This chapter provides outline information for multi-agency practitioners as to what should happen if they have a concern about an adult outside of office hours.
1. Making a Safeguarding Referral to the Local Authority
When an adult is experiencing, or at risk of abuse or neglect but there is no immediate risk of harm, the practitioner should raise their concern with their organisation’s safeguarding adults lead officer or deputy, who should make a referral to the local authority safeguarding adults team the next working day.
If there is concern that immediate action is required or there is an urgent risk, a referral should be made to the local authority’s Out of Hours Team (adults). Where it is suspected a crime has been committed the police should also be contacted. The practitioner’s own agency safeguarding procedures must be followed including recording the situation, actions taken and response to the referral. See also Safeguarding Enquiries.
2. Taking Immediate Action to Protect an Adult
If a safeguarding referral is received by the Out of Hours Team, which indicates an adult is experiencing or at risk of abuse or neglect, and there is an immediate or urgent risk, the Out of Hours Team worker who receives the referral must take all steps necessary to protect the adult. This includes arranging emergency medical treatment, contacting the police and taking any other action to ensure the adult is safe. See Safeguarding Enquiries.
3. Case Recording and Handover
Whether or not any immediate action is necessary, the Out of Hours Team worker should record the facts concerning the alleged abuse or neglect on the adult’s electronic social care record. The worker should pass all necessary information to the relevant team in adult social care before the end of their shift. If the case is already allocated the out of hours worker will notify the allocated worker.
See also Record Keeping.