Suspected abuse of an adult at risk

What is abuse?
Abuse may consist of a single or series of repeated acts and may occur as a result of a failure to undertake action or appropriate care tasks.  In some cases abuse is clearly deliberate but sometimes it happens because somebody does not know how to act correctly or they do not have appropriate help and support.

What to do if you suspect abuse?
If you have concerns about the actions of an attorney acting under a registered Enduring Power of Attorney or Lasting Power of Attorney, or a Deputy appointed by the court of Protection, you should contact the Compliance Unit of the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) on their dedicated phone line for reporting concerns: 0115 934 2777. The OPG can investigate the actions of a Deputy or Attorney and can also refer concerns to other relevant agencies. When it makes a referral, the OPG will make sure that the relevant agency keeps it informed of the action it takes. The OPG can also make an application to the Court if it needs to take possible action against the attorney or deputy.

What to do if you are concerned about the care of people in nursing homes?

The recent Panorama documentary raised many concerns about the care of older people in nursing homes. The Office of the Public Guardian is aware that deputies or attorneys may be concerned about the welfare of someone whose affairs they manage who is living in a care home.

If you are concerned about the safety or well-being of someone living in a care home, you can contact the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England by going to the website.

or by telephoning the CQC National Customer Service Centre on 03000 616161 (Monday-Friday, 8.30am – 5.30pm excluding bank holidays).

In Wales you can contact the Care and Social Service Inspectorate by going to the website.

or by telephoning 0300 790 0126

Or you can report a concern about social care by contacting the social care department at the relevant local authority. For The Deanery care home this is Essex County Council and you can contact their confidential concern line on 0845 603 1212.

If you think a crime has been committed, ring the police. 

Further information

Safeguarding policy (PDF 0.23MB)
A framework for delivering the OPG’s role in safeguarding adults at risk.

Office of the Public Guardian


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