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Social Services: Elderly and Disabled

Volume 486: debated on Monday 19 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he plans to take to assist social workers in protecting the elderly and disabled. (247942)

The protection of older, disabled and other people who use services is covered by the National Occupational Standards for Social Work, which form the basis for the social work degree.

Statutory guidance, entitled “No Secrets”, was issued to local authorities (LAs) by the Department and the Home Office in 2000. A copy has been placed in the Library. It 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 of older and vulnerable people and prevent it from occurring. It is designed to help LAs to investigate reports of abuse and develop measures for prevention.

“No Secrets” is currently being reviewed and a public consultation is under way. The consultation document includes a question on the delivery of training in safeguarding adults and asks whether national occupational training standards should be introduced. The consultation closes on 31 January 2009.