Jean McLellan


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Action on Elder Abuse

Adult Support & Protection (Scotland) Act: 

Adult Support andamp; Protection (Scotland) Act Scottish Executive Adult Support andamp; Protection Unit


Background Scottish Law Commission 1997 ‘Report on Vulnerable Adults’ recommended new legislation Millan Committee report 2001 took forward aspects of the SLC recommendations for mental health… ...but also recommended that the remaining proposals be taken forward

Existing Legislation: 

Existing Legislation Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 protected those with incapacity Mental Health (Care andamp; Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 protected those with a mental disorder but those who are frail, older, or those unable to protect themselves from harm/abuse or subject to exploitation/neglect were still not covered.


Consultation Most recent consultation held in 2005 sought views on adult protection measures Definitions Role of Adult Protection Committees Risk assessment andamp; management Role of mediation Use of guardianship for those with learning disability Need for alternatives to MH Act for compulsory care of those with a learning disability

What will the Act do?: 

What will the Act do? Introduces new adult protection powers and procedures Establishes multi-agency Adult Protection Committees to oversee strategic and operational effectiveness of prevention andamp; protection interventions Includes other amendments to primary legislation AWI andamp; Mental Health Acts Ordinary residence rules Liable relatives Direct payments procedures Mostly technical amendments to clarify legislative intent more clearly

Aim of the Act: 

Aim of the Act Intention of this legislation is to provide the means to intervene andamp; prevent abuse continuing – consistently! To put in place strengthened measures to give greater protection for those at risk from abuse To improve inter-agency co-operation and promotion of good inter-disciplinary practice

General Principles: 

General Principles Intervention must provide benefit to the adult Actions should be most supportive andamp; least restrictive Must have regard to wishes of adult, nearest relative, carer importance of adult’s participation adult must not be treated less favourably adult’s abilities, background and characteristics

Adult Protection Measures: 

Adult Protection Measures The Act will provide new powers to: Investigate suspected abuse Carry out assessments of the adult andamp; their circumstances Intervene to remove the adult or manage the risk of abuse If necessary andamp; as last resort, to exclude the perpetrator If necessary andamp; as a last resort, to force entry to perform the above functions

Key Definitions: 

Key Definitions 'adults at risk' are adults, aged 16 and over, who - are unable to safeguard their own well-being, property, rights or other interests, are at risk of harm, and because they are affected by disability, mental disorder, illness or physical or mental infirmity, are more vulnerable to being harmed than adults who are not so affected.

Key Definitions: 

Key Definitions 'harm' includes all harmful conduct and, in particular, includes - conduct which causes physical harm, conduct which causes psychological harm (e.g. by causing fear, alarm or distress), unlawful conduct which appropriates or adversely affects property, rights or interests (e.g. theft, fraud, embezzlement or extortion), conduct which causes self-harm.

Consent of the adult: 

Consent of the adult Protection orders should not be granted without consent of adult But refusal to consent can be ignored where it is believed that the adult had been unduly pressurised to refuse consent This will be balanced by guiding principles

Undue pressure: 

Undue pressure Adult at risk may be considered to have been unduly pressurised to refuse to consent…..if it appears - that the abuse….is being inflicted by a person in whom the adult at risk has confidence and trust, and that the adult at risk would consent if the adult did not have confidence and trust in that person

Adult Protection Committees (APC): 

Adult Protection Committees (APC) Councils will have a duty to establish an APC To review procedures andamp; practices To promote good practice Identification of inter-agency training needs Improving co-operation between a range of public bodies

Related developments: 

Related developments List of those deemed unsuitable to work with adults – consultation in 2004 is now part of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 Those with a learning disability who are compulsorily detained via Mental Health Act – consulted on as part of 2005 consultation – work ongoing to take forward policy rather than law

Where we are now……: 

Where we are now…… Bill was introduced to Scottish Parliament on 30 March 2006 Stage 1 – general principles of the Bill was considered by 10 November 2006. Stage 1 Debate 23 November 2006 Stage 2 – consideration of detail was on 12 and 19 December 2006 Stage 3 – secured Parliamentary approval on 15 February 2007 Royal Assent – circa 15 March 2007

…..and beyond: 

…..and beyond Development of appropriate guidance and Codes of Practice in consultation with stakeholders - section 45 Development of appropriate guidance relating to functions of APCs - section 44 Consult on subordinate legislation on ‘Council Officer’ - section 49 Commencement of measures – April 2008?

Protection of Vulnerable Groups(Scotland) Act: 

Protection of Vulnerable Groups(Scotland) Act Scottish Vetting andamp; Barring Scheme – creates a Central Barring Unit to take decisions on unsuitability Mirrors Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act within UK Parliament Introduces List of Adults unsuitable to work with ‘protected adults’ Includes Children’s List (repeals PoCA 2003) Commencement from Autumn 2008.

Protection of Vulnerable Groups(Scotland) Act: 

Protection of Vulnerable Groups(Scotland) Act Protected Adult – service-based definition i.e. adult is receiving care and support from a person doing regulated work Regulated work with adults – whose normal duties or position involve contact with protected adults (paid or unpaid) Harm/Risk of Harm – physical, psychological, misappropriates property or interests etc. Operates on basis of referrals to Central Barring Unit and exchange of information which may be relevant to person’s suitability Delivers continuous updating of relevant information

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