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Clinical Matters Monthly Newsletter - Adult Support and Protection


The Adult Support and Protection Act 2007 gives greater protection to adults at risk of harm or neglect. The act defines adults at risk as those aged 16 years and over who: and because they are affected by disability, mental disorder, illness or physical or mental infirmity, are more vulnerable to being harmed than adults who are not so affected.

Having a particular condition, such as a learning disability or a mental illness, does not automatically mean an adult is at risk. Someone can have a disability and be perfectly able to look after themselves. For an adult to be considered at risk, all three parts of the definition must be met.

Adult Support and Protection Act (2007) defines an ‘adult at risk’ as someone who: Section 3(1) of the

Is unable to safeguard their own well-being, property, rights or other interests. Is at risk of harm, and

Because they are affected by disability, mental disorder, illness or physical or mental infirmity, is more vulnerable to being harmed than adults who are not so affected.

Note that the presence of one or two criteria does not automatically mean an adult is an adult at risk – all three of these elements must be met.

3-point adult at risk criteria

1.At risk of harm

Note that the presence of a particular condition does not automatically mean an adult is an adult at risk of harm. Someone could have a disability but be able to safeguard their well-being, property, rights and other interests.

2.More vulnerable to being harmed

The person may have learning or physical disabilities or mental health issues. Or they may be at risk of harm because of their age, frailty or illness. A person's vulnerability and risk of being abused also depends upon their circumstances.

3.Unable to safeguard

This criterion relates to whether the adult is unable to safeguard their own well-being, property, rights and other interests.

'Unable' is not further defined in the Act or guidance but is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as 'lacking the skill, means or opportunity to do something'.

A distinction should therefore be drawn between an adult who lacks these skills and is unable to safeguard themselves, and one who is deemed to have the skill, means or opportunity to keep themselves safe, but chooses not to do so.

An inability to safeguard oneself is not the same as an adult not having capacity. An adult may be considered unwilling rather than unable to safeguard themselves and so may not be considered an adult at risk.

Who monitors these the COMMITTEE

Adult Protection Committees (APC)

The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 set up multi-agency Adult

Protection Committees (APCs) in every council area. The Committee monitors and

reviews what is happening locally to safeguard adults. It is made up of senior staff

from many of the agencies involved in protecting adults who may be at risk.

These include staff from the council social services, the NHS and the police.

APCs are chaired by independent convenors, who cannot be members or officers of

the council. APCs have a central role to play in taking an overview of adult

protection activity in each council area and making recommendations to ensure

that adult protection activity is effective. APCs have a range of duties, which


reviewing adult protection practices

improving co-operation

improving skills and knowledge

providing information and advice

promoting good communication

Adult Protection Committees are required to submit a report to Scottish Ministers

every two years. We have produced guidance for Adult Protection Committees.

Inspection programme

The Act defines adults at risk as people aged 16 years or over who:

Who may be unable to safeguard their well-being, rights, interests, or their


may be harmed by other people

because of a disability, illness or mental disorder are more at risk of being harmed

than others who are not so affected

Supporting adults with learning disabilities and/or autism to stay safe

The Care Act 2014 places a responsibility on councils to protect people who are at

risk from abuse or neglect.

Many people don't realise the different forms harm can take or how to get help and

support. Harm may include:

physical harm

psychological harm

financial harm

sexual harm


This resource aims to support social workers and other social care staff to improve

recording skills – how you write down what you have seen and done, your analysis

of that, and what you plan to do as a result.

It is based on the concept of PARTNERSHIP – that recording should be done, as

much as possible, in conjunction with the person you are working with.

Your rights

Each legislation policy procedure is set to provide and protect/ guide each the

client and the carer, these give clear guidance into the required standards these


Health and social care standards

Care Inspectorate - how care is regulated

Complaints and feedback

Patient Advice and Support Service (PASS)

Caring for an adult with incapacity

Adult support and protection

Power of attorney


Advocacy Your safety is protected by a variety of laws covering the provision of

community care.

Some legislation relates to the whole UK, but much legislation differs in Scotland

from similar legislation in England.

From care staff perspective and guidance is given the same outline of protection

The importance of recording

Recording is an integral and important part of social work and social care. It is not

simply an administrative burden to go through as quickly as possible, but is central

to good, person-centered support. Recording is vital:

It supports good care and support

It is a legal requirement and part of staff’s professional duty

It promotes continuity of care and communication with other agencies

It is a tool to help identify themes and challenges in a person’s life

It is key to accountability – to people who use services, to managers, to inspections

and audits

It is evidence – for court, complaints and investigations

It will enhance your practice and the support you can offer people if you can make

good recording a central part of your work.

What is the most important reason why all accidents/incidents/near misses should

be investigated and recorded?

