Lewisham Safeguarding Adults Board

What is Safeguarding

Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19)

The impact of the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19), is being felt all over London. With such a wide variety of information sources available it’s important to receive and share accurate information, so that you can take the necessary steps to keep yourself, your family and those you care for safe.

This page will provide residents, carers and professionals with accurate information sources so that everyone in Lewisham can help themselves to keep safe and well.

The precautions and advice we should all be following are changing rapidly, ensure you keep up to date with what you need to do to protect yourself and others by reading the latest advice from the Government UK.

New! 02-04-2020 Government cracks down on spread of false coronavirus information online

The government are tackling a range of harmful narratives online - from purported ‘experts’ issuing dangerous misinformation to criminal fraudsters running phishing scams.

Specialist government units are operating to combat misinformation about coronavirus and five to ten incidents are being identified and tackled each day.

Find out more about fraud and scams related to coronavirus further down.

Government launches Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp

Whatsapp logo image

The Government has launched a GOV.UK Coronavirus Information service on WhatsApp. The new free to use service aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about corona virus (COVID-19), and will further reduce the burden on NHS services.

LSAB partners are working hard to maintain essential services in Lewisham.

Lewisham Council logo

Lewisham Council has a dedicated Coronavirus COVID – 19 webpage where you can find accurate, up to date advice and information including:

Lewisham Council – Newsletter – Latest advice

Sign up to receive a newsletter with the latest corona virus advice from Lewisham Council.

Find out how corona virus is affecting the delivery of public services nationally.

Health Advice

The NHS has dedicated, accurate and up to date health Corona Virus COVID-19 information available on their website.

If you think you or someone you care for may have the symptoms of Corona virus you can check their symptoms on the NHS Symptom Checker.

It is important that we all follow the advice from the Government and the NHS and do not attend your GP surgery or A&E if you have the symptoms of Corona virus but follow the advice on their websites.

GP video consultations for Lewisham residents

Ask NHS App image

Residents who are unwell whilst isolating due to the Corona Virus and are worried about having to leave the house to see their GP, the ASK NHS app now has a Video Consultation function to allow patients to see their own Lewisham GP from home using their Smartphone.

Ask NHS doesn't replace your GP but instead complements them and is supported by all Lewisham GP’s.

Over 32,000 Lewisham residents are already signed up and using it to book GP appointments and manage their health well-being.

The App is free to download/use and is available for both Apple and Android (search for ‘Ask NHS’).

Public Health England has produced an easy read guide on what corona virus is, how you can protect yourself and what to do if you become ill.


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice and Guidance for Professionals and Adult Social Care Providers

Providers of health and social care working in the Community can find the latest advice for councils and care providers from SCIE as the government works to delay the spread of COVID-19.

New! 02-04-20 CQC Issue COVID-19: interim guidance on DBS and other recruitment checks

CQC has issued interim guidance on DBS and other recruitment checks, for providers recruiting staff and volunteers to health and social care services in response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

CQC has issued this interim guidance in response to temporary changes being made by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to DBS applications and processes. It will be in operation for the period the Coronavirus Act 2020 remains in force.

COVID-19: Guidance for Health Professionals

Information on COVID-19, including guidance on the assessment and management of suspected UK cases.

COVID-19: Guidance on Social Distancing and for Vulnerable People

Guidance has been published by the government on social distancing for everyone in the UK, including children, and protecting older people and vulnerable people.

COVID-19: guidance for residential care, supported living and home care

Residential care, supported living and home care in the event of a coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

New! 02-04-2020 Helping to prevent infection in care homes - A quick guide for managers & staff

Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) has a useful guide for Managers and staff in care homes that can help during the coronavirus outbreak. The guide acts as a reminder of the most important methods of preventing infection such as:

  • Hand decontamination
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Sharps
  • Waste disposal
  • Education and information

New! 03-04-2020 Coronavirus (COVID-19): admission and care of people in care homes

Guidance on How to protect care home residents and staff during the coronavirus outbreak.

Q&A Coronavirus (COVID-19): Questions and answers for social care

Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and Department of Health & Social Care asked for your questions on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting care services.

Questions from social care professionals with answers from the Minister of State for Social Care, the Social Care Institute for Excellence and NHS England.

Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 -24-03-2020

“How do these measures differ from the social distancing guidance for vulnerable people issued?”

The guidance is for people, including children, who are at very high risk of severe illness from corona virus (COVID-19) because of an underlying health condition, and for their family, friends and carers. It is intended for use in situations where the extremely vulnerable person is living in their own home, with or without additional support. This includes the extremely clinically vulnerable people living in long-term care facilities, either for the elderly or persons with special needs.

People who are identified as at very high risk will be written to by the NHS. Everyone who receives a letter are strongly advised to stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks from the day they receive their letter (this is called “Shielding”).

New! 02-04-2020 Lewisham Council - Shielding the most vulnerable

Information about shielding, a measure to protect the extremely vulnerable residents of Lewisham.

