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Government must commit to urgent delivery of safeguarding laws - David Cullinane TD

19 November, 2021 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has called for the Government to commit to the urgent delivery of safeguarding laws this Adult Safeguarding Day.

He said that legislation has been pending for a number of years and that this has left far too many adults at risk of abuse and neglect due to inaction.

Teachta Cullinane said:

"I am calling again on the government to commit to the urgent delivery of adult safeguarding laws to deliver a framework for protecting adults at risk of abuse and neglect, whether they are in a residential facility or still living at home.

"Legislation was proposed a number of years ago by Senator Colette Kelleher, and Sinn Féin have been seeking for this to be advanced.

"There are a number of steps the government can take to protect adults at risk of abuse or neglect, including mandatory reporting of suspected abuse or neglect, properly resourcing safeguarding teams, giving safeguarding teams a legal right of entry, and introducing accountability at an organisational level where managerial or funding decisions lead to a loss of health or life of a person in their care.

"In July, the Dáil passed a Sinn Féin motion calling for a public inquiry into abuse and neglect of people at risk during the pandemic, in particular in nursing homes, as well as a range of other policy solutions which have been held up for years.

"I am calling for the establishment of an independent safeguarding authority and the establishment of an office of a chief health and social care professional in the Department of Health. 

"These key reforms would create a robust safeguarding framework to protect vulnerable adults, increase accountability, and establish layers of policy responsibility to ensure that this system continues to tackle abuse and neglect."

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