The Big Question

Was the High Court right to rule that people accused of abuse should not be banned from working with clients without a hearing?

People should be put straight on the register where there are strong suspicions of abuse, otherwise they could go on to abuse others before a hearing can take place. You’ve got to give the vulnerable person being cared for the benefit of the doubt. I can safely say after 25 years as a nurse that a lot of abusive situations arise and we need to protect people.

ANGIE LAWRENCE – Single mother
In the main, I agree with the ruling. However, each case has to be considered carefully. If allowing a care worker to continue working while awaiting a hearing may put clients at risk, then the worker should be placed on the Protection of Vulnerable Adults (Pova) register banning them immediately.

KAREN SHOOK – Disability equality adviser
There is a world of difference between someone being accused of abuse and being found guilty of it. Everyone should be given a fair chance to be heard fairly and judged on the evidence. Having said that, the needs of vulnerable adults should always take precedence over the needs of proven abusers.

KERRY EVANS – Parent of two severely autistic children
They should be suspended and named until a hearing clears their name. How else can the family of the abused have the confidence to entrust their loved ones to organisations which provide health care or respite? Anyone who works with vulnerable clients knows that abuse carries heavy penalties.

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