Coronavirus Act 2020 – Temporary easing of legislative and regulatory requirements

Professionals should be aware that the Coronavirus Act 2020 (enacted 25 March 2020) has introduced temporary legislative and regulatory easing.

The easing includes:

  • NHS Continuing Health Care assessments

This provision allows NHS providers to delay undertaking the assessment process for NHS continuing health care (NHS CHC) until after the corona virus outbreak has ended.

  • Temporary amendments to the Mental Health Act 1983

Allowing a single approved practitioner or single registered medical practitioner to undertake certain functions, and extension of time limits relating to detention and transfer of patients.

  • NHS and local authority care and support

Covers three provisions:

  1. Provision that in a corona virus outbreak a Local Authority (LA) may lawfully prioritise who and what type of needs it will meet, rather than being required to meet all eligible assessed needs as specified under the Care Act 2014.
  2. Provision that in a corona virus outbreak LA's may lawfully determine whether and the extent to which it will carry out assessments of individuals’ needs or review care plans, or carry out financial assessments, rather than being required to carry these out in all cases required by the Care Act 2014 as at present.
  3. Provision for the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to direct LA's in relation to the prioritisation of services to meet care and support needs in accordance with guidance issued by the Department of Health and Social Care.

New! 02-04-2020 Care Act easements: guidance for local authorities

This guidance sets out how Local Authorities can use the new Care Act easements, created under the Coronavirus Act 2020, to ensure the best possible care for people in our society during this exceptional period.

COVID-19: Information Governance and Information Sharing Guidance

During the outbreak of COVID-19 carers, social care professionals and clinicians need to be able to talk to each other and to the people they care for.

Under the Health and Social Care (Safety and Quality) Act 2015 it is legal to share information to support a person’s care.

New! 02-04-2020 Government notification of data controllers to share information to support efforts against coronavirus

Notification of data controllers in healthcare organisations, GPs, local authorities and arm’s length bodies that they should share information to support efforts against coronavirus (COVID-19).

Social Distancing and Self-Isolation – Increased Risk

We know that social isolation is an increasing risk factor in relation to abuse and neglect. In particular, we know that incidences of domestic abuse, self-neglect and carer stress will increase with social isolation. With more people being asked to self-isolate as a result Covid-19 this needs to be a key consideration. Social isolation can mean:

  • Abuse/neglect is hidden from professionals or others;
  • People do not get the support they need;
  • People feel like they do not want to ask for help for fear of being an added burden;
  • Increased household stress and tension;
  • People ask for help from people who might want to take advantage of their vulnerable position.

Services in Lewisham that continue to offer help, advice and support

If you are worried about a loved one, or about self-isolating with a perpetrator, please call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or contact the Helpline via Refuge’s contact form at www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk.

The Athena service, run by Refuge, provides confidential, non-judgmental support to those living in Lewisham who are experiencing gender-based violence.

Telephone 0800 112 4052 Email lewishamvawg@refuge.org.uk Website Athena Service

The Lewisham Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector

Lewisham Local, Voluntary Services Lewisham and Age UK Lewisham & Southwark are all working with Lewisham Council and all local partners in the community to co-ordinate a response to help the most vulnerable in our community. Please note: the agencies listed above have suspended most if not all of their normal services to co-ordinate efforts and respond to Covid-19.

The community response will focus on:

  • The provision of accurate, up to date information
  • The delivery of food and wider supplies to vulnerable individuals
  • Befriending and social isolation support, using phone and IT techniques wherever possible
  • Support to those who are looking to volunteer or assist directly in their local area
  • Providing toolkits for community action to ensure that people are safe as they support each other

People in need of support or other professionals wanting to find out more or connect up efforts can go to Lewisham Local website.

Safeguarding Adults at Risk through the Corona virus Epidemic: What do Volunteers Need to Know to Keep Themselves and Others Safe?

With the outbreak of corona virus, community groups and volunteers are increasingly crucial in supporting individuals at risk. 

With that in mind, if you are volunteering within your local community, or you are hiring volunteers, it is important that you safeguard yourself and others from harm and abuse.

The Anna Craft Trust has published information to help.

If you would like to report a safeguarding concern please contact Lewisham Council

Safeguarding Factsheet: Community volunteers during COVID-19 outbreak

The Government has published a factsheet which is designed to address specific concerns that people involved in supporting their community may have at this time.

Lewisham Carers Information, Advice and Support (IAS) Service 0203 886 0970 continues to operate (remotely).

Neighbourhood Carer Support Officers continue to be available between 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday to support carers in Lewisham.

Carers Lewisham continue to accept referrals for unpaid carers that support someone aged 18 or over living within the borough of Lewisham and will be able to provide support via telephone or email.

Carers Lewisham at Waldram Place will be closed from Wednesday 18th March until further notice.

Scams and Fraud

Reports of scams related to the Corona virus have been increasing. Examples of the types of fraud include phishing emails such as this one about Free School Meals.

Others have mainly involved internet shopping for hand sanitizer, face masks etc. where deliveries have not materialised.

image of Little book of phone scams - metropolitan police service

Metropolitan Police Service has produced a helpful guide to telephone scams. The information in the Little Booklet of Phone Scams includes examples of the most common types of telephone scams, tips on how to protect yourself and how to report scams.

