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
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