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Vulnerable Adult Risk Management – VARM

The vulnerable adult risk management (VARM) process was implemented in November 2021. The Sandwell Safeguarding Adults Board agreed the need for a process to manage risks which may arise within specific circumstances when working with adults deemed to have capacity to make decisions for themselves, but who are at risk of serious harm or death through:

  • self-neglect (Care Act 2014)
  • risk taking behaviour / chaotic lifestyles or
  • refusal of services

The VARM is a multi-agency adult assessment risk management process to:

  • identify the relevant risks for the individual
  • discuss and agree agency responsibilities/actions
  • record, monitor and review progress with the agreed action plan
  • agree when the risks have been managed and evaluate the outcome

The aim of the VARM policy and practice guidance is to provide professionals with useful information and a framework to facilitate effective multi-agency working with adults who are at significant risk.

VARM – What to Expect

What to Expect Leaflet – This leaflet will help the service user to better understand that VARM stands for Vulnerable Adults Risk Management and why a VARM meeting has been arranged. There is a section in the leaflet for the service user to write down their views, wishes and feelings, and it can be used as a way for service users to contribute to the VARM process if they do not wish to attend the meeting, or to support discussion at the meeting if they do attend. Where possible, the leaflet should be shared with the service user at the start of the process.

VARM Podcasts

To help clarify the VARM process in Sandwell, there is a podcast.

‘What is VARM?’ has been collaboratively produced and explains how the process works, citing examples based on real cases.

We would encourage professionals to read the VARM policy and practice guidance along with a referral form and the other documentation you will need.  Please see Toolkit below for all documentation.

Sandwell Safeguarding Adults Board acknowledge the work, support & contribution of Derbyshire Safeguarding Adults Board in developing a Sandwell VARM policy.