Keep up to date with the latest advice on personal fraud from Metropolitan Police Service.

Keep up to date with the latest scams relating to the Coronavirus from Action Fraud.

SMS Messages from the UK Government

Tuesday 24 March 2020 the government texted people across the UK to inform them of the new rules announced by the Prime Minister 23 March 2020. This was made possible with the cooperation of all mobile phone operators. The SMS message reads:

“GOV.UK CORONAVIRUS ALERT New rules in force now: you must stay at home. More info & exemptions at gov.uk/coronavirus Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.”

The SMS looks like this:

This message is NOT a fake text message (SMS) but is a new way for the Government to spread their safety advice as widely as possible and it is safe for you to follow the link to the government website.

You should exercise caution when receiving text messages, never supply your personal information or bank details including your PIN. Never click any links in texts. If in doubt, go directly to the website and type the address given into your browser

Safeguarding Adults

Every adult has the right to be treated with dignity, respect and live a life free of fear. We call this process safeguarding adults.

If you suspect that you or an adult you care about may be at risk of abuse or neglect then call Lewisham Council, Adult Social Care on 020 8314 7777, alternatively if you have concerns about the immediate safety of an adult at risk then please contact the
Police on 999.

Every adult has a right to make their own decisions and take risks, however, some adults are at greater risk of being abused because they rely on another person to manage day to day living.

We use the term "adult at risk" to describe people that need this support. Not all adults who need care and support are considered at risk, we assess each person according to their own abilities. Many adults with care and support needs manage their lives very well.

Social Care and Health have produced a video on Safeguarding Adults in British Sign Language.



Forms and Signs of Abuse

People with care and support needs, such as older people or people with disabilities, are more likely to be abused or neglected. They may be seen as an easy target and may be less likely to identify abuse themselves or to report it. People with communication difficulties can be particularly at risk because they may not be able to alert others. Sometimes people may not even be aware that they are being abused, and this is especially likely if they have a cognitive impairment. Abusers may try to prevent access to the person they abuse.

Whilst these particular adults are the specific focus of ‘Safeguarding Adults’ policy and procedures, this does not negate the public duty of those carrying out this work to protect the human rights of all citizens, including those who are the subject of concern but are not covered by these procedures, or those who are not the subject of the initial concern.

Such work is the responsibility of all agencies and cannot exist in isolation. It must be effectively linked to other initiatives, as part of a network of measures aimed at enabling all citizens to live lives that are free from violence, harassment, humiliation and degradation.

Signs of abuse

Signs of abuse can often be difficult to detect. The information below aims to help people who come into contact with people with care and support needs to identify abuse and recognise possible indicators. Many types of abuse are also criminal offences and should be treated as such.

Types of abuse:

  • Physical abuse
  • Domestic violence or abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Psychological or emotional abuse
  • Financial or material abuse
  • Modern slavery
  • Discriminatory abuse
  • Organisational or institutional abuse
  • Neglect or acts of omission
  • Self-neglect

Evidence of any one indicator from the following lists should not be taken on its own as proof that abuse is occurring. However, it should alert practitioners to make further assessments and to consider other associated factors. The lists of possible indicators and examples of behaviour are not exhaustive and people may be subject to a number of abuse types at the same time.

Physical abuse

Types of physical abuse

  • Assault, hitting, slapping, punching, kicking, hair-pulling, biting, pushing
  • Rough handling
  • Scalding and burning
  • Physical punishments
  • Inappropriate or unlawful use of restraint
  • Making someone purposefully uncomfortable (e.g. opening a window and removing blankets)
  • Involuntary isolation or confinement
  • Misuse of medication (e.g. over-sedation)
  • Forcible feeding or withholding food
  • Unauthorised restraint, restricting movement (e.g. tying someone to a chair)

Possible indicators of physical abuse

  • No explanation for injuries or inconsistency with the account of what happened
  • Injuries are inconsistent with the person’s lifestyle
  • Bruising, cuts, welts, burns and/or marks on the body or loss of hair in clumps
  • Frequent injuries
  • Unexplained falls
  • Subdued or changed behaviour in the presence of a particular person
  • Signs of malnutrition
  • Failure to seek medical treatment or frequent changes of GP

Domestic violence or abuse

Types of domestic violence or abuse

Domestic violence or abuse can be characterised by any of the indicators of abuse relating to:

  • Psychological
  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Financial
  • Emotional

Domestic violence and abuse includes any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. It also includes so called 'honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.

