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Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007: Reflections on Developing Practice and Present Day Challenges

Mackay K & Notman M (2017) Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007: Reflections on Developing Practice and Present Day Challenges. Journal of Adult Protection, 19 (4), pp. 187-198.

Purpose: The article outlines the duties and powers of the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 and places them in the wider Scottish adult protection legislative framework. It considers the potential value of a standalone adult safeguarding statute.  Design: The authors draw upon their research and practice expertise to consider the merits of the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007. They take a case study approach to explore its implementation in one particular Scottish local authority; drawing on the qualitative and quantitative data contained in its annual reports.  Findings: Skilled, knowledgeable and well supported practitioners are key to effective screening, investigations and intervention. Protection orders are being used as intended for a very small number of cases.  Research limitations: The lack of national statistical reports mean that there is limited comparison between the local and national data.  Practical implications: Adult support and protection requires ongoing investment of time and leadership in councils and other local agencies to instigate and maintain good practice. Aspects that require further attention are self- neglect; capacity and consent; access to justice, and residents in care homes who pose potential risks to other residents and staff.  Social Implications: Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 has raised awareness of adults at risk of harm.  Originality: This article provides a critical appraisal of the implementation of Scottish adult safeguarding legislation over the last six years. It considers relative strengths and weaknesses in comparison to similar developments in England and Wales; and argues for comparative research to test these out.

Adult support and protection; Scotland; protection orders; inter-agency work; ability to safeguard; capacity; case study

Journal of Adult Protection: Volume 19, Issue 4

Author(s)Mackay, Kathryn; Notman, Mary
Publication date31/12/2017
Publication date online14/08/2017
Date accepted by journal10/06/2017
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