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Vulnerable Adult Multi-Agency Panel

We have formed the Vulnerable Adult Multi-Agency Panel (VAMA) in partnership with other organisations to consider cases of adults who remain at high risk of harm despite previous intervention efforts.

What we do

The panel includes representation from Richmond's adult social, housing and mental health services, as well as the Metropolitan Police and London Fire Brigade.

The purpose of the panel is to ensure that multi-agency communication and information sharing takes place on a regular basis and to support professionals and their managers in managing the most challenging and concerning cases.

The aims of the panel are:

  • To provide a clear and comprehensive review of multi-agency risk assessments and management plans as part of Section 42 Safeguarding Adult Enquiries
  • To discuss referrals and agree risk mitigation plans in each case
  • To assign a lead organisation to coordinate multi-agency work and report back on progress
  • For each organisation to provide advice where appropriate and to take responsibility on decision making tasks associated with their particular role

You can download our terms of reference(pdf, 115KB) for a clearer understanding of how the Panel works.

How we can help

One of the key changes in the Care Act with regard to safeguarding is to give consideration to ‘self-neglect’ as a form of adult abuse or neglect and to open a statutory enquiry on a ‘case by case’ basis. The role of the panel is to discuss all available options for increasing the safety of the adult at risk and to develop a coordinated action plan.

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
  • Not engaging with a network of support
  • Unable or unwilling to obtain necessary care to meet their needs
  • 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

What can be referred to us

The panel will consider cases that have, or are in the process of, being considered within the risk assessment process of any partner agency and there is a significant risk arising from:

  1. Hoarding that has reached level 5 or above in the Clutter Rating Scale. This is in line with the London Fire Brigade protocol.    
  2. A significant fire risk, including:
    • Evidence of cigarette burns to clothes, bedding, carpets
    • Evidence in the property of small burns or fires
    • Unsafe storage of flammable liquids or gases
    • 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.
  3. Self-neglect, which is having a significant effect on the adult’s ability to manage:
    • Their own personal care and hygiene
    • Their home environment
    • Activities of daily living such as shopping
    • Their health conditions – to include obtaining and administering medication and/or non-attendance to vital heath appointments
    • Their finances

How to make a referral

To make a referral to the VAMA panel, you must download and complete our VAMA Panel referral form. You must then email the completed form to

The document is designed to be a quick read summary of the identified needs and risks to the person and potential others.

A pre-agreed password will be used to secure the attached document(s) and is available on request.

Updated: 24 August 2023

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