Professionals: Report an adult safeguarding concern

This process is for professionals such as care providers, GPs or clinicians to report a safeguarding concern for an adult who you believe has care and support needs, is at risk of harm and who you feel is unable to protect themselves because of those needs.

In an emergency

If a person is at immediate risk of harm and an urgent response is required please contact the police on 709 6010. Dial 999 in an emergency or where there is any indication a criminal act has occurred.

If you need to report an urgent safeguarding concern and believe that an individual is at serious risk of harm which will require a response within 48 hours, please call Careline on 233 3800.

Other concerns

For all other concerns please use the adult safeguarding form below as soon as possible after the concern is identified, and where possible, after you have notified the individual of the actions you are intending to take.  We will respond within 5 days.

Is it a safeguarding concern?

Before making a referral, please refer to the Liverpool Safeguarding procedures and when to report a concern. Please also refer to the definitions of abuse below.

If you are a contracted service provider working on behalf of the council and need to report incidents which pose a risk to service users, staff or members of the public, refer to the incident reporting procedure.

Before making a referral

  • Have you discussed your concerns with the person and sought their feedback?
  • Are you sure that a safeguarding concern is a proportionate response?
  • If appropriate, have you notified the responsible organisations or agencies with immediate responsibility for ensuring the safety of the person?
  • Have you done all you can within the boundaries of your profession or professional code of practice and organisational requirements to prevent harm or further harm occurring?

Things we need to know

When you report your safeguarding concern, you will need to tell us:

  • Why you are concerned -What type of abuse do you feel has occurred or is at risk of occurring.
  • Why you believe the individual has care and support needs - We refer to this as the nature of the individual's vulnerability which helps us to identify the area of need which may relate to a disability, physical or mental health, frailty or due to a sensory impairment, for example. These needs may not currently be met by the council or other organisation, and can include individuals who have informal arrangements in place.
  • Whether the individual is aware that you are contacting Careline, their views in relation to this and what they would like to happen as a result - Making Safeguarding Personal (MSP) is central to what we and partner agencies do to safeguard and protect adults at risk. This means the individual is placed at the centre and their views and wishes are at the heart of what action is taken and you should discuss this with them at the earliest opportunity and before you report a concern to Careline.
  • If you have not discussed the referral, your reasons for not doing so - We appreciate there are exceptional circumstances when this may not be appropriate, for example, if by doing so would place the individual at greater risk.
  • Personal details - The name, date of birth and address of the adult at risk.
  • Family details - Whether anyone lives with them including children, relatives or carers and, where possible, any contact details.
  • Help and support - If they’re getting help from any other organisation.
  • GP information - The individual's GP details and address if known.
  • Alleged perpetrators - Any known details of alleged perpetrators.
Providing this information will enable the team to review and prioritise concerns reported. However, we may need to speak with you to request additional information if needed, so please ensure you provide details of how and when best to contact you.

This form should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

Read our privacy notice which tells you how we use your data.

Make an adult safeguarding referral

What happens next?

We will review the information you have provided and consider if we need to ask you further questions to support our decision making. If we do need further information we will contact you within 48 to 72 working hours.

When we are in a position to decide on the most appropriate response, this will include a safeguarding enquiry, assessment, review or signposting.

Definitions of abuse

Other types of abuse

There can be other types of abuse which may include:


This is comparable to other forms of exploitation, such as grooming and child sexual exploitation with the aim is to attract people to another way of reasoning, inspire new recruits and embed extreme views.  This may be through face-to-face encounters or through social media. See the Channel guidance on GOV.UK for more information or find out more about our Prevent service.

Hate crime

Crimes committed against someone because of their disability, gender identity, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation are hate crimes and should be reported to the police. Find out more about reporting hate crime.

Mate crime

The term mate crime is generally understood to refer to the befriending of people who are perceived by perpetrators to be vulnerable for the purpose of taking advantage of them, exploiting them and/or abusing them.

Sexual exploitation

Is a form of sexual abuse that involves someone taking advantage of a child or adult, sexually.  Perpetrators usually hold power over their victims, due to age, gender, sexual identity, physical strength or status.