strategy discussion co-ordinated by the lead agency to consider immediate risk must take place within 24 hours of the decision that the alert meets the thresholds to proceed to a referral for a safeguarding enquiry. If a multi-agency strategy meeting is required this should take place within five working days of a decision to proceed for a safeguarding enquiry.