Coercive or controlling behaviour is a core part of domestic violence. Coercive behaviour can include:

  • Acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation
  • Harming, punishing, or frightening the person
  • Isolating the person from sources of support
  • Exploitation of resources or money
  • Preventing the person from escaping abuse
  • Regulating everyday behaviour

Possible indicators of domestic violence or abuse

  • Low self-esteem
  • Feeling that the abuse is their fault when it is not
  • Physical evidence of violence such as bruising, cuts, broken bones
  • Verbal abuse and humiliation in front of others
  • Fear of outside intervention
  • Damage to home or property
  • Isolation – not seeing friends and family
  • Limited access to money

Sexual abuse

Types of sexual abuse

  • Rape, attempted rape or sexual assault
  • Inappropriate touch anywhere
  • Non- consensual masturbation of either or both persons
  • Non- consensual sexual penetration or attempted penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth
  • Any sexual activity that the person lacks the capacity to consent to
  • Inappropriate looking, sexual teasing or innuendo or sexual harassment
  • Sexual photography or forced use of pornography or witnessing of sexual acts
  • Indecent exposure

Possible indicators of sexual abuse

  • Bruising, particularly to the thighs, buttocks and upper arms and marks on the neck
  • Torn, stained or bloody underclothing
  • Bleeding, pain or itching in the genital area
  • Unusual difficulty in walking or sitting
  • Foreign bodies in genital or rectal openings
  • Infections, unexplained genital discharge, or sexually transmitted diseases
  • Pregnancy in a woman who is unable to consent to sexual intercourse
  • The uncharacteristic use of explicit sexual language or significant changes in sexual behaviour or attitude
  • Incontinence not related to any medical diagnosis
  • Self-harming
  • Poor concentration, withdrawal, sleep disturbance
  • Excessive fear/apprehension of, or withdrawal from, relationships
  • Fear of receiving help with personal care
  • Reluctance to be alone with a particular person

Psychological or emotional abuse

Types of psychological or emotional abuse

  • Enforced social isolation – preventing someone accessing services, educational and social opportunities and seeing friends
  • Removing mobility or communication aids or intentionally leaving someone unattended when they need assistance
  • Preventing someone from meeting their religious and cultural needs
  • Preventing the expression of choice and opinion
  • Failure to respect privacy
  • Preventing stimulation, meaningful occupation or activities
  • Intimidation, coercion, harassment, use of threats, humiliation, bullying, swearing or verbal abuse
  • Addressing a person in a patronising or infantilising way
  • Threats of harm or abandonment
  • Cyber bullying

Possible indicators of psychological or emotional abuse

  • An air of silence when a particular person is present
  • Withdrawal or change in the psychological state of the person
  • Insomnia
  • Low self-esteem
  • Uncooperative and aggressive behaviour
  • A change of appetite, weight loss/gain
  • Signs of distress: tearfulness, anger
  • Apparent false claims, by someone involved with the person, to attract unnecessary treatment

Financial or material abuse

Types of financial or material abuse

  • Theft of money or possessions
  • Fraud, scamming
  • Preventing a person from accessing their own money, benefits or assets
  • Employees taking a loan from a person using the service
  • Undue pressure, duress, threat or undue influence put on the person in connection with loans, wills, property, inheritance or financial transactions
  • Arranging less care than is needed to save money to maximise inheritance
  • Denying assistance to manage/monitor financial affairs
  • Denying assistance to access benefits
  • Misuse of personal allowance in a care home
  • Misuse of benefits or direct payments  in a family home
  • Someone moving into a person’s home and living rent free without agreement or under duress
  • False representation, using another person's bank account, cards or documents
  • Exploitation of a person’s money or assets, e.g. unauthorised use of a car
  • Misuse of a power of attorney, deputy, appointeeship or other legal authority
  • Rogue trading – eg. unnecessary or overpriced property repairs and failure to carry out agreed repairs or poor workmanship

Possible indicators of financial or material abuse

  • Missing personal possessions
  • Unexplained lack of money or inability to maintain lifestyle
  • Unexplained withdrawal of funds from accounts
  • Power of attorney or lasting power of attorney (LPA) being obtained after the person has ceased to have mental capacity
  • Failure to register an LPA after the person has ceased to have mental capacity to manage their finances, so that it appears that they are continuing to do so
  • The person allocated to manage financial affairs is evasive or uncooperative
  • The family or others show unusual interest in the assets of the person
  • Signs of financial hardship in cases where the person’s financial affairs are being managed by a court appointed deputy, attorney or LPA
  • Recent changes in deeds or title to property
  • Rent arrears and eviction notices
  • A lack of clear financial accounts held by a care home or service
  • Failure to provide receipts for shopping or other financial transactions carried out on behalf of the person
  • Disparity between the person’s living conditions and their financial resources, e.g. insufficient food in the house
  • Unnecessary property repairs

Modern slavery

Types of modern slavery

  • Human trafficking
  • Forced labour
  • Domestic servitude
  • Sexual exploitation, such as escort work, prostitution and pornography
  • Debt bondage – being forced to work to pay off debts that realistically they never will be able to

Possible indicators of modern slavery

  • Signs of physical or emotional abuse
  • Appearing to be malnourished, unkempt or withdrawn
  • Isolation from the community, seeming under the control or influence of others
  • Living in dirty, cramped or overcrowded accommodation and or living and working at the same address
  • Lack of personal effects or identification documents
  • Always wearing the same clothes
  • Avoidance of eye contact, appearing frightened or hesitant to talk to strangers
  • Fear of law enforcers

