Protecting Vulnerable Adults
Cheshire East Council, with the support of the Police, Fire
Service, Health Organisations, Housing, and the Voluntary and
Independent Organisations has launched a campaign to stop the abuse
of vulnerable adults. By drawing attention to this problem, we have
made it easier for concerned people to contact their local Social Care Team and report what they believe to
be abuse of vulnerable adults. Together we can protect vulnerable
adults, prevent and stop abuse from happening.
We also have information about Mental
Capacity including choices that are available which relate to
advanced decisions to refuse medical
treatment and lasting power of
A Vulnerable adult is any person aged 18 or over who is or may
be in need of community care services by reason of:
- Mental or other disability, age or illness and;
- Who is or may be unable to take care of him / herself; or
- Unable to protect him / herself from significant harm or
What is abuse or mistreatment?
Abuse or mistreatment:
- Can be a violation on individuals’ human or civil rights by
another person or persons;
- May consist of a single act or repeated acts;
- Can occur in any relationship or setting;
- May result in harm to, or serious exploitation of, the person
subjected to it;
- Physical, including hitting, slapping, punching, kicking,
misuse of medication, restraint, or inappropriate sanctions;
- Sexual, including rape and sexual assault or sexual acts to
which the person has not consented or was pressured into
- Psychological, including emotional abuse, threats, humiliation,
intimidation, verbal abuse;
- Financial or material, including theft, fraud, exploitation,
the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or
- Neglect, including ignoring medical or physical care needs, the
withholding of adequate food, heat, clothing and medication;
- Discriminatory, including racist, sexist, that are based on a
person’s disability, and other forms of similar treatment;
- Institutional abuse or mistreatment by a regime or by any
individual within any building where care is provided.
- Hate crime
Although the above list is fairly
comprehensive it is not exhaustive.
Who does it?
Sadly it can be anyone including ones
nearest and dearest. Research by Action on Elder
Abuse suggests that as many as one in eleven older people
in the UK are mistreated or neglected by those they trust the most.
Two thirds of these are abused by members of their own family. Care
staff, too, can be abusers. There are many examples of this,
including those where the abusers have deliberately chosen to work
in environments where there will be vulnerable people, such as
those with learning disabilities.
Any types of abuse may be carried out
as the result of deliberate actions, negligence or ignorance.
Where does it happen?
Abuse can happen anywhere – in a
person’s home, in the street, in a residential or nursing home, at
a day centre or resource centre, in a hospital or indeed any place
where vulnerable people might be.
What should I do if I suspect a
vulnerable adult is being abused?
If you feel that a vulnerable adult is
being abused then see our section on what
Information for workers
Information for the public