Call for advocacy for adults in abuse cases

Legislation to improve protection of adults from abuse in Scotland must include a right to advocacy for people who lack capacity, a campaigner told delegates.

Norman Dunning, chief executive of learning difficulties charity Enable, raised concerns over provisions in the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Bill allowing intervention in abuse cases without the alleged victim’s consent.

He argued the bill, which is going through the Scottish parliament, could lead to people with learning difficulties being “automatically labelled as vulnerable”, and called for a right to advocacy and support to be included.

But Ann Ferguson, national project manager at Age Concern Scotland , said intervention without consent should be allowed when older people were unable to protect themselves, though only as a last resort. She said it would reduce the burden on people to take the initiative to help themselves.

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