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New policy to protect older people and disabled persons from sexual abuse released

This comes as part of a wider policy issued today by the HSE.

Image: Shutterstock/Kim M Smith

THE HSE HAS launched a new national policy aimed at protecting older people and disabled persons from abuse.

Included in this are provisions for sexual abuse, which is said to include, “rape and sexual assault, or sexual acts to which the vulnerable person has not consented, or could not consent, or into which he or she was compelled to consent.”

The policy also aims at protecting vulnerable people from physical abuse; financial abuse; neglect acts of omission (which includes ignoring medical or physical care needs); institutional abuse and discriminatory acts.

Protection 

The new policy, entitled ‘safeguarding vulnerable persons at risk of abuse’, will apply to all HSE and HSE funded services.

People with a physical or mental impairment or older persons who are considered to be at risk of abuse are provisioned for under the new guidelines.

Speaking about the new policy, Pat Healy, Director of Social Care with the HSE, said, “safeguarding and protecting vulnerable people in our care is our priority. The new policy is effective immediately and ensures a consistent and robust approach across all services.”

In addition to this, the new programme has received €1.2 million in funding to support the implementation of the new policy.

New programme 

This will be used to introduce new Chief Officers of the Community Healthcare Organisations (CHOs) who will be responsible for the implementation of new policy.

It is hoped that the changes introduced will allow a culture of ‘no tolerance’ to be built within the service.

Anyone who has any queries about the abuse of vulnerable people can ring the HSE information line on 1850 24 1850.

Read: The hospital where Savita died is improving, although not quickly enough in some areas

Also: Ambulance report wants fewer patients brought to hospital and more on-scene treatment

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