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Carer safety concerns

If you believe that you or someone you know is in danger, or that a crime has been committed, your first step should be to alert the emergency services by dialling 999.

Emergency contacts

Call Essex Social Services for help, advice, or information for yourself or someone you know:

  • Essex - call: 0345 603 7634, out of hours call: 0345 606 1212
  • Southend - call: 01702 215008, out of hours call: 0345 606 1212
  • Thurrock - call: 01375 366 083, out of hours call: 01375 372 468

Adult abuse

Adult safeguarding is about protecting vulnerable people from abuse by others. A vulnerable adult is someone over 18 years of age, who may be disabled, ill or frail, and unable to care for, or protect themselves from significant harm or exploitation. Abuse can be something that is done to a person, or something that is omitted from being done. It is a violation of an individual's rights, and can happen anywhere, including someone's home, a residential home, a nursing home, or a day centre or hospital. It can happen once or repeatedly.

Abuse includes physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, psychological abuse, neglect in an institution (such as a care home) or discriminatory (because of someone's disability, age or sexuality).

Abuse can be intentional, or it can be because someone is doing what they think is right, such as locking the front door to stop an adult suffering from dementia leaving the house unaccompanied (which actually isn't in the best interests of the vulnerable individual).

Any concerns about possible abuse should not be ignored. You can email

If you're uncertain about contacting the local authority, the AskSal helpline can offer help, guidance, and information. Call 03452 66 66 63. 

Dignity in care

Everyone who receives health and social care services should be treated with dignity and respect. This should stop incidents from ever becoming abusive. So if you want to understand a bit more about what dignity and respect should look like and what to do if it's sadly missing, click through to our page Dignity in Care.

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