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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together

Safeguarding Adults and Children

Safeguarding Mission Statement 

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust is committed to embed safeguarding as an essential element of all care across the organisation. The welfare of our service users, their family and carers either directly or indirectly is paramount and all our staff have a responsibility to ensure that best practice is followed, including compliance with statutory requirements.

BSMHFT are committed to safeguarding patients, carers and their families, including children and young people. Everyone has a right to be protected from abuse and neglect and the Trust has a legal responsibility to help and support those who are affected by harm or abuse.

This section will tell you about the kind of abuse that might be happening to an adult or a child, what to do if you have a concern and what might happen once abuse has been reported.

What is Abuse?

Abuse is something that harms another person. It can happen anywhere. Children and adults are usually harmed by someone they know and trust which could be a parent, a family member, a partner, a neighbour, or a health and social care professional.


Adults with care and support needs

We know from research that having care and support needs can make adults much more vulnerable to abuse or harm.

Having a care and support need means that you are:

  • Elderly

  • Frail due to cognitive impairment

  • Have a learning or physical disability

  • A long term illness

  • A mental health condition

  • Using substances problematically


Legislation (the Care Act (2014) states that adult safeguarding is protecting any adult who:

  • Has a care and support need

  • Is experiencing or at risk of experiencing abuse and

  • Is unable to protect themselves because of their care and support needs.


There are several different types of abuse, including the following:

  • Discriminatory - harassment or insults or harm based on someone’s gender or race disability etc.

  • Domestic abuse -includes psychological, physical, sexual, financial or ‘honour-based’ abuse

  • Physical abuse - hitting, slapping, punching, unreasonable restraint, locking someone in a room

  • Psychological abuse - intimidation, bullying, taunting, humiliating, ignoring, controlling and coercing

  • Financial abuse - theft, fraud, coercing someone to do something against their will in relation to their financial affairs, ie property, wills, inheritance etc)

  • Neglect - ignoring medical, emotional, physical needs, failing to provide access to medical treatment; withholding necessities such as medication, food or drink

  • Organisational - neglect, poor care in an institutional setting. There could be a culture of bullying, lack of resources, lack of dignity and respect for service users

  • Self-neglect -involves a person neglecting to care for themselves, their hygiene or environment and behaviour such as hoarding

  • Modern slavery - includes deception and coercion into a life of slavery and domestic servitude; human trafficking and forced labour

  • Sexual abuse - includes rape; inappropriate touching, forcing someone to witness or take part in a sexual activity against their will


What can you do if you are worried you or someone else is being abused?

  • If you are being abused or you suspect that somebody you care about is suffering abuse, you should tell someone you trust as soon as you can.

  • In an emergency, you should call 999

  • To report a crime you should call the Police on 101

  • You can report the abuse of an adult with care and support needs to social services in Birmingham using the phone number or email: ACAP (Adults and Communities Access Point) telephone 0121 303 1234 (Monday - Friday  9am - 5 pm) or email ACAP@birmingham.gov.uk

  • Solihull tel  0121 704 8007 or visit the website www.solihull.gov.uk


Worried about a child?

If you are worried about a child or young person under the age of 18 years who is suffering harm because of neglect, sexual, physical or emotional abuse – you should tell someone you trust and report any emergencies or crimes to the police.

You can also contact Childrens’ Services in Birmingham - Childrens Advice and Support Service on 0121 303 1888 (Monday -Friday  9am - 5pm) or email cass@birmingham.gov.uk.

In Solihull, please contact 0121 788 4333

Out of Hours contacts:

Birmingham - 0121 675 4806

Solihull - 0121 605 6060


What will happen next?

Once you have reported your concern, services will look at the information you provide and listen to what you say. They will make a decision about the next steps to take and as far as possible, will involve you in that process.

They should talk to you/the person who has been abused and ask them what they want to see happen next.

Services may need to talk to other people who know the person affected and share information in order to effectively safeguard an adult or a child.

BSMHFT Safeguarding Team

BSMHFT has a designated Safeguarding Team and you can contact them on 0121 301 1100 (Monday - Friday 9-4 pm) for general advice and information about safeguarding children and adults.

Don’t forget, if you don’t say anything about abuse, who will? Everyone has a right to a life free from abuse and neglect.