Protection Order powers should be extended to HSE Safeguarding Teams
Safeguarding Ireland has today called for strengthened safeguarding
measures, including authority for the HSE to make Protection Order
applications on behalf of vulnerable people.
The call comes following today’s announcement of the 2019 Annual
Report of the HSE National Safeguarding Office (NSO) which reported a
marginal increase of 1% in the number of reported safeguarding
concerns to 11,929, as compared to 2018.
The Report found that for under 65s the most significant category of
alleged abuse remained physical followed by psychological. For over
65s the most significant categories were psychological, physical and
financial abuse. Alleged financial abuse and neglect increased with
age with the highest level reported in the over 80s.
Safeguarding Ireland Chairperson Patricia Rickard-Clarke welcomed the
NSO report as an important part of adult safeguarding, and encouraged
a further strengthening of different safeguarding measures.
“Safeguarding Ireland welcomes the 2019 report and work of the HSE
Safeguarding and Protection Teams. However, recent RED C research
commissioned by Safeguarding Ireland found that 12% of adults had
experienced adult abuse since the start of COVID-19 and one third
reported ever experiencing abuse.
“The data suggests that the actual level of abuse is much higher than
what is reported to the HSE Teams. We therefore need to greatly speed
up the enactment of adult safeguarding legislation, strengthen the
powers of the National Safeguarding Office Teams, and work towards
establishing a National Safeguarding Authority.”
“During COVID-19 domestic violence has been a difficulty for many
people. The Domestic Violence Act should be extended so that it is not
limited to persons who are in an intimate relationship, but includes
the coercive control by another regardless of the relationship. The
Act should also be amended to empower HSE safeguarding social workers
to have authority to make applications directly to court for
Protection Orders on behalf of vulnerable adults.”
In conclusion Ms. Rickard-Clarke said that Safeguarding Ireland’s
message during COVID-19 for vulnerable adults is to “keep your
independence and keep making your own decisions as much as you can,
while keeping safe. Ask for help when you want it and only from