A new National Adult Safeguarding Policy is to be developed for the health sector, after Government granted approval for the move this week.
The safety and protection of vulnerable people is a key objective of Government and society. The Government’s decision acknowledges the need to build further on the existing range of policies, procedures, codes of practice and legislation aimed at protecting and safeguarding vulnerable adults in the health sector in Ireland.
The Department of Health will now undertake an extensive exercise of research and policy development to assist in framing an appropriate policy and legislation for the health sector. This will be a complex undertaking and the Department aims to engage with stakeholders to assist in informing the development of the policy. To that end, a public consultation and engagement process will be undertaken in 2018.
The Minister for Health, Simon Harris, said, “The safety and protection of adults at risk of abuse is paramount. We are committed to developing a clear, carefully considered, coherent and implementable national adult safeguarding policy for the health sector. This will involve reviewing current policy and legislation, researching best practice internationally and wide-ranging consultation. My Department will commence work in developing this policy in the coming weeks.”
The Minister for Disabilities, Finian McGrath, stated “I am determined that the protection of our most vulnerable in society, including those who may be vulnerable due to disability, are afforded appropriate protection so that they may live a full life, in the way that they want. The development of a national safeguarding policy and legislation for the health sector will advance this goal considerably.”