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Safeguarding Adults


The Health and Social Care Board has approved a 5 year plan, developed by the Northern Ireland Adult Safeguarding Partnership (NIASP), to safeguard adults at risk in Northern Ireland.

Last year, nearly 6,000 people were referred to health and social care services because there was a suspicion or allegation that they had been subjected to some form of abuse, neglect or exploitation, with 3368 people requiring formal care and protection plans to be put in place. NIASP is the key multi-agency partnership working since 2010 to bring together organisations and communities of interest who have a significant contribution to make to safeguarding adults.

The NIASP Strategic Plan 2013-18, which was out for consultation in March 2013 provides a strategic approach to the prevention of abuse and safeguarding those adults at risk of harm. It is based on local, national and international research; best practice guidance; the views of actual and potential service users; the views of NIASP member organisations and consultation with expert practitioners.

Seven key areas have been highlighted for future development including continued training for staff in recognising the signs of abuse; better access to safeguarding services and public awareness and prevention. It also provides an agreed framework for Health and Social Care Trusts and other partner organisations to develop their own work plans.

Chair of NIASP, Kevin Keenan explains;

“There has been a growing recognition that a wide range of adults, for a variety of reasons, are at risk of harm from abuse, exploitation or neglect. It is vital that we work together to improve the ways in which individuals and organisations respond to situations where abuse is alleged or suspected. We need to provide high quality support and, where necessary, provide adults at risk with appropriate protection from further harm. This strategic plan will focus our efforts for the next 5 years on that goal”.

The Strategic Plan is available to view on http://www.hscboard.hscni.net/NIASP/Publications/

For further information on the work of NIASP please get in touch with Joyce McKee, Regional Adult Safeguarding Officer, Health and Social Care Board. Telephone 028 2531 1211 or joyce.mckee@hscni.net