The Adult Support & Protection (Scotland) act 2007
What is the Act?
Legislation to better protect adults at risk of harm was first announced in September 2005. The Act progresses aspects of the Scottish Law Commission’s 1997 draft Vulnerable Adults Bill that have not been enacted through the adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 (AWI) or the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003. The Act also makes a number of changes to existing legislation to support adults in their daily lives. The Act also contains amendments to the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000; The Mental Health (Care and Treatment) Act 2003; and The Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968.
The three main agencies involved are the Local Authority (Dundee City Council), which has the lead statutory role, Tayside Police, NHS Tayside.
What is the purpose of the ASP Act?
The new Act provides a framework to support adults - individuals who are 16 years and over - who are unable to protect themselves, their property, rights or other interests and who are deemed to be at risk of harm (replacing the terms vulnerable and abuse) because they are affected by disability, mental disorder, illness or physical or mental infirmity to exercise self-determination and choice. The Act is about achieving a balance between respecting people’s rights and taking action where necessary to support and protect them. It should help individuals to live their lives as they wish by ensuring that support is provided when they need it, and provide the means to protect adults at risk of harm.
Multi-disciplinary Adult Protection Committees have been established in each Council area in Scotland with a remit for developing policies and procedures, providing advice, overseeing training and producing reports and outcomes. Each Council is responsible for appointing an independent Convener and committee members to their adult protection committees , ensuring representation from relevant agencies and public bodies.
The Independent Convener for the Dundee Adult Support & Protection Committee is Professor James Hogg.
What does the Dundee Adult Support & Protection Committee do?
Since being formed in October 2008, the work of the Committee has focused on:
- developing local policies and procedures to ensure effective implementation of the Act, and working in partnership to develop communication links with all agencies and age groups in Dundee
- raising public awareness about the legislation
- supporting the national act against harm campaign which was launched in October 2009
- collecting data ( both qualitative and quantitative) to inform future adult support and protection service delivery
- developing multi-disciplinary staff development and training programmes, and
- reviewing findings from local and national inquiries to improve the delivery of services to adults at risk of harm.