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Multi-agency adult protection group promotes stronger links

06/02/13

Adult protection experts from across the north-east have joined forces to share their knowledge with health and social care students in a bid to promote collaborative working to future practitioners.

The first meeting of a new multi-agency adult protection group was held at Foresterhill in Aberdeen today (Wednesday, February 6) and saw more than 45 university students learn alongside health care professionals and police officers for the first time.

The group, Protection Interprofessional Education (PIPE), brings together adult protection experts from Robert Gordon University (RGU), the University of Aberdeen, Grampian Police, NHS Grampian and Aberdeen City Council to discuss challenges in the field, strengthen professional links and share best practice.

Dr Sundari Joseph, lecturer in interprofessional education at RGU, leads the new group as part of a joint educational partnership between the University of Aberdeen and RGU.

She said: "Our aim is that tomorrow's workforce will be better equipped to communicate with each other and demonstrate exemplary team work as well as deliver a high standard of adult protection in the north-east."

PIPE has received 46,000 in funding from the Scottish Institute of Police Research (SIPR) to investigate communication and decision making strategies between the police and health and social care services to help future adult protection professionals provide an integrated and effective service to residents.

Jacqui Campbell, detective inspector for Grampian Police, said: "This is a great opportunity for agencies to work together to make our community a safer place for everyone. By using pooled resources and expertise, and sharing best practice and working methods, we have the best chance of tackling adult protection issues in a holistic fashion and ensuring that everyone we come into contact with gets the best possible service."

Jacqui Mackintosh, NHS Grampian joint training coordinator, added: "NHS staff in Scotland have a legal responsibility to report to their local authority when they have concerns about an adult who is at risk of harm and in need of protection.

"A wide range of NHS Grampian staff may be involved in adult protection issues, such as nurses, pharmacists and doctors. They must be fully trained and confident in working effectively with all partners to ensure our most vulnerable adults are protected from any form of harm, or abuse. NHS Grampian is very experienced in partnership working and this event gives a valuable opportunity for people who will be working in the NHS to further develop skills and knowledge during the formative stages of their training and careers."

Kenneth O'Brien, adult protection co-ordinator for Aberdeen City Council, said: "One of the key messages in adult protection is that different professionals and agencies have to work closely together. Aberdeen City Council is delighted to be participating in any event whose very goal is to promote multi-agency working in the next generation of professionals. The earlier we encourage joint working, the better for us as organisations and, more importantly, the people at risk who are in our care."