Further Home Office information on identifying and reporting modern slavery

Discriminatory abuse

Types of discriminatory abuse

  • Unequal treatment based on age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion and belief, sex or sexual orientation (known as protected characteristics’ under the Equality Act 2010)
  • Verbal abuse, derogatory remarks or inappropriate use of language related to a protected characteristic
  • Denying access to communication aids, not allowing access to an interpreter, signer or lip-reader
  • Harassment or deliberate exclusion on the grounds of a protected characteristic
  • Denying basic rights to healthcare, education, employment and criminal justice relating to a protected characteristic
  • Substandard service provision relating to a protected characteristic

Possible indicators of discriminatory abuse

  • The person appears withdrawn and isolated
  • Expressions of anger, frustration, fear or anxiety
  • The support on offer does not take account of the person’s individual needs in terms of a protected characteristic

Organisational or institutional abuse

Types of organisational or institutional abuse

  • Discouraging visits or the involvement of relatives or friends
  • Run-down or overcrowded establishment
  • Authoritarian management or rigid regimes
  • Lack of leadership and supervision
  • Insufficient staff or high turnover resulting in poor quality care
  • Abusive and disrespectful attitudes towards people using the service
  • Inappropriate use of restraints
  • Lack of respect for dignity and privacy
  • Failure to manage residents with abusive behaviour
  • Not providing adequate food and drink, or assistance with eating
  • Not offering choice or promoting independence
  • Misuse of medication
  • Failure to provide care with dentures, spectacles or hearing aids
  • Not taking account of individuals’ cultural, religious or ethnic needs
  • Failure to respond to abuse appropriately
  • Interference with personal correspondence or communication
  • Failure to respond to complaints

Possible indicators of organisational or institutional abuse

  • Lack of flexibility and choice for people using the service
  • Inadequate staffing levels
  • People being hungry or dehydrated
  • Poor standards of care
  • Lack of personal clothing and possessions and communal use of personal items
  • Lack of adequate procedures
  • Poor record-keeping and missing documents
  • Absence of visitors
  • Few social, recreational and educational activities
  • Public discussion of personal matters
  • Unnecessary exposure during bathing or using the toilet
  • Absence of individual care plans
  • Lack of management overview and support

Neglect and acts of omission

Types of neglect and acts of omission

  • Failure to provide or allow access to food, shelter, clothing, heating, stimulation and activity, personal or medical care
  • Providing care in a way that the person dislikes
  • Failure to administer medication as prescribed
  • Refusal of access to visitors
  • Not taking account of individuals’ cultural, religious or ethnic needs
  • Not taking account of educational, social and recreational needs
  • Ignoring or isolating the person
  • Preventing the person from making their own decisions
  • Preventing access to glasses, hearing aids, dentures, etc.
  • Failure to ensure privacy and dignity

Possible indicators of neglect and acts of omission

  • Poor environment – dirty or unhygienic
  • Poor physical condition and/or personal hygiene
  • Pressure sores or ulcers
  • Malnutrition or unexplained weight loss
  • Untreated injuries and medical problems
  • Inconsistent or reluctant contact with medical and social care organisations
  • Accumulation of untaken medication
  • Uncharacteristic failure to engage in social interaction
  • Inappropriate or inadequate clothing


Types of self-neglect

  • Lack of self-care to an extent that it threatens personal health and safety
  • Neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings
  • Inability to avoid self-harm
  • Failure to seek help or access services to meet health and social care needs
  • Inability or unwillingness to manage one’s personal affairs

Indicators of self-neglect

  • Very poor personal hygiene
  • Unkempt appearance
  • Lack of essential food, clothing or shelter
  • Malnutrition and/or dehydration
  • Living in squalid or unsanitary conditions
  • Neglecting household maintenance
  • Hoarding
  • Collecting a large number of animals in inappropriate conditions
  • Non-compliance with health or care services
  • Inability or unwillingness to take medication or treat illness or injury

Hate Crime

Hate crime is the targeting of individuals, groups and communities because of who they are.

It is any incident which is a criminal offence and which is thought, by you or someone else, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender, gender identity, disability, age, sexual orientation or any other actual or seeming difference.

This can include:

  • Threats, bullying or intimidation
  • Threatening or offensive mail, texts or emails
  • Verbal abuse
  • Damage to property
  • Physical assaults

It is important to report all hate incidents, even if you think nothing can be done as it helps the police and other agencies identify areas of concern, patterns of behaviour and what is happening in our communities. Hate crimes are not only crimes against the targeted victim, but also against a particular group as a whole. Firm action will be taken against people who commit any acts of hatred.

We know that some victims may not wish to be identified, so we encourage victims to report crime anonymously to a third party reporting site to ensure that the police can do all they can to tackle hate crime in the community.

The police and the council will:

  • Investigate all reported incidents of hate crime
  • Take legal action if there is sufficient evidence to enable us to do this
  • Keep in contact with you and let you know of our progress
  • Support you during this process

Here is a list of groups and local venues where you can make an anonymous report of hate crime. Some organisations can offer support to help you decide if you want to make an official report or complaint. If you do, this will be forwarded to the police and the council to note or take action and for monitoring the numbers of incidents reported.

