The Safeguarding Adults Alliance has been launched this week by a coalition of more than 700 organisations and individuals, with representatives from Action on Elder Abuse, Mencap and the Alzheimer's Society, the coalition consists of 53 associated member organisations and 621 individuals. A number of statutory organisations have also lent their support.
The alliance which was formally established following a conference held on 12 January and is part of a campaign to urge the government to put adult protection in England, Wales and Northern Ireland on a statutory basis.
David Congdon, Head of Campaigns and Policy at Mencap, said,
"The death of Steven Hoskin, the abuses faced by the family with Learning Disabilities in Hounslow, and the concerns we have raised in the 'Death by Indifference' report, are all evidence that the current systems are failing to adequately consider and respond to the needs of adults at risk of abuse. We are supporting the Alliance because we believe that a statutory basis for safeguarding adults is the only way forward".
Campaigners have long warned that the lack of the legislative base has led to a lack of engagement with adult protection by key agencies and inadequate funding, while hampering investigations of abuse and neglect.
Gary FitzGerald, chief executive of Action on Elder Abuse, said that there was a “fair degree of intensity” in the debate leading up to the creation of the alliance. This was particularly over its demand to grant professionals powers to enter people's homes if they suspected a vulnerable adult was being abused. So far mental health charity Mind has declined to join the campaign over the issue.”
“Other key organisations are currently consulting their membership and trustees and I anticipate that they will become full members in due course, leading the Alliance towards its goals. We collectively acknowledge that the current systems are failing to provide the necessary framework to ensure adequate protection for adults at risk of abuse, and we are committed to achieving a system that both protects the rights of adults to live their lives in the manner of their choosing while simultaneously having access to systems that genuinely provide protection.”