General Practice Role in the Adult Support and Protection Context
The provisions of the Act are concerned with adults at risk of harm. After a referral is made, local procedures should concentrate on the following and, as part of the information gathering, General Practices may be asked to contribute knowledge concerning the individual in question:
- an assessment of whether the adult is at risk of harm;
- an assessment of the nature and severity of any risks identified, including when and where the adult may be placed at risk and an identification of the factors that will impact on the likelihood of risk;
- the identification of reasonable and proportionate timescales for undertaking inquiries and assessments;
- the development of a protection plan (that can be single or multi-agency), that identifies actions and supports that will eliminate or reduce the risks identified;
- reviewing and amending protection plans as risks and circumstances change;
- reviewing whether the adult continues to meet the criteria for an adult at risk of harm, and if not whether there are other supports that will still be required out-with the provisions of the Act.
Many referrals that are made concerning people who are believed to be at risk of harm will result in a determination that they are not at risk of harm and therefore require no further action under the provisions of the Act, though this does not preclude other support or involvement through other relevant legislation, local procedures or alternative services to respond to the individual's needs.
Note: A "no further action" outcome for one or more ASP referrals does not change the obligation to make future ASP referrals when you know or believe the adult is at risk of harm.
For other adults the inquiry and investigative process will determine that they are at risk of harm and will need continuing assistance with their support and protection. Such a determination will follow from an assessment process that should involve all relevant agencies. Some cases will involve few or single agency involvement. Others will require the involvement of a wide range of agencies.
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