MPs have called for substantial amendments to Scottish legislation to protect vulnerable adults.
In a report, the Scottish parliament’s health committee warned that the Adult Support and Protection Bill could “become a mechanism to police lifestyles”. This is due to plans to allow council officers to remove older people from their homes if they suspect abuse by a carer.
The report called for a right to appeal against removal orders, tighter tests on whether people should be removed against their will, and the replacement of the term “abuse” in the bill to prevent stigma against those “guilty of benign neglect”.
The report said: “The committee believes there is a need to be particularly careful in balancing the need to protect vulnerable people with the rights of individuals.”
Meanwhile, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations has warned that the vetting and barring scheme for people working with children and vulnerable adults will be costly for charities and may deter people from volunteering.
Under the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Bill all people, including volunteers, coming into regular contact with children or vulnerable adults will need to be checked to work with such groups.