What is safeguarding adults?


Safeguarding means protecting someone’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.

An adult at risk of abuse or neglect is someone who has care and support needs and is therefore unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of, abuse or neglect.

Adult abuse or neglect is not acceptable. If you or someone you know is at risk of being abused or neglected, or experiencing abuse or neglect, tell someone.

Don’t ignore it.

Don’t assume that someone else is doing something about the situation. Tell us about it so that we can help. 

How we help:

We aim to stop abuse or neglect wherever possible, prevent harm and reduce the risk of abuse or neglect to adults who need care and support.

To help us decide what to do, we'll always contact the adult at risk or experiencing abuse or neglect. What they want to happen is very important. We'll try to talk to them first, even if it is difficult for them to communicate what has happened.

If the person has substantial difficulty with being involved, then we may ask for an independent advocate to help them understand what is happening and to help them express their views.

The person telling us about the possible abuse or neglect can remain anonymous.

In Lambeth, the Quality and Safeguarding Adults’ Service offers information and advice. You can email them at: safeguardingadults@lambeth.gov.uk (this is not where to report concerns).


Safeguarding Adults during COVID-19 crisis

During the COVID-19 crisis, it is particularly important to safeguard adults with care and support needs. 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.

These groups may be targeted because of a number of factors. Generally speaking they may need assistance with some tasks, be less up to speed with technology, more welcoming of new contacts, more trusting and – for many older people – wealthier. There is evidence that social isolation increases the likelihood of abuse. Many older and disabled people spend long periods at home alone, and now as the whole nation is being asked to stay at home the same groups are more likely to be alone rather than in a family group

For more information and guidance, visit our information page.



What is abuse?

How to report a concern

report a concern

In an emergency you should always call the Police on 999. Alternatively if it is not an emergency you can call Police on 101.

If you think an adult is at risk of being neglected, abused or someone is neglecting or abusing you, please contact Lambeth’s Adult Social Care.

Do it online

Please use our Safeguarding Adults online form (quickest and most secure way to raise concerns).

Do it by phone

Tel: 020 7926 5555
(9am to 5pm. Monday to Friday)

Outside office hours (This includes public holidays)
Tel: 020 7926 5555


Report elsewhere

If you would prefer to contact someone other than Lambeth Council, there are charities that can offer advice and support:

You can also talk to other professionals, such as your GP or nurse, a police officer or your key worker. They will help you to report your concerns.

What happens after a concern is reported


After talking with the person at risk of, or experiencing abuse or neglect, we'll then make enquiries about the circumstances of the abuse or neglect.

We may talk to other people, such as family members, staff, GPs, friends and possibly the police. If the police tell us that a crime has been committed, then they may investigate what has happened.

We will support the adult at risk to help them decide what they want to happen and then concentrate on improving the situation for that person, and address what has caused the abuse or neglect.

If we think that you or anyone you have told us about is at immediate risk of harm we will act very quickly to protect you or the adult at risk of abuse or neglect.



To find out more about what happens after a concern is reported, check out our brief guide on what to expect.


What if you're not happy?


Central to Safeguarding Adults, is the person’s wishes. If you feel that the adult at risk is not being held at the centre of the enquiry or you are unhappy with the way the enquiry is being managed, you should in the first instance speak with the Safeguarding Adults Manager for the case.

If you would like to speak to someone else, or don’t know how to get hold of the Safeguarding Adults Manager, then please contact safeguardingadults@lambeth.gov.uk

If at any point of the Safeguarding Adults process, you would like to discuss your experience or give feedback, there is a local independent organisation called Healthwatch. They work to ensure that the adult safeguarding process is a positive experience for you.

They can also signpost you to other resources and support in the community dependent on your needs.

If you would like to talk to someone from Healthwatch Lambeth, please call: 0207 095 5762

Give us feedback


Lambeth Adult Social Care

If you would like to give us feedback on your experiences of the Safeguarding Adults process, please feel free to email: safeguardingadults@lambeth.gov.uk

Lambeth Healthwatch

If you would like to discuss your safeguarding experience or give feedback to a local independent organisation, you can call Healthwatch on: 0207 095 5762 or email: info@healthwatchlambeth.org.uk

Or you can complete their feedback form via the 'Speak Up' section of Lambeth Healthwatch's website.