Close to 500 vulnerable adults waiting for safeguarding assessment

ireland
Close To 500 Vulnerable Adults Waiting For Safeguarding Assessment Close To 500 Vulnerable Adults Waiting For Safeguarding Assessment
The figures were released to Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy, who had asked for details relating to the current backlog of unreviewed safeguarding concerns in respect of the abuse of adults. Dublin. Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins
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Digital Desk Staff

Almost 500 vulnerable adults are awaiting assessment from the HSE's safeguarding and protection team, it has emerged.

The HSE has confirmed a backlog across parts of Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow means some residents of disability and older persons' services have been waiting since March of last year to have their safeguarding plans reviewed.

As the Irish Examiner reports, the figures were released to Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy, who had asked for details relating to the current backlog of unreviewed safeguarding concerns in respect of the abuse of adults.

The HSE confirmed that one HSE region, CHO7, has a backlog with 499 people awaiting review.

Ms Murphy hit out at the "postcode lottery" to which patients and vulnerable people are subjected in accessing services and assessments depending on where they live in the country.

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"There's an issue that needs to be dealt with nationally, rather than just one area, to make sure that there's a consistency of service.

We've been calling for an objective resource allocation rather than this postcode lottery, where over years we have seen in one place there is a two-month queue for something, and in another place it's a two-year wait. It can't just be about being unlucky, there is either a national service provided or there isn't."

Responding to Ms Murphy's parliamentary question, Tim Hanly, general manager of the HSE's National Safeguarding Office, said work to address the backlog that developed in CHO7 was under way and additional resources had been allocated to assist with this.

"In addition, current concerns are being processed in a timely manner with work on the backlog happening simultaneously."

However, Ms Murphy said: "Essentially, there isn't a service there, that's the only conclusion you can read into this. This an example of the postcode lottery. You can't say that there is a national service being provided by the HSE when there's such a big gap."

Mr Hanly said safeguarding preliminary screenings are submitted by designated officers within each residential setting to the HSE safeguarding and protection teams for oversight.

"Where there is an outcome of reasonable grounds or further information required, each service would also submit a safeguarding plan which is then also oversight reviewed by the HSE safeguarding team.

"The safeguarding plans are considered on a triage priority basis and currently one safeguarding team in CHO7 has a backlog of safeguarding plans for review," he confirmed.

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