Bill-008 - Sandy Mewies AM - Adult Support and Protection (Wales) Bill
A Member must provide ‘pre-ballot information’ to set out the intended purpose of their proposed Bill before it is entered into the Presiding Officer's ballot. This information is set out below.
Policy Objectives of the Bill
The policy objective of the Bill is to address weaknesses in the current guidance and regulation with regard to the protection of vulnerable adults and to place the protection of vulnerable adults (hereafter referred to as ‘adults at risk’) on a statutory basis.
The Act proposed by this Bill would place upon health and social care organisations and on health and social care professionals as individuals:
(a) A duty to report suspicion of abuse;
(b) A duty to make inquiries and investigations into allegations of abuse;
(c) A duty to share information between agencies;
(d) A duty to co-operate;
The Act would also:
(e) Provide a statutory definition of a an adult at risk; and
(f) Introduce removal orders and banning orders, whereby agencies investigating abuse allegations could, in certain circumstances, apply to the courts either for the removal of an alleged abuser or of the adult at risk while the investigation took place, and, following an investigation, apply to the courts for an order banning an abuser from contact with the adult at risk.
The proposed Bill is broadly based on The Adult Support and Protection Act (Scotland) 2007. The impact of the Scottish Act is currently being evaluated by the University of Sterling, and that evaluation would be available to inform the proposed Wales Bill.
A steering group established with the support of the Royal College of Nursing. This group has met on a number of occasions to examine the scope that any proposed legislation could have. The group includes representatives of Dignified Revolution, the All Wales POVA (Protection of Vulnerable Adults) Group, Age Cymru, and academia. The range of the representation of this group has demonstrated wide support for the proposed legislation.
Members of the steering group have consulted professionals and members in their own organisations about the scope of the proposed legislation. The Welsh Government’s own guidance “In Safe Hands” (2000) was reviewed in 2010 by the Welsh Institute of Health and Social Care which consulted widely about the scope of the guidance and the requirement of legislating in this area. There was significant support during this review of the need to legislate.