Adult abuse does not just effect the elderly; adult abuse effects anyone over the age of 18. Adult abuse is often largely unreported. Adult abuse can consist of domestic abuse, slavery, human trafficking, fraud or theft to name bar a few.
Whilst every person has a fundamental right to confidentiality in regards to their private lives, this is not an absolute right if certain criteria are met which denotes information should be shared. Assurances as to the confidentiality of the information should never be made.
If a crime has or is thought likely to be committed, the information should be shared. This is for a lawful purpose – to prevent and hopefully stop any further crime(s) taking place. Sometimes this is also referred to as safeguarding.
If a person is likely to put themselves or others at risk i.e. children again the information should be shared.
Likewise, those that do my possess mental capacity will have decisions made on their behalf in order to keep themselves safe. However, if it is thought that the person may regain capacity at some stage, the least restrictive measures should be put in place. When they regain mental capacity, the person in question should be made aware as to what measures where put in place to protect them and the resins why.
Information that is shared about a person to prevent harm or offences happening to them should be shared on a, “need to know basis”. Put simply, means that only those that really need to be aware of the information will be told i.e. Police or Social Services. Further to, professional agencies will have to consider the Data Protection Act principles when they make decisions regarding the sharing of information. All all cases, consent of the individual that the information is about should be sought. When this is not possible either because consent will not be given or the person the information is about is deceased, the receiving agency will have to satisfy themselves that the request is a legitimate one and that it serves a purpose – i.e. to keep someone safe or to prevent a crime. If the agency do not think it a legitimate request or one which could prevent harm, then applicant seeking the information may have to consider a court order application.
If you have any concerns that a person or over is being abused, contact must be made with Norfolk Social Services immediately. Social Services are contactable on 0344 800 8020
Or alternatively, please click on the link below which will direct you to Norfolk Council Adult Protection concerns page
Alternatively, please contact the Diocese of Ely Safeguarding Lead, Mrs Faith Wright on 01553 617689
Reverend Martin Dale on 01945 880259 firstname.lastname@example.org