Members of the public are being urged to have their say on new national standards aimed at addressing the potential abuse, exploitation and neglect of adults in health and social care services.
The public consultation on the new standards has been launched by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and the Mental Health Commission (MHC).
"Arising from our regulation of health and social care services and our involvement in the National Safeguarding Committee, we are working on these standards to ensure adult health and social care services strive to prevent harm arising from abuse, neglect or exploitation.
"People who are receiving care should be treated with dignity and respect and receive care and support in a safe environment that is actively working to protect against and prevent harm. The standards are aimed at ensuring a consistent approach to preventing, stopping and responding to harm as quickly as possible," explained HIQA chief executive, Phelim Quinn.
It is hoped that these new national standards will help to actively highlight, minimise and prevent harm.
According to MHC interim chief executive, Rosemary Smyth, all adults ‘have a right to be safe and to live a life free from harm'.
"Any adult may at some point in their life need help to protect themselves from the risk of harm. There may be times when a person is more vulnerable and at risk of abuse, neglect and exploitation and they may be unable to adequately protect themselves.
"The safeguarding standards published for public consultation focus on actively highlighting, minimising and preventing a wide range of potential harm, and are designed to ensure the appropriate standards are in place for all services so they deliver appropriate care and support to adults, particularly those at risk of harm," she noted.
The draft standards have been designed to apply to all health and social care services. Once approved by the Minister for Health, they will become national standards, placing a responsibility on all publicly-funded health and social care services to begin implementing them.
Both HIQA and the MHC are urging members of the public, and any other interested parties, to give their opinion on the draft standards during the public consultation, which will run until 5pm on September 19, 2018.
For more information on the standards, including how to give your views, click here
Discussions on this topic are now closed.