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National and Local Context of Safeguarding and Protection from Abuse

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In Slough we have a Safeguarding Adults Partnership Board made up of representatives from the Council, NHS, Police, independent care providers and the voluntary sector.

A new Independent Safeguarding Authority is to replace the Protection of Vulnerable Adults (POVA) scheme with a more comprehensive system and ensure a safe workforce for those who work with vulnerableadults.ISA is responsible for maintaining a list of people who are not suitable to work with vulnerable individuals. Employers in the Care sector must carry out a background checks on all staff and to report to ISA any concerns.

The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 explicitly states that it is a criminal offence to physically or sexually abuse, harm or cause deliberate cruelty by neglect of a child or an adult. This legislation was introduced, in part, to emphasise the crime of abuse between partners within the home.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Achieving best evidence in criminal proceedings: guidance for vulnerable or intimidated witnesses both aim to empower and protect vulnerable people and enable better access to justice, including the introduction of a new criminal offence of wilful neglect or mistreatment.

The White Paper Our health, our care, our say emphasises the importance of people having more control over their lives and access to responsive, preventative services, equally applying to those people who have experienced abuse or who need safeguarding from a risk of abuse. Valuing people and the consultation document valuing people now has four underlying principles for policy on people with learning disabilities: rights, independence, choice and inclusion. Any intervention aimed at safeguarding people must respect and strengthen an individual’s rights and freedoms. The Care Standards Act 2000 and associated regulations required care providers to ensure they had in place proper arrangements to protect people in their care from the risk of harm or abuse.

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