Don’t be afraid

One in five wouldn’t re­port con­cerns

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Staff re­porter

Res­i­dents in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang should not be afraid to re­port con­cerns about adults they fear may be at risk of harm.

That is the mes­sage af­ter a sur­vey found al­most one in five peo­ple in South La­nark­shire felt they might do noth­ing even if they thought some­one was at risk.

The in­de­pen­dent chair of South La­nark­shire Adult Pro­tec­tion Com­mit­tee, Safaa Bax­ter, was re­spond­ing to the ini­tial re­sults of a sur­vey which, on a pos­i­tive note, found that 86 per cent of those ques­tioned were con­fi­dent they would re­port con­cerns.

The sur­vey was car­ried out dur­ing re­cent road­shows aimed at rais­ing aware­ness around adults at risk of harm and or­gan­ised by South La­nark­shire Coun­cil Adult Pro­tec­tion work­ers.

Speak­ing about the fig­ures, Safaa Bax­ter said at­ti­tudes must change: “We all have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to help look out for those in so­ci­ety who may be less able to look out for them­selves and it is pleas­ing to see that the vast ma­jor­ity of those sur­veyed felt con­fi­dent about re­port­ing con­cerns, with most say­ing they would speak to the Po­lice or So­cial Work.”

Among those who were less likely to re­port any con­cerns they had a range of rea­sons were iden­ti­fied in­clud­ing not know­ing who to con­tact, con­cern over reprisals and wor­ries that they would not be taken se­ri­ously.

Ad­dress­ing those con­cerns, Safaa said: “The 2007 Act puts a le­gal obli­ga­tion on all em­ploy­ees of public bod­ies in­clud­ing coun­cils, NHS, Po­lice and more to re­port and co- op­er­ate to pro­tect adults at risk so any con­cerns would be taken se­ri­ously.

“Any mem­ber of the public com­ing for­ward should know that their con­cerns will be treated con­fi­den­tially and they will not be iden­ti­fied if they do not wish to be.”

The 2007 Adult Sup­port and Pro­tec­tion (Scot­land) Act de­fines adults at risk as in­di­vid­u­als over 16 years of age who: Are un­able to safe­guard their well­be­ing, their prop­erty, rights or other in­ter­ests; are at risk of harm; be­cause they are af­fected by dis­abil­ity, men­tal dis­or­der, ill­ness or phys­i­cal or men­tal in­fir­mity, are more vul­ner­a­ble to be­ing harmed than oth­ers who are not so af­fected.

The South La­nark­shire Adult Pro­tec­tion Com­mit­tee have their own web­site (www.adult­pro­tec­tion­south­la­nark­shire. org.uk) and on there you can find out de­tails of who you can con­tact and how con­cerns over po­ten­tial adults at risk will be han­dled.

Safaa added: “The ‘About Us’ sec­tion on the web­site also in­cludes a link to an online ver­sion of the sur­vey form and I would en­cour­age peo­ple to take a few min­utes to take the sur­vey.

“It is anony­mous and the in­for­ma­tion gath­ered is vi­tal to how we de­velop Adult pro­tec­tion ser­vices in South La­nark­shire.”

Con­tact South La­nark­shire Coun­cil So­cial Work Re­sources on 0303 123 1008.

If some­one needs med­i­cal help, con­tact the per­son’s GP or NHS 24 on 0845 242424

Ad­vice South La­nark­shire Adult Pro­tec­tion chair, Safaa Bax­ter

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