Powerpoint by Action on Elder Abuse for peers briefing

Action on Elder Abuse
Brief summary of the Bill
Much, but not all, of the new legislation is about infrastructure
Statutory basis of Safeguarding Boards
A duty to cooperate
Balance between Local vs National needs
Definitions either reduced or removed
Inquiries based on professional judgements
Responding to self harm/self neglect discretionery
Power of Access for confidential
We have people in very vulnerable situations whose autonomy
is compromised by constraint, coercion or undue influence.
They are prevented from making a free choice or expressing
real and genuine consent.
Existing powers under Section 17 of the Police and Criminal
Evidence Act only cover situations involving an immediate
threat to life and limb (acknowledged by DH in 2008)
No other legislative options exist to gain access to the victim in
order to ascertain their wishes and views.
Power of Access for confidential
Government consultation:
212 responses
82 individuals
75 local authorities
15 NHS
14 Third Sector
We believe it is highly significant that members of the public were
far more strongly against the proposal compared to health and
social care professionals. There was some misunderstanding of
what was proposed, with the third party element often omitted.
This refers to responses from just 63 people, who may or may
not be potential victims of abuse.
Power of Access for confidential
Reasonable cause to suspect a person is at risk of abuse or
Access is not available through any other means.
‘Reasonable cause’ is tested via application to a justice of the
Exercising the power will not result in the person being at
greater risk of abuse or neglect.
Neglecting or ill treating an adult with
There is currently no specific offence to protect adults with
capacity who are the subject of neglect or abuse but who are
not covered by the Mental Health Act or the Mental Capacity
The Law Commission Report noted the gap in law relating to
protecting adults at risk who were being ill treated or neglected
but were not subject to the powers of these two Acts.
It further noted a police view that prosecutions were being
dropped in reality because doctors could not confirm, or had
not documented, that a person lacked capacity.
Neglecting or ill treating an adult with
Willfully cause or permit an adult to suffer, or inflict pain or
mental suffering upon an adult with care and support needs
Having care or custody of an adult, willfully cause or permit the
person or health of that adult to be injured, including through
Having care or custody of an adult, willfully causes or permits
that person to be placed in a situation that endangers life or
Duty to report adults at risk of abuse
There is currently no duty on agencies to notify a Local
Authority if they believe an adult may be at risk of abuse. Local
Authorities cannot be expected to identify all abuse by
themselves, or to rely on the goodwill of others to make
referrals. There is a need to underline the responsibility of all
agencies to report if they have reasonable belief that an adult
is at risk.
The Welsh Bill proposes a duty be placed on a relevant partner
of a local authority.
Duty to report adults at risk of abuse
Reasonable cause to suspect that a local authority would be
under a duty to undertake a safeguarding inquiry
A relevant partner would include:
Another Local Authority
A provider of probation services
A provider of regulated activities
A local Health Board, or an NHS Trust
Anyone else specified by regulations
Elder Abuse Helpline
080 8808 8141
Admin telephone:
020 8835 9280
[email protected]