Bradford VTS Online Resources:

Clinical Knowledge

Safeguarding Adults



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Controlling vs Coercion

  • These two things underpin all domestic abuse and the grooming and exploitation of individuals
  • Controlling – isolate and regulate – makes a person subordinate or dependent – deprives them of the mean for independence
  • Coercive – act to hurt and intimidate, a continuing act or pattern of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation – or other abus that is used to harm, punish or frighten their victim

The Care Act 2014 - 6 things

  1. Accountability – we have a safeguarding statutory duty and responsibility
  2. Proportionality – proportional response to the risk  (eg severe crime à police ASAP)
  3. Empowerment – empowering the adult to make decisions
  4. Protection – protecting the person
  5. Prevention – to prevent it happening again
  6. Partnership – working together to resolve the problem

Capacity - The Mental Capacity Act 2005

Don’t automatically assume a person lacks capacity just because they have something like Learning Disabilities or a Stroke – no matter how big that disability looks like at first glance.  Don’t be pulled in by your first impressions.   They may well have capacity – in fact assume they have capacity rather than starting with the impression that they don’t.  Look at Stephen Hawking when he was alive. Even if he didn’t have that fancy computer software, he still would have capacity, but many of us would have mostly talked to to his carers rather than him (if we didn’t know him).

  • Capacity is always decision-specific
  • Capacity can and does fluctuate (for example, in dementia)
  • Can the person execute the specific decision made?


Try and talk to the patient when they are most likely to have capacity.  For example, for a patient with dementia –  a home visit rather than the unfamiliar surroundings of a surgery, daylight hours rather than night, and minimise the number of people present in the discussion (perhaps have one familiar face).

For capacity – patients have to satisfy 3 things

  1. RETAIN information
  2. WEIGH UP the decision for themselves (i.e. the pros and cons)
  3. COMMUNICATE their decision


  • Patients are allowed to make (what seems to us) – unwise decisions.
  • Remember the principle of The Least Restrictive Pathway.   For instance, if a patient  refuses hospital admission for their severe LRTI (despite  totally understanding the need and the pros and cons), that does not mean you are absolved of all responsibility.   In this case, the least restrictive pathway would be to give home antibiotics.

FAQ: Who needs to make the assessment for capacity?
It is the decision maker – i.e. the person who wants a capacity related decision making.


Try and use this model to determine where a patient is in terms of their consent.   


  • A LPA should be made when the patient has capacity to make an LPA.   It cannot be done retrospectively (i.e. when the patient is too far gone!).
  • Even if a patient has an LPA in place, that does NOT stop them from making decisions while they still have capacity.  


What to do when you have a concern


  • Immediate develop safety plan with the adult
  • Call 999 (if immediate response required)
  • Call Urgent Social Care/Emergency Duty Social Work Team (in Bradford: 01274 431010)
  • Do not disturb any potential evidence of a crime
  • Check your local safeguarding protocol - have you done everything?
  • Document in medical record
  • Discuss with GP Safeguarding Lead (in house and CCG leads)


  • Make safeguarding personal - what does your patient want to do?
  • Assess their mental capacity
  • Assess their ability to consent - any factors harming that?
  • Do they meet the criteria for an Adult at Risk?
  • Is this part of organisational abuse/neglect? Is there a 3rd party duty to protect?
  • Report the concern. (In Bradford 01274 431 077 office hours. 01274 435 400/431 010 out of hours.
  • Document in medical records.


  • Negotiate on going safeguarding planning with the adult & consider referral with consent, to Adult Social Care for an assessment of care and support needs if not Adult At Risk.
  • Ensure children involved are safe and/or referred to Children's Social Care
  • Communicate with relevant agencies & organise follow up with the adult
  • You are not required to investigate the abuse/neglect BUT if your concerns are not acted upon - seek further support and advice e.g. from CCG safeguarding lead.
  • Follow your Freedom to Speak Out policy
  • Never confront an alleged abuser or put yourself in danger.

PREVENT & Radicalisation

PREVENT is the governments counter-terrorism strategy to prevent people from being radicalised.  It’s often the vulnerable that become radicalised.   The vulnerable like the homeless, those with learning disabilities, people struggling financially, children and so on.   It is important to safeguard these vulnerable people from such activities.  PREVENT  is all about safeguarding.

The diagram on the bottom right shows how violent or extremists people manage to move vulnerable people from a non-criminal space to a criminal one.   We can be the ones that help strengthen the wall the attempts to break the blue arrow.    But remember – only report the concern to the police – never take it upon yourself to investigate or challenge the aggressors – consider your safety and that of your family.  

Modern Slavery

Modern slavery is global – 40+ million people are slaves.  And it’s not just foreign nationals – British people are affected too.  In fact, more modern slavery victims IN THE UK are BRITISH!    More British slaves at our doorstep than in any other country!    The perpetrators pick on the vulnerable and promise them things like a better life, money, belonging to a caring community and so on.  They then take their documents off them so they can’t leave.  And then come along the threats of what will happen to their families if they do.  Do you see how the cycle works?


  • Mental Health
  • Those with alcohol and drug related issues.
  • Homeless
  • People with Disabilities
  • Children (1 in 4 victims are children!)

Source: UN, National Referral Mechanism Stats, Hope for Justice

Which countries do the modern slaves in the UK originally come from?

Albania, Vietnam, UK (yes, you read correctly!), China & India
Keep an eye out!


  • Non-specific trauma, old injuries that have been untreated
  • Sexual trauma, STIs, pregnant/low late booking
  • Neglect, poor nutrition, poor dental hygiene
  • Stomach problems, back pain problems, TATT
  • Depression, anxiety, self-harm, withdrawn, submissive, looks distressed
  • Always accompanied, moves frequently/agitated, language barriers, isolated
  • No documentation, Not registered with GP, inconsistent info, always coming in for “emergencies”/on-call doc.
  • Socially – often goes missing,  lights on at their premises late, dropped off in the large group, lots of mattresses in the house when you do a home visit, people living in outbuilding/trailers



If you believe your patient to be a victim of modern slavery then explain the National Referral Mechanism and  gain consent.   For more details click here.



  • Office hours only (9am-5:30pm Mon-Fri): 0300 008 8000
  • Outside of office hours:
    Contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
  • [email protected]


101/Modern Slavery Helpline is 08000 121 700

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