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Adult Support and Protection

The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 came into force in October 2008 to ensure that adults are kept safe from harm or abuse. The legislation places a duty upon Local Authorities (Councils), NHS Boards, the Police and others to work together to protect adults at risk of harm. Following a process of integrating Health and Social Care in Highland, NHS Highland is responsible for discharging responsibilities on behalf of the Highland Council. This includes the powers to make inquiries and take action when it is suspected that an adult may be at risk of physical or psychological harm, neglect or sexual abuse, or being taken advantage of financially. It is important to recognise that any intervention under the Act must benefit the adult at risk and be the least restrictive option. In Highland, a Safer Highland Partnership has oversight of a range of public protection activities. These include Adult Support and Protection, Child Protection, drugs and alcohol, violence against women, MAPPA and youth justice.

The Highland Inter-Agency Adult Support and Protection Committee has a responsibility to raise public awareness of the need to support and protect adults from harm, neglect or abuse. It publishes regular Bulletins and Newsletters. (Please see Section 4 at foot of page).

This page provides access to the Multi-Agency Procedures, Large Scale Investigation Protocol, the Act, Scottish Government Guidance and a range of other helpful resources for practitioners.  (Please see Section 1 at the foot of the page).

It also provides information about staff training in Adult Support and Protection by way of an ASP Training Calendar together with an Application Form. Please note that the application form can be used for multiple applications. (Please see Section 5 at the foot of the page).

Preventing and acting against harm in Highland

Everyone has a right to be safe. At some point you may see or hear something which indicates that an adult is at risk of harm. Adults can be at risk of harm or abuse in many ways.

An Adult at Risk is defined by the Act as an adult aged 16 or over who is unable to protect themselves from someone harming them, or from exploitation and neglect or safeguard their own well-being, property, rights or other interests; is at risk of harm, and because they are affected by disability, mental disorder, illness or physical or mental infirmity, is more vulnerable to being harmed than adults who are not so affected. All three of these criteria must be met.

If you are unable to protect yourself from being harmed, it is important to tell someone. If you think you know someone who is being harmed, or at risk of being harmed, you must tell someone. Remember, the person being harmed may not be able to report it themselves.

Adult abuse can occur in many different settings and situations and employees need to be aware of situations which may put a vulnerable adult at risk. This has highlighted the need for Highland Adult Support and Protection Inter-Agency Procedures which apply whenever abuse is suspected or has occurred and where specific action is required to ensure the protection of the person. (Please see Section 1 at the foot of the page)

The For Highland's Children site also has a range of useful information and publications on protection and cross-cutting issues.


To report an Adult Protection Concern:

If you are a member of the public, please ring 0800 902 0042 during normal office hours.  Your concerns will be noted and referred onward to the appropriate Highland Adult Social Care Team.  Outside of office hours, or at weekends, or on public holidays, please ring 0845 601 4813.

If you are a health or social care worker or a professional or a member of a partner agency, please use the Adult Concern Form (see section 1 below) to report the concerns to your local Adult Social Care Team.

However, if someone is in imminent danger, then a call to Police Scotland may be required.



Expand/Collapse Section : 1. Policies and Procedures ‎(14)
Expand/Collapse Section : 2. Legislation ‎(11)
Expand/Collapse Section : 3. Links ‎(4)
Expand/Collapse Section : 4. Publications ‎(14)
Expand/Collapse Section : 5. Adult Support & Protection Training ‎(8)
Expand/Collapse Section : 6. Video Material ‎(5)