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Everyone has the right to live their life free from violence, fear and abuse

♦ All people have the right to be protected from harm and exploitation
♦ All people have the right to independence, which involves a degree of risk.

Safeguarding is an important issue for the Trust. Working on a multi-agency basis is an important aspect of protecting adults and children at risk (vulnerable).

The Care Act (2014) provides a clear legal framework for how health and partner agencies should protect people at risk of abuse or neglect.

The Care Act 2014 replaces No Secrets guidance (2000) and makes Safeguarding a statutory duty.

The Trust supports the benchmark set by the DoH (2011) to safeguard children and adults at risk of abuse.

These are:

  • Empowerment – supporting and encouraging people to make their own decisions with informed consent
  • Prevention – taking action before harm occurs
  • Proportionality – least intrusive response appropriate to the risk presented
  • Protection – supporting and representation for those in most need
  • Partnership – services working together with their communities
  • Accountability – Accountability and transparency in safeguarding processes


The Care Act (2014) Statutory Guidance states that these duties apply in relation to:

  • “any person who is aged 18 or over and at risk of abuse or neglect because of their needs for care and support”
  • “is, or is at risk of, being abused or neglected”
  • “unable to protect themselves against abuse or neglect or risk of it because of those needs”

The level of needs is not relevant, and the person does not need to have eligible needs for care and support, or be receiving any particular support, or be receiving any particular service from the local authority for the duties to apply.

An Person at Risk (vulnerable person) may be the subject of actual or potential abuse from a third party.

Abuse is categorised as:

  • Physical abuse – including being hit, hurt or held down
  • Sexual abuse – being involved in a sexual way that is not wanted or understood
  • Psychological abuse - – including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment
  • Financial / material abuse - – including theft, fraud, internet scamming
  • Modern slavery – encompasses slavery, human trafficking, and forced labour and domestic servitude. 
  • Discriminatory abuse – including forms of harassment, slurs or similar treatment; because of race, gender and gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion. 
  • Organisational abuse – including neglect and poor care practice within an institution or specific care setting such as a hospital or care home, for example, or in relation to care provided in one’s own home
  • Neglect and acts of omission – including ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, care and support or educational services, the withholding of the necessities of life, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating. 
  • Self-neglect – this covers a wide range of behaviour neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding.

Abuse may consist of a single act or repeated acts; an act of commission or omission - i.e. due to a specific action or behaviours causing harm or by neglect or omission leading to harm. It may also be by exploitation leading to harm.
Head of Safeguarding (Named Nurse for Children) – Alison O’Neill
Safeguarding Adults Named Nurse – Angela Hill
Safeguarding Midwife – Anne Smith

Contact us via email on or call us on 01752 439053.


Our Safeguarding Declaration

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Safeguarding Declaration

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust is committed to ensuring that all our patients are cared for in a safe and secure environment.  In line with the requirements of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) for all NHS trusts, the Trust has published it's Safeguarding Children Declaration. 

To view the declaration please click here.