The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and the Mental Health Commission (MHC) are today (Wednesday) hosting a seminar in the Law Society of Ireland on the safeguarding of adults in health and social care services.
The seminar, Adult Safeguarding: Promoting Rights, Health and Wellbeing, aims to raise awareness of the importance of safeguarding adults who may be vulnerable, and provides attendees with the opportunity to discuss how Ireland can better promote the rights, health and wellbeing of people at risk of abuse or harm.
Addressing over 200 delegates, HIQA CEO Phelim Quinn announced that HIQA and the MHC are developing joint national adult safeguarding standards.
“These standards aim to minimise and prevent the abuse and neglect of at-risk adults. This must surely be our aim, every bit as much as reporting and investigating abuse when it takes place”.
Mr Quinn added, “These standards are just one part of the solution, however. The State must acknowledge its responsibility to protect vulnerable citizens from harm and abuse by legislating for adult safeguarding”.
Interim chief executive of the MHC, Rosemary Smyth, commented,“The aim of these standards is to promote and uphold human rights and safeguard those most vulnerable in our society. These standards will promote best practice in providing person-centred, safe and effective care. We hope that, together, we can take another important step toward ensuring that all services work both individually and in collaboration to achieve compliance with these standards and to promote and protect the rights of adults.”
Since their establishment, HIQA and the MHC have monitored a wide range of health and social care services across the country. During this time, inspectors have come across many services that provide excellent, person-centred care. Unfortunately, however, inspectors have also encountered services where a number of people have been vulnerable to exploitation or abuse of a physical, financial, psychological or sexual nature.