Major conference on protecting vulnerable adults

Protecting vulnerable adults from abuse is the subject of a major conference taking place in Wiltshire tomorrow, Wednesday March 10.

Over 230 social care workers, health workers, police officers, inspectors from the National Care Standards Commission and representatives from voluntary and community groups from across Wiltshire and Swindon are attending the conference at the Corn Exchange in Devizes.

The conference will focus on what is currently being done in Wiltshire and Swindon to protect vulnerable adults and how professionals in Wiltshire and Swindon can learn from the experiences of others across the country.

The conference will look at national research into abuse, recent inquiries into cases of abuse from across the country and investigations by the media into abuse to look at what implications they may have for Wiltshire and Swindon and what improvements can be made.

Two leading national experts on protecting vulnerable adults will give keynote speeches. Professor Hilary Brown from Canterbury University will address the conference about how mental capacity affects abuse and Dr Heather Woods from the Commission for Health Improvement will talk about a recent investigation into abuse in Manchester.

Delegates will also be able to take part in workshops looking closely at a number of issues. One of the workshops will include a presentation by people who use local social care services about their views of abuse and a discussion on how the issues can be tackled.

Cabinet member for adult care services, Judy Seager, said: “If we are to protect vulnerable people it is essential that we learn from research and the experiences of others. This conference will bring together a very wide range of professionals, from social workers to police officers, to improve the way that we all work together.

“We will also have some service users who will talk about their experiences. This is essential. Only by listening to the experience of service users can we tackle this problem.

“The conference will help us focus on what progress we have made and what work we still need to do if we are to ensure that those most vulnerable in our society are protected from harm.”

The conference has been organised jointly by Wiltshire County Council, Swindon Borough Council, primary care trusts, the Wiltshire Constabulary, National Care Standards Commission, Avon & Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership Trust and Ordinary Life Project Association.

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