Hope said the issue was particularly relevant given the increasing personalisation of the social care system and empowerment of service users.
He said: “I want to help people maintain this control and independence, free from fear of abuse.”
The consultation, which runs until 31 January 2009, will also consider whether there is a case for new legislation on adult protection and the feasibility of setting up a national database of recommendations from serious case reviews.
Earlier this month, Community Care reported that the government was shying away from legislation on adult protection, which has been demanded by groups including Action on Elder Abuse and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.
In today’s consultation, the Department of Health said the government was “open-minded on the question of legislation” and would welcome views on issues including its impact on multi-agency working and the ability of social workers to act on suspicions of abuse.
Safeguarding: Should councils have a duty of care to vulnerable adults?