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A vulnerable adult is a person aged 18 years of age or over who is or may be in need of community care services by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness and are unable to take care of themselves or unable to protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation.

There is legislation is in place to protect vulnerable adults

The Human rights act 1998 which gives specific rights to every person living in the UK,  including the right to life and freedom from torture or degrading treatment.

The Care Act 2014 -makes it the duty of local authorities to make enquiries if a person is being abused or neglected. or is at risk of abuse or neglect in their area. They must also set up multi-agency safeguarding adult review boards to review cases when people die as a result of neglect or abuse and where it is suspected that agencies could have done more to safeguard them.

Mental Capacity Act -MCA 2005 – aims to protect and empower individuals who are unable to make choices for themselves.

Equality Act 2010 - protects people from discrimination and disadvantage due to their race, religion, sexual preference or any other protected characteristic.

The Data Protection Act 2018 – regulates how organisations use personal data, providing protection against people’s data being placed in the wrong hands which could make them more vulnerable to abuse.

All agencies should provide training for all staff and volunteers who work with vulnerable adults to ensure that the policies, procedures and professional practices in place locally are in line with their responsibilities in the adult protection process.

The Independent Safeguarding Authority ISA - The ISA and Criminal records Bureau merged in December 2012 to become the Disclosure and Barring Service. The barring side of the DBS provides expert caseworkers who process referrals about individuals who have harmed or pose a risk of harm to children or vulnerable groups. They make decisions about who should be placed on the child barred list or adults barred list and are prevented by law from working with children or vulnerable groups. A person who is barred from working with children or vulnerable adults will be breaking the law if they work or volunteer or try to work or volunteer with those groups.

An organisation which knowingly employs someone who is barred to work with those groups will also be breaking the law. Employers and organisations have a duty to report to the DBS any member of staff or volunteer that are dismissed or removed because they have harmed a child or vulnerable adult, or if you would have done so before they left.

The public disclosure act 1998 is in place to allow employees to voice authentic concerns about misconduct and malpractice without the fear of dismissal, victimisation or denial of promotion, facilities or training opportunities. In the past employees were hesitant to raise concerns about wrongdoing, for fear of not being listened and also concerns about putting their job at risk. Unions have taken the role of watchdogs to assure that this statutory protection is upheld.