Adult support and protection: guidance for GPs and primary care teams

Revised adult support and protection guidance to help GPs and practitioners be confident that their actions will meet safeguarding expectations and improve outcomes.

Practice Dilemmas

Undue Pressure

Are there indicators that the adult is being influenced by someone else they have trust in? Who is either intentionally or unintentionally preventing them from protecting themselves effectively? Or someone who is suspected of harming the adult, threatening them or someone the adult is afraid of?

Undue pressure may be applied to prevent the person seeking help or to influence the decisions they make which leave them at risk of harm. The outcome may or may not be a direct benefit to the person applying the pressure.

Harm by a Carer

This is where you know or believe someone with caring responsibilities is harming the person they care for. The harm may be intentional or unintentional but it will be important to speak with the adult at risk of harm alone.

It may also be appropriate to speak with carer. Prompts to such a conversation can include:

"I'm quite concerned that you're not getting the support you need OR Is there anything I can help you with? OR Can you tell me how you're managing the situation?"

It may also be useful to speak about their right to a Carers Assessment

If you are refused access to the adult and your information causes you to know or believe that the adult is at risk of harm you should consider making a referral.

Duty of Candour

Roles and Responsibilities FAQs can be located online


Working with patients who are at risk of harm and making decisions to protect them can be stressful. Within your practice, it may be beneficial to establish an adult protection lead or champion who can advise at the time issues arise and also assist with a team brief.



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