Anybody with a concern about any abuse of older people is most welcome to contact the AEA Helpline and choose option 1 to speak to one of our staff or volunteers based in England. There is also a range of statutory organisations in England that are responsible for overseeing care provision, whether that is healthcare, such as GPs and hospitals, or social care, such as care in your own home or in a residential service. These organisations are obliged to act whether somebody is paying for their own care or not.

Specific organisations in England

Local councils

You can find the contact details for the social services department of your local council using the website. If you phone them you should ask for Adult Safeguarding. They are obliged to investigate concerns raised about people who are considered 'vulnerable'. You can raise a concern in this way regardless of whether your receive care support, fund your care through direct payments or if you are just concerned about someone.

Local Government Ombudsman

The Local Government Ombudsman is able to consider complaints from people who arrange or fund their own adult social care (e.g. Direct Payments). This is in addition to complaints about care arranged and funded by local authorities.The LGO’s role includes those who ‘self-fund’ from their own resources or have a personalised budget. In most cases they will only consider a complaint once the care provider has been given a reasonable opportunity to deal with the situation. It is a free service. You can contact their advice team online or by phone on 0300 061 0614.

They can also be contacted if you have raised a concern with the local council but you are unsatisfied with the outcome.

Care Quality Commission (CQC)

If you have concerns about bad practices or abuse in a care home or by care services delivered in somebody's home, you can report it to the Care Quality Commission. These organisations do not regulate care provided through personalised services, (e.g. Direct Payments) unless you receive care from a registered care service.

They will not investigate individual concerns but they will log the information and it could help inform future inspections they make of that particular service. With that in mind it is important to also raise the concern with your local council, as described above.


If you think a crime has been committed, report it to the Police immediately. In an emergency, call 999; otherwise, call your local station (find your local station here). The Police can also offer advice regarding safety at home and in the community, and may refer people to the linked Victim Support scheme (tel. 0845 30 30 900), staffed by trained volunteers.

You can make referrals to the Police regardless of whether you receive care support, and also if you receive care through a personalised service in the UK (e.g. Direct Payments).

GPs/practice nurses/dentists

You can speak, in confidence, to your GP, practice nurse or dentist if you are being harmed. If you know an older person who needs medical attention or seems to be emotionally upset, talk to them about seeing their GP or, with their permission, talk to a doctor/practice nurse on their behalf. A GP or dentist may also notice physical signs of abuse.