Rutherglen man fronts new campaign to protect vulnerable adults

RUGLONIAN Jim Cameron has called on all workers in the frontline to act as ‘the eyes and ears’ of the community to prevent vulnerable people from being harmed.

Speaking at the launch of a new pocket-sized leaflet that is being distributed to employees across South Lanarkshire, Jim, who is the chair of South Lanarkshire’s Adult Protection Committee, said: “Nurses, home carers, care assistants and police officers are often those most likely to come across worrying situations. But, people in other lines of work are also well-placed to ring the warning bells. It could be a plumber or joiner doing a repair in someone’s house, or a post office worker who is uneasy about the behaviour of someone accompanying one of their customers.”

Since the Adult Protection Legislation was introduced in 2008, social work has had a duty to make inquiries into reports that an adult may be at risk of harm. The law covers people who find it more difficult to protect themselves because they’re affected by conditions such as physical or learning disability, dementia or mental ill health.

By alerting social work that someone is being financially exploited or at risk of physical, sexual or emotional abuse, frontline workers are taking a vital first step in protecting that person from harm.

Joining Jim for the launch were a range of public sector employees from across Lanarkshire.

They included John Fallon, who has been a home carer in Fairhill for nineteen years. He said: “It’s really important for us to look out for people and I would always alert my supervisor if I noticed anything that I felt put one of my service users at risk.”

Also at the launch were police officer Alan Butler from Blantyre, ward manager Margaret Creelman and charge nurse Cathie McKinstrie from the Iona Ward at Beckford Lodge, social work team leader from East Kilbride Julie Stewart, and plumber Jordan Black from Lanark.

The new leaflet explains who is covered by the Adult Protection legislation, the duties placed on public sector employees and what they should do if they have concerns. An employee circular on adult protection has also been published on the council’s intranet.

The leaflet is part of a major drive to ensure public sector employees understand their duties under Adult Protection legislation. So far, 1600 employees have taken part in inter-agency training events.

Anyone who is worried about an adult at risk of harm should contact social work on 0303 123 2008.