Lewisham Irish Community Centre
2a Davenport Road, Lewisham, SE6 2AZ.
Email Lewisham Irish Community Centre
020 8695 9608

Traveller’s Outreach
Email Travellers Outreach
07931 638775

2000 Community Action Centre
199 Grove Street, Deptford, SE8 3PG.
Email 2000 Community Action Centre
020 8692 2760

Baseline drop-in service
39 Lewis Grove, Lewisham SE13 6BG
020 8314 7549
020 8314 4835

Catford Citizens Advice Bureau
120 Rushey Green, Catford SE6 4HQ
0844 826 9691

Goldsmiths, University of London
Lewisham Way, New Cross SE14 6NW
Email Goldsmiths, University of London
020 7919 7171

Lewisham Southwark College
Lewisham Way, SE4 1UT
Email Lewisham Southwark College
020 8694 3233

Lewisham Disabilities Coalition
111 Randlesdown Road, Catford SE6 3PH
020 8697 0100
Email Lewisham Disabilities Coalition

Lewisham Islamic Centre
363-365 Lewisham High Street, Lewisham SE13 6NZ
Email Lewisham Islamic Centre
020 8690 5090

Lewisham Speaking Up
The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford, SE8 4AG
Email Lewisham Speaking Up
020 8691 7198

Lewisham Victim Support
300 Sangley Road, Catford SE6 2JT
Email Lewisham Victim Support
020 8698 4583

London Sivan Temple
4A Clarendon Rise, London SE13 5ES
Email London Sivan Temple
020 8318 9844
07836 347748

Millwall Football Club
The Den, Zampa Road, New cross SE16 3LN
Email Millwall Football Club
020 7232 1222

Second Wave
1 Creek Road, Deptford SE8 3BT
Email Second Wave
020 8694 2444

Somali and Somaliland London Community
Evelyn Community Centre
1 Kingfisher Square, Deptford SE8 5TW
Email Somali & Somaliland London Community
020 8469 1610

Sydenham Citizens Advice Bureau
299 Kirkdale, Sydenham SE26 4QD
Email Sydenham Citizens Advice Bureau
0844 826 9691

Downham Tamil Association
Goldsmiths Community Centre
Castillon Road, Catford SE6 1QD
Email Tamil Association
020 8695 9118
07702 809396
07983 396261

Metro Greenwich
141 Greenwich High Road, London SE10 8JA
Email Metro Greenwich
020 8305 5000

More information on Hate Crime can be found on the Lewisham Council Website

Who is an adult at risk?

An “Adult at Risk” is defined as any person aged 18 years and over who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental health issues, learning or physical disability, sensory impairment, age or illness and who is or may be unable to take care of him/herself or unable to protect him/herself against significant harm or serious exploitation.

Since the publication of ADASS Best Practice Document: ‘Safeguarding Adults’ (2005), the range of people considered to be vulnerable has been widened to include, people encountering domestic abuse, substance misusers and asylum seekers.

When a young person reaches the age of 18 the responsibility for their well being may transfer to adult service providers.

Perpetrators of Abuse

The person alleged to have caused harm

Abuse can occur anywhere and be perpetrated by anyone. Adults at risk are sometimes abused by strangers, but more often, they are abused by someone known to them or in a position of trust. This may include:

  • A partner, relative, friend or child
  • A neighbour or someone from the community network
  • A paid carer or volunteer
  • A health, social care worker or other professional
  • Another vulnerable adult
  • A non-carer or stranger

Abuse can occur in any relationship. It often occurs where the person who is abusing is in a more powerful position than the person who is being abused.

Abuse occurs when the abuser misuses such power either intentionally, or unintentionally or for their own benefit or gain.

The person who is abusing may have more power because they are more able than the person they are abusing.

They may also have more power because the adult at risk may be dependent on them in some way.

In some instances the abuser themselves may also be an adult at risk, for example another service user, or an adult with learning disabilities caring for a frail older parent.

In any formal caring situation, the person providing the care is held in a position of trust.

There can often be a power imbalance between a member of staff, paid carer or a volunteer and an adult at risk.

It must be noted that some abusers deliberately seek out adults who appear to be vulnerable, with the intention of abusing, harming, exploiting or manipulating that person.

How to report your concerns

If you suspect that you or an adult you care about may be at risk of abuse or neglect call Lewisham Adult Social Care Access and Information Team (SCAIT) on 020 8314 7777 alternatively if you have concerns about the immediate safety of an adult at risk then please contact the Police on 999.

There are a number of ways you can contact SCAIT

The team can be contacted Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm

Tel: 020 8314 7777 (select option 1)

Fax: 020 8314 3014


Contact details for the deaf / impaired hearing community

Minicom: 020 8314 3309

Text Message: 07730 637 194

Glide: LEWISHAM Adult Social Care / 07730 637 194

Please note – Glide is a free app which allows video messaging (for sign language).

