Seminar tackles financial abuse

(l-r) NLC adult protection co-ordinator Kay MacGregor, SL Adult Protection Committee chairman Jim Cameron, Mary Gilhooly of Brunel University, NL Adult Protection Committee chairman Rab Murray and SLC adult protection co-ordinator Julie Stewart.

(l-r) NLC adult protection co-ordinator Kay MacGregor, SL Adult Protection Committee chairman Jim Cameron, Mary Gilhooly of Brunel University, NL Adult Protection Committee chairman Rab Murray and SLC adult protection co-ordinator Julie Stewart.

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North and South Lanarkshire’s Adult Protection Committees are determined to prevent vulnerable people from financial harm.

Their campaign took a major step forward at a recent seminar in Hamilton entitled ‘Whose money is it any way?’, where a range of new materials that alert employees to the signs of financial harm and explain the action that can be taken to stop it were launched.

A working group involving police, social work, trading standards and others has been developing a strategy to combat abuse in Lanarkshire since the Adult Protection Committees hosted their first seminar on the topic last year.

More than 100 representatives of police, social work, housing and NHS joined representatives from the Care Inspectorate, the Office of the Public Guardian and Royal Bank of Scotland at the event.

The seminar also included a presentation from Mary Gilhooly of Brunel University who has carried out research into the decision making in detecting and preventing financial abuse of older adults.

One of the most compelling presentations of the day was a DVD featuring two older men living in Lanarkshire who had each suffered appalling financial abuse before Adult Protection legislation was used to help them regain control of their lives.

Rab Murray, chairman of the North Lanarkshire Adult Protection Committee, said: “This was a really useful event and we will be taking this issue forward through more staff training and ensuring everyone who can make use of the new resources that have been developed receives them.

“Next year, we aim to launch a public campaign to ensure the public generally are more aware of the dangers of financial abuse and what can be done to prevent it or stop it from happening.”

Anyone concerned that a vulnerable adult is at risk of harm should contact social work.