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Overview of The "Our Health, Our Care, Our Say’ UK Policy

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In January 2006 the white paper ‘Our health, Our care, Our say’ set a new direction for the whole health and social care system. Its aim is to promote independence, well-being and choice and improve service user experiences by enabling people to have access to better services and person-centred care. It also enables more coordination between services, which allows people to have a say in how their care is delivered. This policy is effective in promoting the protection of vulnerable adults as abuse can be detected and eradicated with multi-agency involvement and discrimination is minimised because of personalised care.

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Putting People First

Putting People First built upon the paper, Our Health, Our Care, our say as it aimed to transform adult social care services between 2008 and 2011. A shared vision and commitment to the Transformation of Adult Social care document. The policy suggested communication is improved with the provision of an advocacy and support service for everyone and that information is readily available about the services within the community. Abuse of human rights is eradicated as people are given more control over life choices such as whom will provide care, how and where, which is beneficial in protecting vulnerable adults.

No Secrets 2000

No secrets (2000) was a government publication introduced as response to the ever-increasing media coverage of adult abuse. It is an effective policy, if used correctly. However, there have been some failures in how it is implemented, such as in the case of Steven Hoskin, 38, who had learning disabilities and lived in his own home. People had befriended and exploited him, and no one took his concerns seriously, even though he had clearly voiced them. Before he was forced over a viaduct and plunged to his death, a chain, imprisoned in his shed while the ‘friends’ slept in his home, dragged him round. Steven was also assaulted, forced to make false confessions that he was a paedophile and manipulated into taking a lethal dose of paracetamol. This highlighted there are inconsistencies and inequalities in how the policies and procedures are implemented. In the work setting, it is important to have regular contact with service users and raise concerns to the Local Safeguarding Adults Board or care manager.

In Safe Hands 2000

This Welsh paper aims to protect vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation by regulating the social services. It highlighted there was a need for the development of consistent multi-agency codes of practices. Although this is Welsh policy, it is beneficial to the current work setting as it raises the importance of identifying and reporting abuse and exploitation as a crime, which can be acted upon with multi-agency working.

Vetting and Barring scheme / Disclosure and Barring Service 2009

The Vetting and Barring Scheme was introduced because of the Soham murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman by Ian Huntley. It highlighted various shortcomings in procedures while vetting staff who work with children and vulnerable adults. The scheme helps to pick up on police files that are erroneous in securing a solid conviction. It is an effective and beneficial scheme in protecting vulnerable people from abuse as it stipulates it is illegal to employ a barred person to participate in regulated activities. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) must also be informed of any individuals who are convicted of abuse related crimes. In 2012, changes were made to the Protection of Freedoms Act, which involved the formulation of a new definition of regulated activities relating to children and adults.

Local Safeguarding Adults Board (SABs)

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Each local authority forms a SAB, which are highly involved in promoting, informing and supporting those in communities, especially those working with vulnerable adults within public and private sectors. SABs have a tremendous impact as they aim to prevent and raise awareness of abuse and incorporating these into community initiatives and services, such as Extra Care and day care establishments.

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