Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults and the Law

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This Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act SVGA was passed to help avoid harm, or risk of harm, by preventing people who are deemed unsuitable to work with children and vulnerable adults from gaining access to them through their work. The Independent Safeguarding Authority was established as a result of this Act. Organisations with responsibility for providing services or personnel to vulnerable groups have a legal obligation to refer relevant information to the service.

The Protection of Freedoms Bill Chapter 1 of Part 5 amends the SGVA , retaining the national barring function whilst abolishing registration and monitoring requirements. It is an offence under section of the MHA for staff employed in hospitals or mental nursing homes to ill treat or wilfully neglect a person with a mental disorder.

The MCA s44 extends this, creating two new criminal offences of ill treatment or wilful neglect of a person who lacks capacity to make relevant decisions. This applies to all people who lack mental capacity in whatever setting, thus offering protection to people with learning disabilities, brain injury or dementia.

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The offences may apply to all people, paid or unpaid, who care for a person who may lack capacity and those with deputyship, LPA or EPA. The maximum sentence for such offences is now five years.

How can our safeguarding solicitors help?

Ill treatment and wilful neglect are different. Ill treatment must be deliberate, is an offence irrespective of whether it causes harm, and involves an appreciation by the perpetrator that they were inexcusably ill ttreating the person or being reckless Mandelstam Ill treatment includes acts such as hitting, administering sedatives to keep people quiet, pulling hair, rough treatment, verbal abuse or humiliation Mandelstam Wilful neglect is a failure to act rather than a deliberate act to commit harm.

Examples of wilful neglect could include not administering the correct medication, failing to take someone to hospital when they have fallen and hurt themselves, not providing adequate pressure sore care or leaving someone locked and unattended in a vehicle Mandelstam Managers with responsibility for ensuring good care can be held accountable but currently there is no offence of corporate neglect. An important part of promoting dignity is ensuring a working environment that encourages people to challenge practices in their own workplace. This will be a complex undertaking and the department aims to engage with stakeholders to assist in informing the development of the policy.

To that end, a public consultation and engagement process will be undertaken in A range of legislation and policy-based measures to that end is already in place in Ireland but it is acknowledged that there is a need to identify gaps in legislation and also that promoting awareness and cultural change is key to effective safeguarding.

The Department of Health will develop a national safeguarding policy for the health sector underpinned with appropriate legislation. It will be a very broad and complex piece of work involving an extensive scoping exercise to determine the precise nature of the policy and the legislative framework that may be required to support it. It includes reviewing current practice and legislation, researching best practice internationally and wide-ranging consultation.

Safeguarding

A public consultation process will be announced in Are there existing safeguarding measures? However, while this policy delivers good systems and structures to provide for the protection of vulnerable adults it is an operational policy and is largely confined to just the social care division — primarily older people and disability related services. The HSE has also set up nine safeguarding and protection teams, one in each community health organisation CHO to co-ordinate consistent responses to concerns of abuse and neglect.

In , almost 8, notifications of safeguarding concerns were submitted to the safeguarding teams. The HSE has invested in additional staffing and support resources to strengthen the capacity base of these teams. Almost 60 staff members are involved in the safeguarding teams throughout the country. The implementation of the policy has seen the appointment of more than designated officers in service settings relating to disability and older persons and more than 30, health sector personnel have undertaken safeguarding training to date. The review includes research and analysis of legislative and procedural approaches to safeguarding vulnerable adults in other jurisdictions.

Whilst many people can achieve this independently, others may need additional help.

Safeguarding vulnerable adults.

Safeguarding vulnerable adults aims to protect these adults from harm and refers to the actions you take to achieve it. Everybody has a responsibility to safeguard vulnerable adults and support them in maintaining a good quality of life. A vulnerable adult is any person above the age of 18 who may struggle to take care of or protect themselves from harm and exploitation.

Adults who may be considered vulnerable include:.


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If you work with vulnerable adults, then you have a duty of care to protect them from harm and exploitation. This means that you should treat them with dignity and respect and act on any concerns you have. Your care should be guided and underpinned by six key principles, as defined by the Care Act :. For each of the principles in detail and advice on how you can implement them, take a look at our guide to The 6 Principles of the Care Act To help you fulfil these principles, you should understand the different types of abuse and know how to recognise their occurrence.

Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Law & Legislation Part Two

The most common types of abuse are:. Speak to the designated person in your organisation who handles safeguarding queries.

Safeguarding adults - The MDU

Whistleblowing is where you raise and share your concerns about wrongdoing in an organisation to an external party. Read your company handbook for more information on the whistleblowing procedure and who to contact. The level of training required depends on your position, so make sure you know which one you need. For more information on the level of training appropriate for your role, take a look at our guide to Safeguarding Training Bands. You should also be aware of certain pieces of legislation that apply when working with vulnerable adults.