New policy helps protect adults at risk of self-neglect or hoarding

A new policy aimed at helping agencies across Barnsley help those residents who self-neglect or hoard has been put together by Barnsley Safeguarding Adults Board.

Everyone has a right to feel safe and to live without fear of abuse, neglect or exploitation. 

The Board’s priority is to protect adults who live in the borough, promote their wellbeing, and reduce the risk of harm for those with care and support needs.

The policy has been written so that all agencies can  use to respond to people who self-neglect and/or hoard on a single or multi-agency bases to make  the best use of existing services and resources.

It is estimated that between two and five per cent of the population experience varying degrees of self-neglect and / or hoarding. In many cases, an adult who self- neglects and / or hoards may be the cause of ongoing concern to a number of different organisations, for example adult social care, fire services, housing services or health services.

Barnsley Safeguarding Adults Board, through this policy, will provide a multi-agency forum where discussions can take place to respond to often complex and challenging situations for practitioners and managers, as well as communities more broadly.

Bob Dyson, Independent Chair of Barnsley Safeguarding Adults Board, said: “It is widely recognised that responding to self-neglect, including hoarding behaviour, presents particular challenges to practitioners from all organisations across Barnsley health and social care.

“This may be in part, because of the often complex and deep rooted nature of the reasons leading to the self-neglect.  These types of issues are not easy to resolve and practitioners may find themselves torn between their duty to care for and protect people and the need to respect their choices about how they live.

This policy provides guidance and procedures to follow to ensure that our wide range of agencies work together to protect our most vulnerable residents.”

The policy will be supported by training by lead trainers in each agency and is available to view on the policies and procedure section of the Barnsley Safeguarding Adults webpage from Friday, 1 June:

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