Skip to main contentAccessibility Statement

Reporting a concern about an adult

Everyone has the right to feel safe and live their life free from abuse or neglect.

Please contact us if you are, or someone you know is:

  • experiencing abuse or neglect
  • at risk of being abused or neglected

or if you have witnessed an incident related to abuse or neglect that has concerned you.


In most cases the adult or their advocate should give consent to the concern form being completed.

There are exceptional circumstances when the adult may not be asked to give consent because asking them may increase the risk of abuse.

Abuse can take different forms.

These include:

  • physical abuse
  • domestic abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • psychological or emotional abuse
  • financial or material abuse
  • discriminatory abuse
  • organisational abuse
  • neglect or acts of omission
  • self-neglect
  • modern slavery

To find out more about recognising and reporting different types of abuse, visit the Northamptonshire Safeguarding Adults Board website.

There are many signs of abuse.

These include when someone:

  • shows changes in behaviour without reason
  • has an injury that is difficult to explain
  • seems frightened around certain people
  • appears unusually sad or withdrawn
  • does not have access to their own finances

The person who is carrying out the abuse is often known to the person and can be: 

  • a relative, friend, or neighbour 
  • a paid worker or volunteer, for example from a domiciliary agency or a worker in a care home 
  • a paid professional such as a health or social care worker 
  • another resident or person who uses care services

If you have a concern about a care organisation

If you have a concern around the quality of care of a care home, home-care agency or other adult social care service you can raise these concerns via the Care Quality Commission.

Report a concern

If you would like to report a concern, please complete our online form:

If the concern is urgent, contact our Customer Service Centre on 0300 126 7000.

You can read more about reporting a concern in our leaflet below:

Report a quality of care concern

If you want to report a quality of care concern relating to care you are receiving through us, please complete our online form:

A member of staff may contact you to listen to your concerns and gather more information. If you have raised the concern about another person, we will need to contact them to understand what they would like to happen.

Where the safeguarding duty applies, and an adult at risk, or their representative, gives consent a safeguarding enquiry will start.

If needed, the adult at risk can be supported by an advocate or a person who knows the adult well and is acting in their best interests. Find out more about independent advocacy.

The enquiry will seek to understand what happened and use this information to support the adult to put plans in place to reduce or remove the harm or abuse. 

If it is believed a potential crime has been committed, then the police will be informed.

A safeguarding enquiry should have a plan which details the scope of the investigation. 

We may need to talk to other agencies and professionals if there are concerns about more than one adult or there is a high level of risk, a safeguarding meeting may be held .

An enquiry can mean a range of options from an informal discussion to a more formal complex enquiry. The scope of the enquiry and the person carrying this out will depend on the nature of the concern and the local authority can ask others to do this on their behalf.

The safeguarding enquiry will find any risks and make recommendations to reduce these, where possible. 

The safeguarding enquiry will not make decisions about staff employment, where a staff member is the alleged source of risk as this is the responsibility of the employer. 

It will not make decisions about whether a crime has been committed or whether criminal prosecution is required, as this is the responsibility of the police. 

If you do not agree with the outcome of the enquiry you should speak with the person who completed it to see if the issue can be resolved in the first instance.

It may then be appropriate to ask to speak to their line manager. If you remain unhappy with the outcome, you can raise a complaint with West Northamptonshire Council.

Last updated 12 June 2024