During the Covid-19 crisis, it is particularly important to safeguard adults at risk. They may be more vulnerable to abuse and neglect as others may seek to exploit disadvantages due to age, disability, mental or physical impairment or illness. We have to remember that everyone has the right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.
Who do we need to safeguard?
Safeguarding duties and responsibilities apply to adults aged 18 years and over who:
- have care and support needs
- are experiencing, or at risk of abuse or neglect and
- are unable to protect themselves because of their care and support needs
Types and indicators of abuse to look out for:
- Physical Abuse
- Domestic Violence Or Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Psychological Or Emotional Abuse
- Financial Or Material Abuse
- Modern Slavery
- Discriminatory Abuse
- Organisational Or Institutional Abuse
- Neglect Or Acts Of Omission
The greatest opportunity for abuse during the Covid-19 crisis is financial. With additional pressures on services, normal service reductions, fear and isolation, the window is open to those who may seek to exploit those who may be vulnerable.
There are already reports of a 400 per cent increase in fraud reporting in March relating to the Covid-19 crisis.
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute is warning the public not to open their doors to bogus healthcare workers claiming to be offering ‘home-testing’ for the Covid-19. The BBC has reported on:
- Online sales of sanitation equipment that is never delivered
- Links to a fake daily newsletter for covid-19 updates
- Fake insurance schemes and trading advice
- Fake government emails offering tax refunds.
If you think you are being abused or neglected
- Don’t worry about making a fuss – tell someone you trust as soon as possible
- Speak to friends or care workers who may have an understanding of the situation and be able to take steps quickly to improve the situation
- Talk to professionals such as your GP or social worker about your concerns, or ask to speak to your local council’s adult safeguarding team or co-ordinator. See your local Council website for contact details
- Call action on elder abuse on 0808 808 8141 for advice
- If you believe a crime is being, or has been, committed – talk to the police or ask someone you trust to do so on your behalf
What can you do to help?
Here is a checklist of things you can do:
- Talk to your family, friends or neighbours about the increased risk of abuse at this time.
- Be aware that any changes in behaviour or demeanour that could indicate abuse.
- Advise people to check with family, friends or paid support that offers of support, advice and help are legitimate.
- Warn people against responding to any text, email or phone call from an unidentified source. Explain that fraudsters will imitate official bodies such as the government or the NHS – and they do it very well!
- Advise people that they should never give their personal data, passwords or pin numbers to anyone. Official financial bodies and other organisations will never ask for them.
- If someone needs help during the lockdown with collecting food or prescriptions or information about local foodbanks, contact us at MTVH 0203 535 3535 or see your local Council website for details
Who to contact
- If someone is hurt or in immediate danger call 999.
- Call the free, confidential Action on Elder Abuse helpline on 0808 808 8141.
- To report a safeguarding concern you can also contact your local Adult Social Care Team
Contact at MTVH 0203 535 3535
- If you have any questions regarding your housing needs we can offer confidential advice and, if appropriate, a referral to partnering agencies. Information will not be shared with third parties without your consent unless we believe there is significant risk of harm to a child or vulnerable adult.