Care Services Minister Phil Hope today launched a consultation on how to improve safeguarding policy - the protection of vulnerable adults - and address abuse in all its forms in the care system.
The 'No Secrets' guidance for local authorities, the police and the NHS to work together to protect adults is already in place. The Government now wants to make sure it keeps up with changes in the social care system, with the new emphasis on choice and control and changing forms of abuse.
Key issues on which Government is seeking views are:
-- Whether there is now a need for legislation,
-- The feasibility of a national database of recommendations from serious case reviews where abuse has occurred
-- What new measures are needed in the face of increased 'personalisation' of care with more people now being in charge of their own care instead of local authorities
-- What new measures are needed in the face of changing forms of abuse, such as financial abuse
Phil Hope said:
"I am determined to improve safeguarding of vulnerable people. We need a greater focus on prevention, a greater emphasis on safeguarding in commissioning services and support, and greater empowerment of people to determine how they wish to be safeguarded. The No Secrets guidance must be updated to make sure everyone - individuals, police, care agencies, the NHS and local authorities prevent abuse, and also recognise it and stamp it out if it does occur.
"The consultation is particularly relevant as more people gain control of their own care. I want to help people maintain this control and independence, free from fear of abuse. I look forward to hearing people's views and will not hesitate to take tough action to improve safeguarding for those in vulnerable situations."
The consultation on the review of No Secrets will run from 14th October to 31st January 2009.
The consultation can be found on the Department of Health website here.
A review of the No Secrets Guidance on protection of vulnerable adults was announced by Ivan Lewis in 2007.