Scottish Executive promises legislation to protect vulnerable adults

    A vulnerable adults bill will be introduced by the Scottish
    Executive “as soon as suitable legislative opportunity arises”
    according to Hugh Henry, deputy minister for justice,
    writes Maggie Wood.

    Speaking at the Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults conference in
    Tulliallan, Henry said that several key agencies including the
    Mental Welfare Commission and the Social Work Services Inspectorate
    have recommended a bill in the wake of the Borders abuse case in
    which four adults with learning disabilities were systematically
    abused over a thirty year period.

    Failings in comprehensive care planning, in information sharing
    between agencies and key managers, and inadequate monitoring of
    staff performance were key findings in the inquiry, said Henry.
    While “local agencies bear the brunt of recommendations for action,
    the Scottish executive has accepted all those directed to it,” he
    said.

    Dr Donald Lyons, director of the mental welfare commission said:
    “We are very pleased to hear that the executive is committed to
    introducing the vulnerable adult’s bill. Given that the
    specific recommendation arose from the Borders case, we will be
    looking to see whether the proposed new legislation would make such
    a situation less likely in the future.”

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