Neglect and Acts of Omission

Definition of Neglect:

The failure of any person, who has responsibility for the charge, care or custody of an adult at risk, to provide the amount and type of care that a reasonable person would be expected to provide. Neglect can be intentional or unintentional. Read More

In 2016-17 this was the most common form of adult abuse, making up 36% of all safeguarding enquiries conducted by the four Councils across Tees. Care homes, the individuals own home, and hospitals where the most common location for this type of abuse.

Learning from Safeguarding Adult Reviews linked to Self-Neglect (Professor Suzy Brae)

Research Identified the Following Themes in Good Care Homes:

  • A shared purpose in providing the best person centred care
  • A sense of community between all involved in the care home
  • Managers ensuring external pressures do not have a negative impact on care delivery
  • Staff being empowered to take responsibility for resident well-being
  • An openness to change for the benefit of residents
  • Using the care home environment to the benefit of residents
  • Person centred activity and engagement being integral to care work.

“The person-centred approach is about the building of authentic relationships. Organisations that adopt a person-centred approach to care also recognise the need to work by the same set of principles with their staff. If the wellbeing and development of an individual member of staff is not respected, then they in turn will find it difficult to maintain respect for those they care for over a sustained period of time. Likewise, building relationships with families is important” (The Care Home Organisations Cultures of Excellence Report 2016).

Medication Errors

Medication errors in hospitals and care homes have been a key trend linked to Neglect and Acts of Omission between 2015 and 2017. Audits and other existing management processes will help to prevent further instances from occurring, as well as improving awareness of changes to legislation, guidelines and good practice.

See Local Policies, Strategies and Procedures for guidance linked to this subject.


As with all forms of abuse, improving standards through training will also be a key component linked to the prevention of neglect.


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