Changes to the way safeguarding adult referrals are made

Changes to referrals

From 1st April 2024 professionals should only use the online referral form to refer safeguarding adult concerns.

This has been a planned change to support the improved quality of safeguarding adult referrals. Having multiple different options for people to refer safeguarding adults concerns can be confusing for the referrer and create difficulties for those processing concerns in the Local Authority. Moving to an online-only option for professionals will allow questions to be mandated which should be known by the referrer. These questions are essential to ensuring any subsequent action is as informed as it can be and also supports improved data collection for statutory returns.

The approach is replicated by other Safeguarding Adult Boards/Local Authorities in the region and also by our Newcastle Safeguarding Children Partnership/Children’s Social Care colleagues for child safeguarding concerns.

If you have any queries in relation to this change, please contact

Frequently Asked Questions

What does this mean for how I, or my organisation, works?

  • If you are responsible for making safeguarding adult referrals to the Local Authority you should use the online referral form to do this.
  • If you have responsibility for single-agency policy, procedure or processes please ensure that these are updated in line with this change. Please remove any word versions of the Newcastle Safeguarding Adults Initial Enquiry Form (SAIEF) form from your resources, systems, policies or procedures.
  • Many organisations have internal processes for reporting concerns prior to them being reported to the Local Authority – this change should not impact on these processes unless you have been told otherwise.

What happens if the online form is unavailable or isn’t working?

  • We will be able to revert to using the word version until any problem is fixed.
  • We will be able to post a temporary message on our main webpages about any problems and the word version for download.
  • We will ensure key Local Authority staff have access to the word version so that this can be passed on as and when required.

Are we making it more difficult for some people to make safeguarding adults referrals?

  • We are only introducing this change for professionals. Members of the public can continue to make referrals in whichever way they find easiest (phone, email, in person or via an online form).
  • It is expected that all professionals have digital access and therefore asking people to refer in via an online form (rather than emailing a form) should not exclude anyone or make it more difficult.

What if a referral is made using an old version of the referral form?

  • The referral will still be accepted but advice and guidance will be provided on submission of future referrals.
  • We will review the impact of this change, this will include understanding how frequently the online referral form is not being used and what we can do to support people to use the online referral form in the future.

What else can I do to improve the quality of safeguarding adult referrals?

Improving the quality of safeguarding adult referrals has been a key priority for the Newcastle Safeguarding Adults Board in 2023-24 and a number of resources have been produced/updated: