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Appendix Five: Glossary and Acronyms

In using this document, a number of phrases, wording or acronyms have been used. The following provides more information and where necessary a definition.

Adult at Risk is a person aged 18 or over who has needs for care and support (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those care and support needs), 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.

Adult Safeguarding means protecting a person’s right to live in safety free from abuse and neglect.

Adult Safeguarding Lead is the title given to the member of staff in an organisation who is given the lead for Safeguarding Adults.

Advocacy (Care Act 2014) taking action to help people who experience substantial difficulty contributing to the safeguarding process to say what they want, secure their rights, represent their interests and obtain the services they need.

Appropriate Adult is a specific role prescribed under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. The role of an appropriate adult is confined to instances where a Police Officer has any suspicion, or is told in good faith, that a person of any age may be mentally disordered or otherwise mentally vulnerable, in the absence of clear evidence to dispel that suspicion, the person shall be treated as a vulnerable adult and supported by an ‘Appropriate Adult’.

Appropriate Adult (Care Act 2014) within this document an ‘appropriate individual’ is a person who supports an adult at risk typically but not exclusively in an advocacy role, and is separate to an Appropriate Adult as described above.

Best Interest – the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) states that if a person lacks mental capacity to make a particular decision then whoever is making that decision or taking any action on that person’s behalf must do so in the person’s best interest. This is one of the principles of the MCA.

Care Setting is where a person receives care and support from health and social care organisations. This includes hospitals, hospices, respite units, nursing homes, residential care homes, and day opportunities arrangements.

Carer throughout these policy and procedures refers to unpaid/Family/Friend carers as distinct from paid carers who are referred throughout as Support Workers. The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) define a carer as someone who ‘spends a significant proportion of their time providing unpaid support to a family member, partner or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or substance misuse problems’.

Commissioning is the cyclical activity, to assess the needs of local populations for care and support services, determining what element of this need to be arranged by the respective organisations, then designing, delivering, monitoring and evaluating those services.

Concern is the term used to describe when there is or might be an incident of abuse or neglect. See Stage 1 of the Procedures

Contracting is the means by which a process is made legally binding. Contract management is the process that then ensures that services continue to be delivered to the agreed quality standards.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) the national body responsible for regulating and inspecting registered care providers.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).

Enquiry establishes whether any action needs to be taken to stop or prevent abuse or neglect and if so, what action and by whom. See Stage 3 of the Procedures

Enquiry Officer An enquiry officer is responsible for undertaking actions under adult safeguarding:

  • The lead enquiry officer is a member of the local authority who will retain responsibility for undertaking actions under Section 42 enquiries;
  • A delegated enquiry officer is a member of another agency undertaking the enquiry on the local authority’s behalf (for example an entrusted enquiry);
  • In some instances there is a lead enquiry officer supported by other staff also acting as enquiry officers, where there are complex issues or additional skills and expertise is required.

Equality Act (2010) legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. It replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act, making the law easier to understand and strengthening protection in some situations. It sets out the different ways in which it is unlawful to treat someone.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a legal framework that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information of individuals within the European Union (EU). The Data Protection legislation sets out the principles for data management and the rights of the individual, while also imposing fines that can be revenue-based. The Data Protection legislation came into effect across the EU on May 25, 2018 and its requirements are part of English law under the Data Protection Act 2018.

Host Authority is the authority where the alleged abuse or neglect occurred.

Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) – Adults who are the subject of domestic violence may be supported by an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA). IDVA’s provide practical and emotional support to people who are at the highest levels of risk. Practitioners should consult with the adult at risk to consider if the IDVA is the most appropriate person to support them and ensure their eligibility for the service.

Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) established by the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005. IMCAs are mainly instructed to represent people where there is no one independent of services, such as family or friend, who is able to represent them. IMCAs are a legal safeguard for people who lack the mental capacity to make specific important decisions about where they live, serious medical treatment options, care reviews or adult safeguarding concerns.

Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) under the Mental Health Act 1983 certain people known as ‘qualifying patients’ are entitled to the help and support from an Independent Mental Health Advocate. If there is a safeguarding matter whilst the IMHA is working with the adult at risk, consideration for that person to be supported by the same advocate should be given.

Independent Sexual Violence Advocate (ISVA) is trained to provide support to people in rape or sexual assault cases. They help victims to understand how the criminal  justice  process  works  and  explain  processes,  for  example,  what  will happen following a report to the police and the importance of forensic DNA retrieval.

LGBTQIA+ is a common abbreviation for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Pansexual, Transgender, Genderqueer, Queer, Intersex, Agendar, Asexual and other queer identifying community.

Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP) is about person centred and outcome focused practice. It is how professionals are assured by adults at risk that they have made a difference to people by taking action on what matters to people, and is personal and meaningful to them.

MAPPA (Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements) are a set of arrangements to manage the risk posed by the most serious sexual and violent offenders (MAPPA-eligible offenders) under the provisions of sections 325 to 327B of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

Natural Justice refers to the principles and procedures that govern the adjudication of an issue, which should be unbiased, without prejudice and there is equal right to being heard.

Outcome Meeting is to share the outcome of the enquiry with the adult and other relevant people and organisations; to agree any further actions required to support, update or devise safeguarding plan( if required) and agree any reviews. See Stage 4 of the Procedures

Person Alleged to have Caused Harm (PATCH) is the person suspected to be the source of risk to an adult at risk.

Placing Authority is the local authority or NHS Body that has commissioned a service from a provider (that may be located outside their Authority).

Planning Meeting to establish with the adult what help they want from people dealing with their concern, to help them feel safer. This may be a face to face conversation with an enquiry officer or it may be a meeting involving people from a range of organisations to support the adult and to plan the enquiry and ensure that risk is appropriately managed. See Stage 3 of the Procedures

Procurement is the specific function to buy or acquire services which commissioners have duties to arrange to meet people’s needs, to agreed quality standards, providing value for money to the public purse.

Public Interest is a decision about what is in the public interest. This needs to be made by balancing the rights of the individual to privacy with the rights of others to protection.

Registered Intermediaries (RI) plays an important role in improving understanding of the justice process for people who have communication difficulties. They help people to understand the questions that are put to them and to have their answers understood, enabling them to achieve best evidence for the police and the courts.

Regulated Provider (RP) is an individual, organisation or partnership that carries on activities that are specified in Schedule 1 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.

Safeguarding Adults means protecting a person’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.

Safeguarding Adults Procedures are multi-agency procedures designed to prevent harm and to oversee and undertake enquiries of adult abuse or neglect.

Safeguarding Co-ordinator is the officer within the local authority who manages, makes decisions, provides guidance and has oversight of safeguarding concerns that are raised to the local authority.


Safeguarding Plan (and Review) sets out what steps are to be taken to assure the future safety of the adult at risk. An adult safeguarding plan is not a care and support plan, and it will focus on care provision only in relation to the aspects that safeguard against abuse or neglect, or which offer a therapeutic or recovery based resolution. See Stage 4 of the Procedures

Serious Incident NHS England has produced a Serious Incident Framework which supports the Never Events Policy: https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/serious-incidnt-framwrk-upd.pdf

Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) are sexual assault referral centres (SARCs) for people who have been raped or sexually assaulted within the past 12 months. Refer to your local Police for SARC information.

Strategic Executive Information System (StEIS) Reporting a Serious Incident must be done by recording the incident on this system, which facilitates the reporting of Serious Incidents and the monitoring of investigations between NHS providers and commissioners.

Victim Support is a national charity, which provides support for victims and witnesses of crime in England and Wales. It provides free and confidential help to family, friends and anyone else affected by crime, which includes information, emotional and practical support. Help can be accessed either directly from local branches or through the Victim Support helpline.

Vital Interest a term used in the data protection legislation to permit sharing of information where it is critical to prevent serious harm or distress, or in life- threatening situations.

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