Partnership in Safeguarding People with Dementia from Primary and Social Care Perspectives

  • Lasrado, Reena (PI)
  • Robinson, Catherine (CoI)
  • Cooper, Mark (CoI)
  • Panagioti, Maria (CoI)
  • Blakeman, Thomas (CoI)
  • Dixon, Jeremy (CoI)
  • Maharani, Asri (Researcher)
  • Rauf, Mohammed Akhlak (CoI)

Project: Research council

Project Details


“Adult safeguarding is everyone's responsibility”. The Care Act 2014 makes safeguarding a legal duty. It provides local authorities and other agencies in England with a responsibility to protect adults with care and support needs from abuse and neglect. This is done most effectively when all relevant agencies work together. This is particularly important for people living with dementia, as they are at higher risk of abuse or neglect. Such abuse is most common in their own homes and care settings. Primary and social care professionals are likely to have regular contacts with older people, hence have opportunities for early identification and prevention of abuse. However, little is known about how primary care practitioners work in partnership with social care and other agencies to investigate and manage abuse.

This project will outline how health professionals in primary care settings understand and respond to abuse and what their understandings of safeguarding law and policy are. It will also identify how social services departments assess and manage referrals relating to people living with dementia in primary care settings. Furthermore, the study will analyse the experiences of people with dementia and families who are at the centre of safeguarding

Our study has three phases. In phase 1, we will synthesise current research and practice evidence to develop a theory of safeguarding conceptualisation and process. In phase 2, we will analyse national statistics on safeguarding (NHS digital dataset), ageing and dementia data (English Longitudinal Study of Ageing) to understand patterns of reporting and how they vary across location, gender, ethnicity and time period. In phase 3, we will interview GPs, social workers, safeguarding leads, independent advocates, people with dementia, family members, support workers, carers and other professionals who make or receive referrals via primary care. We will also conduct group discussions in which professionals, people with dementia and family carers will come together to share their experiences, and will identify, approaches for preventing abuse and collaboration amongst relevant agencies. Phase 3 will also help us to develop complex case studies, drawing on data from phases 1 and 2.

In consultation with our PPIE (Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement) members and practitioners, we will develop practice guidance for professionals to aid multi-agency collaboration in safeguarding cases specific to dementia. We will also produce videos and plain English versions of case studies of complex safeguarding scenarios and strategies in consultation with safeguarding leads, law experts, training providers and other key stakeholders. Experts by experience (working with, caring for or living with dementia), will be able to guide the team with cultural nuances and appropriateness to ensure that the material developed is sensitive to all populations. An info graph/pictograph displaying signs of abuse, staying safe and what to do, aimed at people with dementia and family will be compiled. We will liaise with national safeguarding leads so that this information can be displayed in GP clinics. Furthermore, we will contact social responsibility personnel for supermarkets and discuss the potentials of wider circulation for displaying this information in stores.
Short title272657
Effective start/end date1/04/2229/03/24

Collaborative partners


  • Dementia
  • Safeguarding


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