All the incidents/accidents have causes or the reasons – To eliminate the cause and

the future incidents or such events; Through investigating the accidents or the

incidents, we can discover the direct and indirect causes of an incident/accident.

Why is reporting so important?

Reporting incidents is essential since it raises the organization’s awareness about

the things that can go wrong so that corrective and preventative actions can be

taken promptly. This applies to industries involving manual labour, manufacturing

with heavy machinery, office work, care staff, nurses, and many others.

What are the aims of an incident investigation?

The overall purpose of an incident investigation is to: ascertain the causal and

contributing factors of an incident, near miss or hazard. determine and implement

corrective actions to prevent re-occurrence.

What is the difference between reporting and recording?

is that record is an item of information put into a temporary or permanent physical

medium while report is a piece of information describing, or an account of certain

events given or presented to someone.

What are the accident reporting procedures?

How Do I Report an Accident / incident at Work?

Step 1: Check there is no immediate risk of danger.

Step 2: Ensure that any individual if required receives the appropriate medical

assistance as necessary.

Step 3: Report to a manager or supervisor immediately

Step 4: Record the incident in the company’s log/ written, email, call ion to the office

Step 5: may be required to report the incident under RIDDOR done through the

management guidance

RIDDOR - Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013

RIDDOR puts duties on employers, the self-employed and people in control of work

premises (the Responsible Person) to report certain serious workplace accidents,

occupational diseases and specified dangerous occurrences (near misses).

Why is incident reporting important in the workplace?

Employees will be more cooperative in implementing new safety precautions if they

were involved in the decision and they can see that hazards are dealt with. Incident

reporting is important if resilient safety cultures are to become the industry norm.

Why is recording accidents and injuries at work important?

This includes minor cuts and burns that happen also injuries that someone else

inflicts on you while at work either physical verbally, also trips and falls, serious

cases of illness and serious accidents and injuries. Someone should oversee

recording information in the accident book, and this person should be noting down:

Why is it important to do an incident investigation?

Incident investigations that focus on identifying and correcting root causes

improves employee morale and attitude towards health and safety, by

demonstrating an employer’s commitment to a safe and healthful workplace.

Why is reporting all incidents matter?

Without the communication channel provided by incident reporting protocols, a

variety of threats to safety could go unnoticed and unresolved.

What should I report and who should I report it to?

Employers have a legal duty under RIDDOR regulations to make a formal report to

the Incident Contact Centre if any of their staff experience is a physically violent

incident which results in death, major injury or absence from work for seven days or


Instances of violence and crime should also be reported to the police. Police use this

data to identify hot spots and their interventions.

What should I record?

You should record incidents of work-related violence that you or your staff



It helps you build up a true picture of the risks and triggers for work-related violence

in your premises and therefore helps you to put relevant control measures in place.

It helps you to assess whether your control measures are working.

It can contribute towards the evidence needed for legal options such as Anti-social

Behaviour Orders.

We know that, in general, staff don't record work-related violence because:

they think violence is part of the job.

they think reporting violence will make them look incompetent and just add to their


they don't know how to record and report violence.

recording and reporting procedures are time-consuming or too complicated.

management don't encourage them to record violence.

they think that management or the police won't take any action.

they think the reputation of the business may be damaged.

they are concerned about license or insurance implications.

You need to try and overcome these obstacles by developing a recording system

that is quick and easy to use, promote its use amongst staff, and demonstrate that

you will act on the findings.


This means you!

How should I record incidents of violence?

A brief note of what happened, when, and who was involved should be enough to get

you started, particularly in the case of verbal abuse/accusations being made

against you. Alternatively, make a simple note in a diary or discuss at a staff

meeting if verbal abuse is experienced frequently?

You may want to devise a simple report form specifically for recording incidents of

work-related violence. This might be particularly useful to help you capture details of

the incident and perpetrator, which could then be used if the police take any formal

prosecution action. This might be particularly important for more serious incidents of

work-related violence.

You might also want to record details of any circumstances you or your staff think

might have contributed to the incident, eg your client may not be well, they may be

worried, they may not remember you, not slept well, any reason could influence a

situation out of control, so you can review your risk assessment and see if any more

measures are needed, CARE PLANS, reviewed RISK ASSESSMENTS.

Why is good record keeping important in a care plan?

Implementing good record keeping in a care plan is relevant for the importance of

promoting the welfare of patients. Clinical records shared the whole time a patient is

receiving care or treatment and all health records should remain legible.

Further information associated with adult support and capacity can be found in:

National Assistance Act 1948

Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968

NHS and Community Care Act 1990

National Assistance (Assessment of Resources) Regulations 1992

Human Rights Act 1998

Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000

Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001

Community Care and Health (Scotland) Act 2002

Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003

Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007

Equality Act 2010

Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011

Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013

Public Bodies (Joint working) (Scotland) Act 2014

Carers (Scotland) Act 2016

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