The Care Act 2014 puts a statutory duty on Local Authorities to protect adults merely at risk of abuse or neglect.
Section 42 contains a new duty to make inquiries if an adult with care and support needs is experiencing or is at risk of experiencing, abuse or neglect and is unable to protect himself.
So this duty to make inquiries is in respect to anyone, thought to be at risk, if thy are thought to be in need of care and support.
The Act, therefore applies to people receiving support, and also those the state deem need support .
So applies to all old, disabled, mentally disordered, even just poor.
And the fact that it applies even if not receiving support, is important because now due to budget cuts, LAs provide very little if any support in the family home.
The Act provides guidance on how to spot those being abused, in Chapter 14:36 Headed:
Spotting signs of abuse and neglect.
‘Workers must be vigilant across a wide range of services… ….GPs in particular are often well-placed to notice changes in an adult that may indicate they are being abused or neglected’.
Gone is GP/patient confidentiality
GPs now businesses, paid by the state on their interventions.
No examples of these ‘signs’ are given, other than a Case Study of a man living alone with mental health problems , whose neighbour notified the police about domestic disturbances .
The Guidance states:
‘ a neighbour does in fact have an important role to play in identifying when an adult is at risk’.
These vague, unknown ‘signs’, will be assiduously sought and acted upon, safeguarding is the only Adult Service, even if no abuse is occurring.
But not in state residential care where it is systemically well hidden.
And the Act creates a safeguarding feeding frenzy , financed by the government to the tune of £433 million, so outcomes will be expected..
Adult Social Services has been converted into a statutory Adult Protection Service similar to Child Protection .
The types of abuse and neglect are similar, left to LA discretion, as not specifically defined in the Act.
The Guide in Chapter 14 contains non-exhaustive lists of the many types of abuse and neglect in section 42 (3) (a) to (d).
And, states even a single incident of abuse, or neglect can be sufficient.
This draconian power gives Local Authorities, is in breach of the rule of law, as the executive, too much discretion.
And allows dangerous, unpoliced interventions into every individual’s autonomy and private life.
Not only can the state decide who needs protection, BUT how it protects them by-encagement in for profit ‘care’ for life.
And the Act provides, all officers must be up to date with their legal powers and duties, in relation to the MCA and MHA- removal to state care.
The Act also forces collaboration upon services , even members of the public in this joint safeguarding mission.
As under the Act, Local authorities have a duty to lead a multi agency local adult safeguarding team.
This should include inter alia NHS providers, GPs, police, social services, voluntary groups, care providers, who are charged to develop, share and implement a joint safeguarding strategy.
This makes individual, or organisational independence/ autonomy impossible, and, as bodies are lead by adult social services, safeguarding will be the priority..
A similar cabal, already exists in the non statutory form in MASH- Multi Agency Safeguarding Hubs.
All and any information, must be shared between all agencies.
As the Act provides any relevant person, or organisation, likely to have information , relevant to the Safeguarding team’s function must provide it as requested.
There is no definition of the type of this information, other than as ‘relevant to their function’.
And, the Act provides agencies, should have drawn up a common agreement relating to confidentiality, and the sharing of information between themselves, based on the well-being of the adult at risk of abuse or neglect.
Again no autonomy, or independence.
And this agreement should also set out in what circumstances, information will be shared without agreement .
Therefore making it impossible for a person or organisation not to disclose information.
The Act ignores legitimate excuses for non disclosure, such as confidentiality or non-disclosure
And rides rough shod illegally, through professional confidentiality, privilege, the Data Protection Act, and Human Rights Act right to privacy.
In its explanatory notes to the Care Bill, the government said this might include a GP, who provided medical advice to an adult in respect of a safeguarding matter; a person carrying out voluntary work that brought him into contact with such an adult, or a minister of a church attended by a family member or carer of the adult.
Effectively, the government intends this duty to provide information to extend to anyone even a trusted friend, or member of the public stranger.
So gone is organisational, professional autonomy, or privilege, as is a person’s right to privacy and confidence in any, even the most personal dealings.
You cannot even hide secret conversations from the state.
Big Brother can force their disclosure, and use them to ‘protect’ you, your relative, or friend as they feel fit.
Similar Government Guidance on Adult Safeguarding was in fact titled, ‘No Secrets ‘and the Care Act makes this guidance law.
The Act provides Local Authorities must arrange for a deemed ’ independent’ advocate to represent and support a person, subject to a safeguarding inquiry or review if required.
Advocacy under the Care Act has a focus on supporting the person to be involved in the care and support ‘process’.
It is the same non existent, tick box advocacy, as by IMCAs under the Mental Capacity Act.
‘Supporting a person to understand information, express their needs and wishes, secure their rights, represent their interests, and obtain the care and support they need, regardless of the setting.’
What chance has a person deemed ‘unable to protect himself’ against this state cabal ?
And he has no rights to advocate, either under Carers Act, or Mental Capacity Act.
The Act does not mention family members, except as potential abusers.
And warns to look out for signs, that a person suspected of being abused might be acting under duress or undue influence.
Scotland has a similar sharing scheme under the Named Person system which has recently been held illegal under the HRA by the Supreme Court.
This is terrifying stuff, a secret all knowing legalised state cabal, that can control any adult’s life, if they deem he is in need and can’t do it himself.
And who can indirectly profit from state private care over which neither the adult or his family have any control.
With no rights given to an individual or his family to oppose the LA cabal and whatever protection they decide is appropriate.