Self-neglect and hoarding


The Care Act Guidance advises that ‘self neglect’ covers a wide range of behaviour including neglecting to care for one’s personal hygiene, health or surroundings and includes behaviour such as hoarding. The term ‘self-neglect’ is commonly used to refer to:

  • Lack of self-care: in personal hygiene, in adhering to daily needs, in refusal of essential care or necessary medical treatment.
  • Lack of care of the living environment: hoarding, squalor and infestation.

The 4LSAB Multi-Agency Safeguarding Adults Policy provides guidance on responding to self-neglect and persistent welfare concerns here.

There is also a Self-neglect One Minute Guide and a Self-neglect Learning Briefing.

Printable posters on neglect are available here Neglect Poster 1 and Neglect Poster 2

The Lambeth SAB has produced the video below on how to respond to self-neglect.


‘Hoarding is the excessive collection and retention of any material to the point that living space is not able to be used for its intended purpose.’ The World Health Organisation say hoarding is characterised by an ‘accumulation of possessions due to excessive acquisition of – or difficulty discarding – possessions, regardless of their actual value.  Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty in discarding or parting with possessions. A person with a hoarding disorder may experience distress at the thought of disposing of the items or simply be unable, either physically or through other health related factors, dispose of items despite an acknowledgment that changes need to be made. They will have an excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual financial value. We are using today as an opportunity to share good practice guidance and local pathways to seek support.

4LSAB Multi-agency Hoarding Guidance

The 4LSAB Multi-Agency Hoarding Guidance sets out a framework for collaborative multi-agency working using a ‘person centred solution’ based model to support those demonstrating hoarding behaviours.

The purpose of this guidance is to support providers, practitioners, and other professionals to identify when to raise concerns regarding poor self care or lack of care for living conditions, identify agencies who can provide support and set out what they may expect by way of a response and encourage and support defensible decision making in accordance with our duty of care. This guidance should be read in conjunction with the 4LSAB Multi-Agency Safeguarding Policy. The document is available here: 4LSAB Multi-Agency Hoarding Guidance 2022

Safe and Well

Hampshire Fire Service Safe and Well is a Home Fire Safety visit that’s tailored to an individual’s needs, relating to their health and lifestyle choices.  This is available to people with vulnerabilities that may indicate that they are at more risk of harm from fire.  This visit is free of charge and will include a customer-made information pack, installation of new fire alarms and a check of existing fire alarms, issue of fire retardant bedding, furniture throws and nightwear and, if appropriate, a referral to other services for a professional assessment.  To find out more visit the Hampshire Fire Service Safe and Well webpage.