No Secrets (Adult Protection)

No Secrets (Adult Protection), also known coequally as Adult Safeguarding, is a UK Government white paper publication from the Department of Health which provides guidance on developing and implementing multi-agency policies and procedures to protect adults deemed “at risk” from harm and/or abuse.[1]

The Department of Health website states that:

“It explains how commissioners and providers of health and social care services should work together to produce and implement local policies and procedures. They should collaborate with the public, voluntary and private sectors and they should also consult service users, their carers and representative groups. Local authority social services departments should co-ordinate the development of policies and procedures.”

The No Secrets (England) and In Safe Hands (Wales) documents were issued as guidance in 2000, under section 7 of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970. Section 7 guidance does not carry the same status as legislation; instead local authorities have their compliance assessed as part of a statutory inspection process. With ‘good reason’ a local authority can ignore such guidance, but may be called upon to justify their actions in a judicial review.

When a referral is made to the local authority under adult protection / safeguarding, the case is allocated to a qualified social worker or specially trained care manager to undertake and investigate the allegation of abuse. The investigation can be a single agency led investigation, often led by the social worker or care manager or multi agency led, either with another statutory body such as the police, trading standards or a healthcare professional.

The No Secrets (England) and In Safe Hands (Wales) documents were issued as guidance in 2000, under section 7 of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970. Section 7 guidance does not carry the same status as legislation; instead local authorities have their compliance assessed as part of a statutory inspection process. With ‘good reason’ a local authority can ignore such guidance, but may be called upon to justify their actions in a judicial review.

When a referral is made to the local authority under adult protection / safeguarding, the case is allocated to a qualified social worker or specially trained care manager to undertake and investigate the allegation of abuse. The investigation can be a single agency led investigation, often led by the social worker or care manager or multi agency led, either with another statutory body such as the police, trading standards or a healthcare professional.

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