Charities and public agencies seek law on adult safeguarding

Fifty-five organisations from the statutory and voluntary sectors including Action on Elder Abuse and Voice UK came together to launch a campaign to push for legislation on adult protection this week.

The campaign has been formed in response to the government’s consultation on reviewing the No Secrets guidance on vulnerable adults.

Safeguarding framework

Action on Elder Abuse chief executive Gary FitzGerald said: “The consensus is that there needs to be a legislative framework for adult protection. I have yet to find any organisation that disagrees with that.”

He said this position was likely to be strengthened over the next two to three months by “a range of statutory organisations making statements in support of legislation”.

FitzGerald said the launch meeting had been organised to see which of the organisations backing the campaign wanted to work towards consensus positions on issues raised in the consultation other than legislation. These include the link between personalisation and safeguarding.

Co-ordinate responses

The main purpose of the campaign at this stage is to co-ordinate responses to the consultation, but it will continue after the end of this process.If the government then decides to develop a legislative framework, the campaign would work to facilitate this. However, if it rejected this approach, the campaign would continue to push the argument for legislation.

In the consultation document, the Department of Health said it was open-minded on the case for legislation, but warned a bill was unlikely to be introduced until 2011 at the earliest.

The consultation, which was launched last month, closes at the end of January.

• More information on No Secrets

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