Safeguarding Adults and Quality Improvement

Knowsley Council adopts a zero tolerance approach to the abuse and neglect of adults, and is committed to working with all relevant partners to prevent abuse and ensure that robust arrangements are in place to respond when concerns arise.

Central to this is a commitment to working with adults and their representatives to achieve the outcomes they want and to promote independence, choice, control, recovery, and wellbeing.

On this page you will find more information about:

Safeguarding adults

What does Safeguarding Adults mean?

Safeguarding adults means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect. It is about people and organisations working together to prevent or stop abuse and neglect.

Every adult has the right to be treated with dignity, have their choices respected and live a life free from fear.

Who may be at risk?

An adult at risk is someone aged 18 years or over who:

  • has, or appears to have, needs for care and support - possibly because of a physical or learning disability, a mental health problem, frailty, dependence on drugs or alcohol, or a chronic illness.
  • is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect.
  • is, or appears, unable to protect themselves from abuse and neglect because of their needs for care and support.

What do we mean by abuse?

Abuse is mistreatment that violates a person’s human and civil rights. Abuse can take many forms and all are distressing.

Abuse can be:

Physical abuse For example being hit, slapped, shaken, misuse of medication or inappropriate restraint.

Sexual abuse For example, sexual harassment, witnessing sexual acts, indecent exposure, sexual assault, sexual acts to which the adult has not consented or was pressured into consenting.

Psychological abuse For example, emotional abuse, threats of harm, humiliation, controlling behaviour, bullying, harassment, verbal abuse, cyber bullying, unreasonable withdrawal of support services.

Financial abuse For example, theft, misuse of money, property, possessions or benefits.

Organisational abuse For example, neglect and poor practice within a care service such as a hospital or a care home, or a service provided in a person’s home.

Discriminatory abuse For example, harassment or ill treatment because of race, gender, gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion.

Neglect and acts of omission For example, ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide or the withholding of support, such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating.

Domestic abuse For example, psychological, physical, sexual, financial abuse where abuse is carried out in a person’s own home by someone who is an intimate partner or family member. This includes ‘honour’ based violence.

Modern slavery For example, human trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude.

Self-neglect For example, an adult neglecting to care for their own personal hygiene, health or surroundings, including behaviour such as hoarding.

Where might abuse happen?

Abuse can happen anywhere, in a person’s own home, in a day service, care home or hospital or in the community.

Who abuses?

Anyone can carry out abuse or neglect - a paid care worker or other professional, a volunteer, a neighbour, friend or even a family member.

What should you do if you, or someone you know, is at risk of abuse or neglect?

If you suspect that somebody is being abused, please do not ignore it. You may be the only person who can stop it. Remember, if you think something is wrong, it probably is.

Information and practical advice will be provided to the person who is at risk of abuse, so that they can make an informed choice about any help they might need, or any action they may wish to take. If they are not able to make an informed choice, we will ensure that we speak to someone who can act on their behalf.

To report a concern about the possible abuse or neglect of an adult at risk, please complete the on-line referral form: Report a concern about an adult at risk


To report a concern about the possible abuse or neglect of a child, please complete the on-line referral form: Report a concern about a child


If you would like to speak to someone for advice about the possible abuse or neglect of an adult at risk, or a child, please call the Knowsley Multi-Agency Safeguarding Adults Hub (MASH) on 0151 443 2600. You can call this number between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. You can also call during evenings, weekends and public holidays if your concern is urgent and cannot wait until the next working day.

If an adult or child is in immediate danger, or you think a crime is being committed, please call 999 immediately.


Independent Advocacy

If a person would have substantial difficulty being involved in a safeguarding enquiry, and there is no other person to act on their behalf, the council would appoint an independent advocate. The advocate would be involved in the safeguarding assessment process and the care and support plan review.

Safeguarding Adults - Privacy Notice

This privacy notice will inform you how information will be used and shared when it is received through a Safeguarding Adults contact.

Merseyside Safeguarding Adults Board

The Merseyside Safeguarding Adults Board is a multi-agency, statutory partnership whose main objective is to ensure that local safeguarding arrangements and partners act to help and protect adults at risk of abuse and neglect across Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton and Wirral.

Quality Improvement

Knowsley Council’s Safeguarding & Quality Improvement Service is dedicated to ensuring that residents with care and support needs are provided with care and support that is dignified, compassionate and of the highest standard.

The service’s aim is to ensure that the care and support services paid for by the council, including children’s and adults’ care services are of a good quality that meets set requirements.

What does the Safeguarding Quality Improvement Service do?

The Safeguarding & Quality Improvement Service has a focus on improving the quality of care.  The service visits care providers to ensure that they comply with legal standards set out in law and best practice. Unannounced visits are made where concerns are expressed by a third party. The service may also be asked to look into concerns about standards of care following a safeguarding enquiry.

Challenging practice that falls short of the high standards we expect enables us to influence change, promote best practice and ensure continuous improvement.

Who tells the service about quality?

Quality is everyone’s business. Information from all sources, including those receiving care and support services, their relatives, carers and friends, health and social care professionals, staff employed in services, regulatory bodies and members of the public is welcome.

If you are concerned about the quality of care provided by a care service, please let us know by completing a Quality Concern form below.

If you are a provider or professional - report a quality concern

Telling the service about concerns regarding quality of care is not the same as making a complaint. If you wish to make a complaint, please refer to Knowsley Council’s complaints procedures.

Remember, if you have a concern that somebody is, or may be, at risk of abuse or neglect, please complete the on-line referral form above.

Sharing information

We will share information about standards achieved by care and support services so that people are able to make informed choices.

We also share information about quality of care with key partners such as the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the CQC and providers of services.


NHS Data Opt-Out Scheme

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has produced guidance for all organisations that handle health data.

This guidance says that the Council must give our service users the chance to opt-out of whether their sensitive health data is used for research purposes by the NHS.

If you wish to opt-out of having your sensitive data used for research, please visit the NHS Make Your Choice website and opt-out of this service.

If you have any questions about this, please contact a member of staff.