REPORTING a concern of ABUSE
Safeguarding Ireland encourages people to report any safeguarding concerns whether this is about yourself, or someone you know and care about.
If you have a concern about abuse, neglect or coercion there are many different ways to report it, or to receive additional information to assist you in addressing the problem.
The message from Safeguarding Ireland is to – ‘Call out Abuse’ and report it.
Safeguarding concerns – HSE Safeguarding and Protection teams
The main provider of services to safeguard in Ireland is the HSE which operates an Adult Safeguarding Policy within older persons services and services for people with disabilities.
The National Safeguarding Office is based in Limerick ([email protected] / (061) 461 358) and there are nine regional Safeguarding and Protection Teams covering all community health regions in the country.
The teams are tasked to assess allegations of abuse or neglect and to intervene to address concerns (being mindful of the will and preferences of the adult at risk of abuse).
The local contact details for each of the nine regional teams are:
- Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal: [email protected] / (071) 983 4660
- Roscommon, Galway and Mayo: [email protected] / (091) 748 432
- Clare, Limerick, North Tipperary and East Limerick: [email protected] / (067) 464 70
- Cork and Kerry: [email protected] / 021 492 7550
- South Tipperary, Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford: [email protected] / (056) 778 4325
- Wicklow, Dun Laoghaire and Dublin South East: [email protected] / (01) 216 4511
- Kildare, Wicklow, Dublin West, Dublin South City and Dublin South West: [email protected] / (045) 920 410
- Laois, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath, Louth and Meath: [email protected] / (01) 691 4632
- Dublin North, Dublin North Central and Dublin North West: [email protected] / (01) 625 0447.
For questions about health services you can also contact HSE Live which is open Monday to Friday 9am–5pm, Saturday and Sunday 8am–8pm. Callsave 1850 24 1850, or 01 240 8787.
Financial abuse – Banks’ Vulnerable Customer Support
The five major banks and An Post are members of the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), which has a website www.safeguardyourmoney.ie, with tips and advice to help you keep control of your money whatever your circumstances.
Each bank has set up a telephone support service for vulnerable customers. If you have any concern regarding financial abuse, misuse of a joint bank account or agency facility, you should contact the relevant bank.
- AIB: 0818 207 232
- Bank of Ireland: 1800 946 146
- Permanent TSB: 1800 218 000
- KBC Bank: 1800 804 472
- Ulster Bank DAC: 1800 656 001
If you bank with a different institution, not listed here, they may also have support available and you should contact that bank directly.
If your concern does not relate to an account and is to do with day-to-day money management, budgeting, or debt, the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) www.mabs.ie may be able to assist, contact 0761 07 2000.
Social welfare payments – Department of Social Protection
If you have concerns about financial abuse of your social welfare payment, or the social welfare payment of someone you know and care about, you should contact, in confidence: Safeguarding Unit, Department of Social Protection, College Road, Sligo, F91 T384 / [email protected] / (071) 9193259.
Concerns about a health or social care service – HIQA
The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) is an independent authority established to drive high-quality and safe care for people using health and social care services in Ireland. The Authority does not have the legal power to investigate individual complaints, however information or concerns about services received are reviewed and assessed.
If there is a serious risk to the health and welfare of service users, HIQA may decide to take appropriate action. The Authority may also undertake, or be required by the Minister of Health to undertake, an investigation into the safety, quality and standard of healthcare services.
Having your voice heard – Independent Advocacy
Sage Advocacy is a national charity, which provides a support and advocacy service for older people, vulnerable adults and healthcare patients. Sage Advocacy will always stand up for the individual’s rights, respect their dignity and make sure their voice is heard – it works on the individual’s behalf, independent of family, to make sure that decisions are not taken without a person’s agreement. Sage Advocacy can provide immediate advice on a wide range of issues from rights, to making choices, care and support. Call: (01) 536 7330 or 1850 71 94 00 or email: [email protected]
National Advocacy Service
The National Advocacy Service provides an independent representative advocacy service for adults with disabilities, contact 0761 07 3000.
There are also many national and local representative and support service organisations in the health, social, disability, financial services and aging sector.
They do not have powers to investigate safeguarding concerns such as the Gardai or National Safeguarding Office but they may be able to support you with information and advices. Suggested organisations include:
- Age Action: https://www.ageaction.ie
- Age Friendly Ireland: https://agefriendlyireland.ie
- Alzheimer Society of Ireland: https://alzheimer.ie
- Disability Federation of Ireland: https://www.disability-federation.ie
- Free Legal Advice Centres: https://www.flac.ie
- Inclusion Ireland: http://www.inclusionireland.ie
- Irish Hospice Foundation: https://hospicefoundation.ie
- Commission for Regulation of Utilities: https://www.cru.ie/need-assistance/vulnerable-customers/
- Vulnerable customers register (Electric Ireland form): https://www.electricireland.ie/docs/roi-residential-footer—customers-with-special-needs/2615_ei_vulnerable_cust_reg_form_a4_cofovc0518_v5.pdf?sfvrsn=9e47be0d_12
Safeguarding Ireland does not provide services, or cannot itself investigate abuse concerns, however we will be happy to help with directing concerns at [email protected]