It can be downloaded free of charge from the following sources:

Apple itunes

Google play

Microsoft app store

More information on the Social Care Advice & Information Team 

If you believe that a criminal offence may have been committed and you would prefer to report your concerns anonymously please report them to Crimestoppers UK

Six Safeguarding Principles

There are six safeguarding principles that underpin all safeguarding work:

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What happens after you report your concerns

Once a report of suspected adult abuse or neglect is made, the organisation you reported your concerns to will take steps to ensure the immediate safety of the person and anyone else who may be affected. You can be assured that all reports of suspected abuse or neglect are taken seriously and are confidential.

Collecting information

When a report of suspected adult abuse is received further information will be gathered. If the adult at risk is unable to speak for themselves they can choose someone to act on their behalf such as a friend or family member. If this isn’t possible Adult Social Care can arrange for an independent person to do this, they are known as an Advocate.

They will talk to the person, or a suitable representative on their behalf, to find out what is happening and then work together to plan what can be done to help keep them safe and as independent as possible.

People involved

Where necessary Adult Social Care will investigate allegations of abuse with partner organisations and take appropriate action.


Sometimes a meeting is needed. The individual, or the person who acts on their behalf, may be invited to a meeting called a safeguarding planning meeting. During this meeting concerns will be discussed and the Chairperson will ensure that everybody has their say.

The Chairperson will ensure that everything that was agreed to be done is being done, and decide if any further action is needed. A safeguarding plan may be agreed to continue to keep the person safe.

Sometimes they will need to arrange further meetings to review the safeguarding plan and make changes if necessary to ensure the person continues to remain safe.

What if you don’t want anything to happen?

If the abuse is happening to you, you have a right to say what you want to be done about it. You will always be asked what you want and who you want to be involved.

Sometimes there are other people who may also be in danger and the abuse is too serious for people to do nothing. Professionals have a duty of care to you and other people and may have to act against your wishes. If this has to happen you will always be told why.

What if you’re not happy?

If you’re not happy about the safeguarding adults process Lewisham Adult Social Care would like to know why. You can speak to the Chairperson who was involved in your meetings, or you can contact the Lewisham Safeguarding Adults Manager.

Positive Outcomes

This video Safeguarding Adults- An Independent Life After Abuse produced by the Social Care Institute for Excellence shows the positive outcomes the safeguarding process can have on a person who has been abused.

Mental Capacity, DoLS and Advocacy

Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 came into force during 2007. A number of government departments sponsored its implementation. The MCA is designed to protect and restore power to those vulnerable people who lack capacity. The MCA also supports those, over the age of 18, who have capacity and choose to plan for their future. It applies to everyone working in health and social care who is involved in the care, treatment and support of people aged 16.

At the heart of the MCA in terms of concepts and values are the five ‘statutory principles’. Consider the five principles as the benchmark. They should be used to underpin all acts done and decisions taken in relation to those who lack capacity.

Using the Mental Capacity Act

This new film below from Social Care Institute for Excellence explains the MCA and how it can protect the right to make choices. It's an introduction to the Act for people who need it, staff, carers and others.

SCIE free online Mental Capacity Act e-learning

This course explores the Mental Capacity Act 2005, including best interests decision-making,and how to support people to make their own decisions.

The course is for everyone who looks after or cares for someone, for example, doctors, nurses, care assistants, social workers, and family members.

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) provide additional protection for the most vulnerable people living in residential homes, nursing homes, hospital environments and supported housing through the use of a rigorous, standardised assessment and authorisation process. They aim to protect those who lack capacity to consent to arrangements made in relation to their care and/or treatment, but who need to be deprived of their liberty in their own best interest to protect them from harm. They also offer the person concerned the rights:

  • To challenge the decision to deprive them of their liberty;
  • For a representative to act for them and protect their interests; and
  • The right to have their status reviewed and monitored on a regular basis.

DoLS help ensure that an institution only restricts liberty safely and correctly and only when all other less restrictive options have been explored. The Local Authority manages this process and reports to the local Safeguarding Adults Board. In March 2014 the Supreme Court judgement in the case of “P v Cheshire West and Chester Council and another and “P and Q v Surrey County Council” lowered the threshold for a deprivation and significantly widened the scope of the Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards themselves.

Lewisham Council's Adult Social Care has a dedicated Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards web page that provides general information, links to other sources of information and contact details for the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards Team.

Independent advocacy under the Care Act 2014

Advocacy and the duty to involve

Local authorities must involve people in decisions made about them and their care and support. No matter how complex a person’s needs, local authorities are required to help people express their wishes and feelings, support them in weighing up their options, and assist them in making their own decisions.

When does the advocacy duty apply?

