Adult Safeguarding

Introduction to Adult Safeguarding
Most adults in Northern Ireland live independent and secure lives, free from abuse or harm.  Unfortunately there are however some adults who, because of their situation or circumstances, may be unable to protect themselves from abuse, neglect or exploitation.  Health and Social Care agencies have a lead role to play in preventing, detecting and providing protection to Vulnerable Adults.

In 2010 the Northern Ireland Adult Safeguarding Partnership (NIASP) and the Local Adult Safeguarding Partnership (LASP) were established in each Trust area to give leadership and direction to the work of these agencies.

The NIASP is made up of members from the main statutory, voluntary and community organisations involved in adult safeguarding work across the region, including representation from service providers.

The Health and Social Care Board has approved a 5 year plan, developed by the NIASP to safeguard adults at risk in Northern Ireland.  The NIASP Strategic Plan 2013-18 provides a strategic approach to the prevention of abuse and safeguarding those adults at risk of harm.  It is based on local, national and international research; best practice guidance; the views of actual and potential service users; the views of NIASP member organisations and consultations with expert practitioners.

The NIASP is instrumental in determining the regional strategy for safeguarding vulnerable adults; developing and disseminating guidance and operational policies and procedures; monitors trends and outcomes and monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the new partnership arrangements.


Adult Safeguarding in the Western Trust
Health and social care services provided by the Western Trust play a key role in preventing, detecting and providing protection to vulnerable adults. With the support and assistance of other statutory agencies, independent and voluntary organisations they aim to ensure vulnerable adults receive the necessary protection, support and equitable access to the criminal justice system.Adult Safeguarding

The overall aim of adult safeguarding is to prevent the abuse of adults whose vulnerability heightens the risk of abuse.  A transparent, open, rights-based, interagency approach to adult safeguarding is promoted.

The information contained on these pages explains what abuse is, what can make a person vulnerable and who abuses. You can also read the easy read booklet Say “no” to abuse which explains about the different types of abuse and how to report them.


What should you do if you have a concern?
If you are the victim of abuse, or if you are worried about someone who you think may have experienced or is being abused, exploited or neglected, then it is really important to seek help.

You can either visit your nearest social services office or contact the Western Trust Adult Protection Gateway Service  or alternatively your local PSNI If you ever feel in immediate danger or think someone else may be in immediate danger, Dial 999


How do I access the service?
The Health and Social Care Teams operate an open referral system so anyone can make a direct referral. The following link will advise of contact numbers during normal working hours (9am – 5pm) that are most appropriate to your situation. (Referral Management Agency on 028 7186 4399)

The Adult Protection Gateway Team also accept referrals from any source including self-referrals.  Adults referred must be over 18 years and resident in the Western Trust area or have been in the Western Trust area when the abuse occurred. The adult should meet the definition of a vulnerable adult and there is a concern of potential harm which may be abusive.  Contact the team during office hours if you would like to make a referral.

Click here for the 'See something, say somthing' leaflet

Click here for the 'Adult Abuse - Are you worried about someone?'

Adult Protection Gateway Service -028 7161 1366  during office hours 9-5pm Monday – Friday.

Alternatively, if you would like more information or to discuss a concern contact the Western Trust Adult Safeguarding Team to speak with a Senior Practitioner in the team, they can advise you on the next steps to take and any necessary immediate action.

Adult Safeguarding Team - 028 8283 5980  during office hours 9-5pm Monday – Friday.

Out of hours (5pm – 9am, weekends and bank holidays)
Regional Emergency Social Work Service – telephone 028 9504 9999

Other useful contacts


More information on Adult Safeguarding and types of Abuse can be accessed by following the below links

What do we mean by abuse? 
Signs and Indicators of abuse 
Who is a ‘vulnerable adult’? 
Responding to Initial Disclosures of Adult Abuse 
What happens when you report an Adult Safeguarding concern?