Vulnerable Adult Risk Management (VARM)

The vulnerable adult risk management (VARM) process was implemented in 2013. The Derbyshire 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. The VARM policy, practice guidance and meeting record template are attached to this page.

VARM What to Expect leaflet

This leaflet will help the service user 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. The leaflet is attached to this page.

VARM podcasts

To help clarify the VARM process in Derbyshire there are 2 podcasts - What is VARM? and VARM Case Study - which have been collaboratively produced and explain how the process works, citing examples based on real cases. You can also watch the VARM podcasts in British Sign language format.

However, we would encourage professionals to read the VARM policy and practice guidance along with a flowchart, referral form and the other documentation you will need.

VARM hoarding grant

The VARM hoarding grant is funded by Derbyshire County Council, NHS Derby and Derbyshire Integrated Care Board and Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service. It is linked to the VARM process and can be accessed with agreement from VARM Chairs to provide practical support for service users who are in a VARM process. These funds are only available when no other funding is possible and in exceptional circumstances.

VARM hoarding grant funding will be available for the financial year 2024 to 2025 and applications will be considered from 1 April 2024. The VARM hoarding grant application form and guidance, along with a list of benevolent funds and charitable funding are attached to this page.