The advocacy duty will apply from the point of first contact with the local authority and at any subsequent stage of the assessment, planning, care review, safeguarding enquiry or safeguarding adult review. If it appears to the authority that a person has care and support needs, then a judgement must be made as to whether that person has substantial difficulty in being involved and if there is an appropriate individual to support them. An independent advocate must be appointed to support and represent the person for the purpose of assisting their involvement if these two conditions are met and if the individual is required to take part in one or more of the following processes described in the Care Act:

  • A needs assessment
  • A carer’s assessment
  • The preparation of a care and support or support plan
  • A review of a care and support or support plan
  • A child’s needs assessment
  • A child’s carer’s assessment
  • A young carer’s assessment
  • A safeguarding enquiry
  • A safeguarding adult review
  • An appeal against a local authority decision under Part 1 of the Care Act (subject to further consultation)

Judging ‘substantial difficulty’

Local authorities must consider, for each person, whether they are likely to have substantial difficulty in engaging with the care and support process. The Care Act defines four areas where people may experience substantial difficulty. These are:

  • Understanding relevant information
  • Retaining information
  • Using or weighing information
  • Communicating views, wishes and feelings

Who is an ‘appropriate individual’ to assist a person’s involvement?

If the person being supported doesn’t want that person to support them, that’s not an appropriate adult. You can’t force an advocate on someone.

Co-production workshop participant

Local authorities must consider whether there is an appropriate individual who can facilitate a person’s involvement in the assessment, planning or review process, and this includes four specific considerations. The appropriate individual cannot be:

  • Already providing care or treatment to the person in a professional capacity or on a paid basis
  • Someone the person does not want to support them
  • Someone who is unlikely to be able to, or available to, adequately support the person’s involvement
  • Someone implicated in an enquiry into abuse or neglect or who has been judged by a safeguarding adult review to have failed to prevent abuse or neglect

The role of an ‘appropriate individual’ under the Care Act is potentially fuller and more demanding than that of an individual with whom it is ‘appropriate to consult’ under the Mental Capacity Act (MCA). Under the Care Act the appropriate individual’s role is to facilitate the person’s involvement, not merely to consult them and make decisions on their behalf.

Information and advice

The Care Act places a duty on local authorities to ensure that all adults in their area have access to information and advice on care and support, and to keep them safe from abuse and neglect. Prior to making contact with the local authority, there may be some people who require independent advocacy to access information and advice.

Continuing health care

The advocacy duty in the Care Act applies equally to those people whose needs are being jointly accessed by the NHS and the local authority, or where a package of support is planned, commissioned or funded by both a local authority and a clinical commissioning group (CCG), known as a ‘joint package’ of care.


The independence of the service is an important consideration for all commissioners.  For services to be meaningful and acceptable to those they are designed to support they must have the confidence of individuals, carers and the public.


From April 2015 local authorities will also be responsible for assessing and meeting the social care needs of adult prisoners (not just on discharge from prison but also while in custody). All prisoners will be treated as if they are resident in that area for the purposes of the Care Act and for as long as they reside in that prison. Prisoners will be entitled to the support of an independent advocate in the same circumstances as people in the community.

Social Care and Health have produced this video in British Sign Language on the provision of Independent Advocacy under the Care Act 2014.


This video Safeguarding Adults - Helping People To Protect Themselves From Crime which has been produced by the Social Care Institute for Excellence, shows what care workers and others who are in contact with a vulnerable adult can do to help them protect themselves from crime.

This video Safeguarding Adults - Looking Out For Each Other To Prevent Abuse which has been produced by the Social Care Institute for Excellence, can be helpful to highlight what the local community can do to protect themselves and those they care about.

Feeling lonely or isolated? Read about a great new free service from Age UK - Call in Time - Your weekly friendship call

Call in Time is a free public telephone befriending service for matching volunteers with older members of the public.

Not having someone to talk to regularly can be lonely and isolating, particularly if you're used to sharing your home and time with others. A friendly, weekly, 30-minute chat on the phone can make all the difference.

Call in Time is flexible to suit the different needs of everyone who takes part.

While Age UK are finding a suitable match for an older member of the public, they will carry out regular, short Good Day Calls to them, to make sure they don't feel ignored.

Share your stories, wisdom and advice. Or just listen. 

If you or someone you know would benefit from building a friendship over the phone Call in Time is a free telephone friendship service for people aged 60 or over. Sometimes a friendly chat is all it takes to brighten the day; Age UK will match you with a trained and supported volunteer who shares your stories, wisdom and advice and will call you once a week.

If you, or someone you know, could benefit from a friendly chat with the same person, once a week and at the same time, get in touch.

Get a weekly friendship call

London Fire Brigade - Home Fire Safety Risk Referral Matrix

This matrix is for the use of all parties involved in the care and protection of vulnerable people as a guide to reducing the risk of death or injury from fire through consistent and appropriate risk control measures.

Home Fire Safety Risk Referral Matrix

Metropolitan Police- Lewisham - Cash Point Safety Advice

Cash point safety

Independent Age - Advice and support for older age

Independent Age have some great advice on what can cause falls, what you can do if you do fall and where to find out further information.

Staying steady on your feet

Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust offer a falls rehabilitation service which you can access via referral from your GP.

Identity Fraud

How much do you really know about identity fraud? Action Fraud has produced the infographic below which gives tips on how to keep your identity safe.

Identity Fraud_Do you really know_Infographic.jpg 

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