World Elder Abuse Day: organisations united in their pledge to prevent adult abuse in Shropshire
Organisations across Shropshire came together this week (Thursday 15 June 2017) at an event to mark World Elder Abuse Day and to commit to put an end to adult abuse in the county.
The Prevention of Abuse and Neglect conference, held at the University Centre, Shrewsbury, was jointly led by The Keeping Adults Safe in Shropshire Board and Telford & Wrekin Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB) to promote the importance of preventing adult abuse.
Attended by over 100 professionals and practitioners from across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, the event focused on driving the message that “Safeguarding is Everyone’s Business” meaning “if you find it, do something about it there and then”. This is important to make sure that people do not suffer harm for any longer than necessary.
The aims of the conference were to understand the principles of prevention and how working in partnership contributes to this, the local context and what local support and resources are available and identify national approaches to prevention and consider how these might work locally.
All attendees wore purple, the theme colour to mark World Elder Abuse Day. Key themes and topics discussed at the conference included:
- Domestic abuse and older people
- Trading standards issues
- The Safe Places Scheme
- Local recruitment practice development
- Safe and Well visits carried out by Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service
- Delivering national approaches to prevention on a local level.
Chaired by Andrew Mason, Telford and Wrekin’s Safeguarding Adult Board Independent Chair, the conference featured speeches by Action on Elder Abuse, Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, West Mercia Police, Shropshire Council’s safeguarding team, Shropshire Council’s housing options team, Skills for Care, National Trading Standards Scams Team, Safe Places Scheme, and Sure Care Domiciliary Care Agency.
There was also a wide range of information stands on the day, with a focus on preventing abuse and neglect.
Lee Chapman, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for health, adult social care and housing, who attended the event, said:
“We take a zero tolerance approach to adult abuse in Shropshire and are committed to preventing abuse in the county, no matter what form it takes.
“The Prevention of Abuse and Neglect conference was a great success and an opportunity for all partners to come together to recognise, learn and raise awareness on how we all as a community can help prevent adult abuse.
“It is also particularly relevant that the conference was held on World Elder Abuse Day as, sadly, many older people are the victims of abuse, often from a family member or someone claiming to be their friend, and it’s something we need everyone to be alert to. This is why we want to drive forward our message that ‘Safeguarding is Everyone’s Business’.
“I strongly encourage people living and working in Shropshire to act on any concerns they have about anadult at risk of abuse. If you need help, please report it.”
Councillor Paul Watling, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet member for children and adults early help and support, said:
“It was great to see professionals from across the county uniting to send a strong message that adult abuse will not be tolerated in our community under any circumstances.
“The conference was able to send a robust message in support of all vulnerable adults and I would ask if anyone is concerned about someone’s welfare that they report it immediately.”
Everyone has the right to dignity and respect so that they can live their lives feeling safe and free from abuse. If in any doubt, speak out: whether you are someone experiencing abuse, a carer, family member or friend, a member of staff or the public, you must report your concerns.
If you are concerned about someone, or want to know more information about how organisations work together to prevent adult abuse in Shropshire, visit https://new.shropshire.gov.uk/adult-social-care/where-can-i-get-help/concerned-about-someone/.
The Safe Place Scheme
The Safe Place Scheme is a nationwide initiative established by Mencap, led by Shropshire Disability Network, supported locally by OSCA, Taking Part and Pink Digital. The scheme is also supported by Telford & Wrekin Council, Shropshire Council and West Mercia Police.
The scheme, initially trialled in Kidderminster, is designed to support the needs of adults with learning disabilities, but is appropriate for anyone who feels vulnerable.