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Vulnerable Adults

Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 20 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on plans to place on a statutory footing the ‘No Secrets’ guidelines for developing a multi-agency framework for prevention and investigation of abuse of vulnerable adults. (78423)

The Government regard abuse of vulnerable and older people as unacceptable in all its forms and is determined to root it out.

‘No Secrets’, published by the Department in 2000, provides a complete definition of abuse and a framework for councils to work with the police, the national health service and regulators to tackle abuse and prevent it from occurring. ‘No Secrets’ is statutory guidance, issued under section 7 of the 1970 Local Authorities Social Services Act; local authorities must have regard to it.

I am informed by the Commission for Social Care Inspection that 145 out of 150 localities have established adult protection committees, as recommended in the guidance, which demonstrates that councils are taking their responsibilities to tackle and prevent abuse seriously.