SSRG Briefings – ‘No Secrets’ Guidance on Developing Multi-Agency Policies and Procedures to Protect Vulnerable Adults from Abuse’

On Monday 20th March 2000, the Department of Health and Home Office together issued guidance on developing and implementing multi-agency policies and procedures to protect vulnerable adults from abuse. The guidance, entitled ‘No Secrets’ aims to prevent the abuse of vulnerable adults, including physical, sexual, psychological and financial abuse.

The guidance was developed through an inter agency group, co-ordinated by the Department of Health. Members of the group included: VOICE UK, Registered Nursing Homes Association, the NHS Confederation, the ADSS, the Home Office, Merseyside Police and Action on Elder Abuse.

The guidance provides details of how agencies should work together to protect those at risk of abuse, and to make sure that robust procedures are in place to deal with incidents of abuse. The guidance – which comes into effect immediately – has been sent to all key local agencies, including health, social services and the police.

Directors of social services will be expected to co-ordinate the development and implementation of local multi-agency procedures, which must be in place by 31 October 2001. The Social Services Inspectorate will be monitoring these
arrangements. Effective local strategies should be developed, in all areas of the country, by all of the statutory, voluntary and private agencies that work with vulnerable adults.

‘No Secrets’ Guidance on Developing Multi-Agency Policies and Procedures to Protect Vulnerable Adults from Abuse ‘ , is available, free of charge, from the Department of Health, PO Box 777, SE1 6XH