New plans unveiled to safeguard vulnerable in care settings

Medical Government/ NHS related news

The government has unveiled new plans to adopt a firmer legal stance on the protection of vulnerable adults from abuse in care settings.

Care services minister Paul Burstow has announced proposals that would make it essential for all local authorities to establish a Safeguarding Adults Board, which would serve to provide leadership in this area.

The boards would be responsible for eliminating instances of institutional abuse in hospitals and care homes, including bullying, victimisation and financial scams.

Such boards - which are made up of representatives from the NHS, local social services authorities, police and members of the community - already exist in many areas, but are not a legal requirement and often have limited effectiveness.

Mr Burstow said: "By making Safeguarding Adults Boards mandatory, we aim to make them more effective and ensure those at risk of harm or exploitation will be safer."

Earlier this month, health secretary Andrew Lansley expressed confidence that the reforms made to the NHS in the year since the coalition government came to power have helped to improve care quality and bolster efficiency.

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