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Richmond Self-Neglect and Hoarding Panel

Richmond Self-Neglect and Hoarding Panel was established in partnership with key organisations that form part of the Richmond and Wandsworth Safeguarding Adult Board.

It was previously called the Vulnerable Adult Multi-Agency panel (VAMA).


An adult may be considered as self-neglecting and therefore may be at risk of harm if they are:

  • Either unable or unwilling to provide adequate care for themselves - for example, unmanaged personal hygiene or other activities of daily living such as shopping
  • Not engaging with a network of support
  • Unable or unwilling to obtain necessary care to meet their needs - for example, not attending vital health appointments or taking medication
  • Show a lack of care for their environment, such as living in squalor, hoarding and/or refusal of services that would mitigate risk of harm
  • Unable to protect themselves adequately against potential exploitation or abuse

Hoarding that has reached level 5 or above (in line with London Fire Brigade protocol) in the Clutter Rating Scale would also be considered for discussion alongside other risk factors as cited above.

The panel typically discuss cases where there is significant fire risk such as:

  • Evidence of cigarette burns to clothes, bedding, carpets
  • Evidence in the property of small burns or fires
  • Unsafe cooking practices such as leaving gas on or leaving items on stove top
  • Unsafe storage of flammable liquids or gases - particularly if the adult is a known smoker
  • Where the person’s mental capacity is impaired, and they appear unable to identify and manage a fire risk either through a cognitive decline and/or substance misuse

What we do

The panel aims to facilitate multi-agency discussions to share information and formulate risk management plans. Cases are escalated to this panel where the individual Safeguarding process has been unable to reduce or alleviate the risks due to challenges around engagement with the adult.

The panel meets monthly to consider high risk, complex cases typically relating to self-neglect or hoarding.  

The panel is chaired by a representative of the Local Authority Safeguarding Adults Team and is comprised of senior representatives from a variety of organisations including London Fire Brigade, Metropolitan Police, Housing, Community Mental Health Service and other health partners.

Actions will be assigned to relevant agencies or professionals to complete, and feedback will be provided by the agency’s representative at the panel. Whilst the panel facilitates multi-agency dialogue the case management responsibilities are retained by the front-line professionals.

You can download the terms of reference for a clearer understanding of how the panel works.

How we can help

Self-neglect has been identified as a category of abuse within the Care Act 2014 however not all situations relating to this will require a safeguarding response. Some adults may be willing to accept support by having a Care Act Assessment and this option should be considered in the first instance.

Visit our referral pathway to find out more.  

If the adult at risk has declined support and there are concerns for their safety, a safeguarding referral should be made.  

Once the safeguarding concern is allocated, if it is felt that the risk has not been reduced the case can be escalated to the Richmond Self Neglect and Hoarding panel as cited on this page.

How to make a referral

Visit our Report adult abuse page to raise a safeguarding referral.

When detailing the nature of concerns being raised, be clear about what the risks are and whether input from the Richmond Self-Neglect and Hoarding panel would be beneficial.  

This will be taken into consideration when the referral is being processed, so ensure this information is included.

Updated: 06 June 2024

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