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New figures published for adult safeguarding referrals

28 October 2015

*Regional information is available

Official statistics about adult safeguarding referrals made to councils in England2 are published today by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

The Safeguarding Adults, England 2014-153 report, contains information about instances where a concern has been raised to a council about an adult over the age of 18 who is at risk of abuse. The report also includes the results of investigations into these concerns4. Types of abuse include physical, sexual, psychological, financial, neglect, discrimination and institutional.

The report provides data, including regional analysis on:

  • Demographics of individuals with referrals opened in 2014-155
  • Case details for referrals that concluded in 2014-156
  • The mental capacity of individuals with concluded referrals7
  • The number of serious case reviews that took place8

Today's report can be found at:


Notes to editors

  1. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was established on April 1 2013 as an Executive Non Departmental Public Body (ENDPB). It is England's trusted data source, delivering high quality information and IT systems to drive better patient services, care and outcomes. Its work includes publishing more than 260 statistical publications annually; providing a range of specialist data services; managing informatics projects and programmes and developing and assuring national systems against appropriate contractual, clinical safety and information standards.
  2. An adult safeguarding referral is a concern raised about a risk of abuse which instigates an investigation under the safeguarding process. Safeguarding referrals can be made by anyone to Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (CASSRs).
  3. The Safeguarding Adults report replaced the Abuse of Vulnerable Adults (AVA) report in 2013-14. It covers similar subject area to the earlier AVA reports but there are no directly comparable data items. Alerts and action types are no longer collected and demographics are recorded based on counts of individuals rather than referrals. Time series analysis across the two data sources is not possible.
  4. A referral is categorised as concluded when the safeguarding investigation is complete and the conclusions have been decided. The concluded referrals recorded in the Safeguarding Adults report in 2014-15 may have been opened in previous reporting years.
  5. The Safeguarding Adults report looks at the number of individuals with opened referrals, so an individual with multiple referrals will only be counted once. The number of individuals with referrals is broken down by age, gender, ethnic group, region, primary support reason and health conditions.
  6. For those referrals that were concluded during the reporting year, statistics are presented on: (a) Type of alleged abuse or risk; (b) The alleged source of the risk (social care support, an individual known to the person being referred and an unknown individual or stranger); (c) Where the allegations of abuse take place(care home, hospital, their own home, a service within the community or other); (d) Action taken and the outcome of each referral.
  7. Mental capacity is based on the capacity to make decisions about the safeguarding issue only.
  8. Serious case reviews take place when there are major concerns about adult protection failures that have resulted in individuals suffering serious harm. They are held in order to determine what went wrong and what lessons can be learnt about the way in which staff and agencies work together to safeguard people at risk of harm.
  9. For media enquires or interview requests please contact or telephone 0300 30 33 888. Please note the change to our media line number.
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