Back to The duty to report an adult at risk of abuse and/or neglect

Duty to report concerns (including abuse and neglect) about a practitioner

It is important that practitioners do not ignore or dismiss suspicions about another practitioner or colleague who may be abusing, neglecting or causing harm to a child or adult at risk.

Every practitioner has a responsibility to safeguard adults at risk and that includes protection from abuse by a professional, paid carer or volunteer. Therefore, the duty to report any concerns about suspected abuse and neglect applies in these situations. This duty also covers situations when abuse is only suspected.

Allegations Against Professionals/ Those In Positions of Trust

The duty to report professional concerns in private life

The duty to report extends beyond the working context. This means if any practitioner becomes aware of concerning behaviour of, for example, a friend, family member or neighbour, who is also a practitioner they must report their concerns.

Examples: A practitioner is aware that a teacher living on their street is being physically abusive towards their partner.

A friend tells you their job is so cushy they have sleep-ins for an older person with dementia. They say they leave the older person in their bedroom with the TV after the carers have done their last call at 6 pm and never bother to check on them.

All organisations must ensure that job descriptions, codes of conduct and contracts/service level agreements include the duty to report and safeguarding adults.

Professionals and volunteers must be aware they have a duty to report concerns about the behaviour of other professionals/volunteers.

All organisations must ensure they have whistle blowing procedures.

N.B. Certain Whistleblowers are given protection under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 and the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015

Allegations Against Professionals/ Those In Positions of Trust

Pointers for Practice: Professional Concerns