Adults at risk of harm
Illness, or disability, can make an individual reliant upon others for help and support. In some cases, reliance can increase vulnerability to abuse and exploitation when trust is abused. People over the age of 16, who fall into this group, are sometimes referred to as adults at risk of harm. They could be someone who, through mental or physical disability:
- is unable to live unsupported alone
- cannot deal with their own financial affairs
- has suffered or is suffering physical or emotional abuse
- has been or is being financially exploited
- poses a danger to themselves or others
What is meant by harm?
Harm can take many forms including;
- physical violence
- psychological intimidation
- financial exploitation
- sexual abuse.
It can happen anywhere.
Report to your local Health and Social Care Partnership office, or for 'out of hours' call 0800 328 7758.
If the person is in immediate danger or in an emergency situation, call Police Scotland on 999. For non-emergency situations call 101. You do not need to leave your name, but it would help for more information.
If you work for an organisation and are worried about a client, complete a referral form (AP1) (Word, 33kb) and email it to: email@example.com
A person under the age of 16
Do as above. Separate child protection procedures will apply.
What happens next?
A council officer will investigate. They will work alongside other agencies to ensure the safety of the adult. This may involve:
- advocacy services - if the adult is unable or lacks the confidence to speak for themselves
- additional support - Care at Home, day services, respite care or Telecare
- guardianship order, or power of attorney, if the vulnerable adult is at risk of financial exploitation.
North Ayrshire Adult Protection Committee
The North Ayrshire Adult Protection Committee brings together practitioners from social care, voluntary organisations, the police and the NHS. The committee provides specialist training on adult protection to staff in its partner agencies.
ASP summary of key activity in North Ayrshire 2016-17 (PDF, 654kb).
Biennial Report 2014 - 2016
The Adult Protection Committee reports to the Scottish Government every 2 years, Biennial Report 2014-16 (PDF, 921kb).
Joint Thematic Inspection of ASP Report
North Ayrshire was one of six participating Authorities in the Joint Thematic Inspection of ASP.
View the Care Inspectorate report on the inspection.
There is information available on ASP training. It is open to individuals and partner organisations:
To request a place, complete and return an ASP Training Nomination Form (Word, 239kb).
For ASP training enquiries, email.
Identifying and Helping Adults at Risk of Harm (PDF, 1.8mb).