Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Elder abuse: Time to act

#undc12 Scottish vulnerable persons legislation could be a model for the UK, Conference was told as it voted unanimously to back a strategy to tackle elder abuse. Moving an amendment to the Retired Members Committee motion, Strathclyde Police and Fire’s Brian Molloy called for a campaign to get Westminster legislation similar to Scotland’s Adult Support and Protection Act.

Conference heard a host of horrifying statistics about the level of elder abuse, especially in residential care. The fact that UNISON backed this motion unanimously showed it was a “union that cares”, said the mover.

UNISON will now highlight the problem, work to eradicate abuse and encourage MPs to pass legislation to protect older people.

Brian Molloy told Conference that the Scottish model was one way of achieving this: “I am very passionate about Adult Support and Protection issues and the protection of the vulnerable of our society. All the citizens of the UK have a duty to protect the most vulnerable people living in our society.

“The Scottish Act places a statutory obligation on the police, the NHS and the local Authority Social Work to record incidents, refer incidents and share information into incidents relating to vulnerable adults in a coordinated way.

“The support and protection of adults at risk is paramount, however, probably one of the greatest benefits to come out of the act is the awareness it has raised across all the statutory agencies, support agencies and voluntary groups, and the greater public at large.

“This awareness gives all involved in the support and protection of
adults at risk a renewed confidence. Confidence to know exactly what to do, who to contact and when to do it.”

Edinburgh’s Marlyn Tweedie also warned about the institutional elder abuse that comes from cuts in services and privatisation.

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