Presentation on theme: "Action on Elder Abuse. Much, but not all, of the new legislation is about infrastructure Statutory basis of Safeguarding Boards A duty to cooperate Brief."— Presentation transcript:
Action on Elder Abuse
Much, but not all, of the new legislation is about infrastructure Statutory basis of Safeguarding Boards A duty to cooperate Brief summary of the Bill Balance between Local vs National needs Definitions either reduced or removed Inquiries based on professional judgements Responding to self harm/self neglect discretionery
Power of Access for confidential interview Existing powers under Section 17 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act only cover situations involving an immediate threat to life and limb (acknowledged by DH in 2008) No other legislative options exist to gain access to the victim in order to ascertain their wishes and views. We have people in very vulnerable situations whose autonomy is compromised by constraint, coercion or undue influence. They are prevented from making a free choice or expressing real and genuine consent.
Power of Access for confidential interview Government consultation: 212 responses82 individuals75 local authorities 15 NHS14 Third Sector We believe it is highly significant that members of the public were far more strongly against the proposal compared to health and social care professionals. There was some misunderstanding of what was proposed, with the third party element often omitted. This refers to responses from just 63 people, who may or may not be potential victims of abuse.
Power of Access for confidential interview Reasonable cause to suspect a person is at risk of abuse or neglect. Access is not available through any other means. ‘Reasonable cause’ is tested via application to a justice of the peace. Exercising the power will not result in the person being at greater risk of abuse or neglect.
Neglecting or ill treating an adult with capacity There is currently no specific offence to protect adults with capacity who are the subject of neglect or abuse but who are not covered by the Mental Health Act or the Mental Capacity Act. The Law Commission Report noted the gap in law relating to protecting adults at risk who were being ill treated or neglected but were not subject to the powers of these two Acts. It further noted a police view that prosecutions were being dropped in reality because doctors could not confirm, or had not documented, that a person lacked capacity.
Neglecting or ill treating an adult with capacity Willfully cause or permit an adult to suffer, or inflict pain or mental suffering upon an adult with care and support needs Having care or custody of an adult, willfully cause or permit the person or health of that adult to be injured, including through neglect Having care or custody of an adult, willfully causes or permits that person to be placed in a situation that endangers life or health
Duty to report adults at risk of abuse There is currently no duty on agencies to notify a Local Authority if they believe an adult may be at risk of abuse. Local Authorities cannot be expected to identify all abuse by themselves, or to rely on the goodwill of others to make referrals. There is a need to underline the responsibility of all agencies to report if they have reasonable belief that an adult is at risk. The Welsh Bill proposes a duty be placed on a relevant partner of a local authority.
Duty to report adults at risk of abuse Reasonable cause to suspect that a local authority would be under a duty to undertake a safeguarding inquiry A relevant partner would include: Police Another Local Authority A provider of probation services A provider of regulated activities A local Health Board, or an NHS Trust Anyone else specified by regulations