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Safeguarding vulnerable adults

Abuse occurs when a vulnerable adult is mistreated, neglected or harmed by another person who holds a position of trust. Everyone has a right to feel safe, and to live without fear of abuse, neglect or exploitation.

The abuse of vulnerable adults can take many forms. It can happen anywhere, including nursing and care homes, day services, hospitals, people's own homes or public places.

On this page

What you can do

  • If it is a medical emergency, call 999
  • Don't ignore it
  • Talk to the person you feel is being abused
  • Listen and make a note of times and details
  • Report it by calling Merton's Safeguarding Adults hotline on 0845 618 9762 open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Or by emailing

Types of abuse

Physical abuse

  • Hurting or injuring someone
  • Administering medication wrongly
  • Authorising changes to a person's life without their consent

Sexual abuse

  • Rape, sexual assault and pressurising someone into sexual acts they don't understand or feel powerless to refuse

Psychological abuse

  • Verbal abuse, including insults, threats, harassment and intimidation
  • Blaming, controlling or embarrassing
  • Isolating, taking away privacy or threatening to abandon

Financial abuse

  • Theft, fraud and misuse of property, possessions or benefits


  • Withholding food, drink and adequate heating
  • Failing to provide access to health, social and education services

Discriminatory abuse

  • Slurs, harassment and maltreatment because of someone's race, impairment or illness

Institutional abuse

  • Neglect and poor standards of care in hospitals, day centres and care homes

Helplines if you need to talk to someone

Action on Elder Abuse 0808 808 8141

Voice UK 0870 0133965

Further Information        

Safeguarding Adults Training

Care Quality Commission (CQC)

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

Information Sharing

Home Fire Safety

Useful contacts

Victim Support Website
020 7268 0210

Elder Abuse website
0808 808 8141

Rape Crisis website
08451 221 331

MASCOT telecare website
020 8274 5940 (24 hours)

MENCAP website
0808 808 1111

Merton MIND website
020 8648 6565

Merton CCG website
020 3668 1221

Care Quality Commission
This organisation investigates (in conjunction with Social Services and/or Health) incidents of alleged abuse within residential and nursing homes, home care agencies and nurse agencies
Telephone: 03000 616161

Carers Support Merton website
020 8646 7515

Help the Aged

Ann Craft Trust (ACT)
Acting against the abuse of vulnerable adults and disabled children

See also

This page was last updated on Tuesday 31 March 2015