Don’t be afraid
One in five wouldn’t report concerns
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