What is safeguarding?

Safeguarding means protecting a person's right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.  It is a key part of providing high-quality health and social care. 

We have a duty to safeguard anyone in our care who may be abused, at risk of abuse or neglect or neglecting their own care. Those most in need of protection include:

  • children and young people
  • adults at risk, such as those receiving care in their own home, people with physical, sensory and mental impairments, and those with learning disabilities.

Our aim is to ensure that every child, young person and adult who uses our services is free from abuse or neglect.

In order to fulfil our safeguarding duty we work very closely with our partners in social care, the police and other agencies. This helps us to identify and minimise the risks to vulnerable children, young people and adults who may come to harm as a result of abuse and neglect.

Safeguarding Adults at risk

An adult is anyone over 18 years old. An adult at risk:

  • has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs) and;
  • is experiencing, or at risk of, abuse or neglect; and
  • as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of, or the experience of abuse or neglect

Abuse towards an adult can include physical, psychological, sexual, financial, organisational, discriminatory, neglect, self-neglect, modern slavery and domestic abuse.


Physical abuse involves physical harm being deliberately inflicted upon an adult. This can include physical punishments, not allowing someone to eat and causing someone to be isolated.


Psychological abuse can involve making someone feel humiliated, intimidating them, controlling what they are able to do and not allowing someone to make their own decisions.


Sexual abuse includes rape, sexual assault, sexual activity that someone does not want, making someone watch pornography and indecent exposure.


Financial abuse can include theft, fraud, exploitation and using someone’s belongings without their consent. It can also include putting pressure on a person to provide money or to include someone in their will when the person doesn’t want to. 


Organisational abuse involves a person’s wishes and needs being ignored by a service, for example not providing help with medication or personal care if needed or not responding to concerns or complaints appropriately. It can also include the service having insufficient staffing levels to meet patients’ needs and rigid regimes. 


Discriminatory abuse can involve harassment, denying someone a service or treating someone poorly because of a protected characteristic, such as race, age or sexual orientation.


Neglect is the failure to provide or allow someone to access resources that are important to their mental and physical well-being, such as food, heating and seeing loved ones. It can also include ignoring or isolating someone or providing care in a way the person dislikes.


Self-neglect occurs when a person stops taking care of themselves and this means their personal health and safety is at risk. This can include not washing, self-harming, not paying bills and not seeking help when they need it.

Modern slavery

Modern slavery involves prostitution, forced labour and making someone work to pay off debts that will never be paid off. 

As part of our alliance with Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust we are currently reviewing our Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement with a view to publishing a combined alliance statement for both organisations in Feb 2019. Please see the link below to the current SOMPAR MSA statement which is currently adopted and applied by TST through joint governance arrangements with SOMPARThe statements is available here.

For more informationon modern slavery please click here.

Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse occurs between people who are family members or who are in an intimate relationship and aged over 16. The abuse can include, but is not limited to: psychological / physical / sexual / financial / emotional.