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Vulnerable Adults: Protection

Volume 489: debated on Thursday 19 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what timetable he has set for consideration of the outcomes of his consultation on No Secrets guidance; how many responses to the consultation he received; how many responses have proposed the introduction of legislation; how much his Department has spent on the review and consultation to date; and if he will make a statement. (264344)

The public consultation “Safeguarding Adults: A Consultation on the Review of the ‘No Secrets’ Guidance” closed on 31 January 2009, following unprecedented levels of engagement from a wide range of organisations and individuals. The consultation involved several thousand people participating in a number of varied events across England. These were successful in gaining valuable participation from a wide range of service users, including older people, those with mental health needs and learning disabilities, along with other members of the community. In addition, there was also active participation from several thousand professional workers in the police, social work, medical sector, national health service, voluntary, legal and housing sectors.

The Department is leading the review of ‘No Secrets’ and is now analysing the 500 detailed written consultation responses received, which include extensive comments covering all the points and questions in the consultation document. Many of these responses exceed 20 pages. The Government will publish a report once the analysis is complete. At this early stage, it is not possible to be precise about when this might be. Nor is it yet possible to say how many responses proposed the introduction of legislation. The costs of the review and consultation will be calculated once the review has concluded.