Seminar on fianancial abuse

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A committee is determined that action is taken to prevent vulnerable people from financial harm and detect when it’s happening before they lose their savings, their independence and even their homes.

The campaign by North and South Lanarkshire’s adult protection committees took a major step forward at a recent seminar in Hamilton entitled “Whose money is it any way?”

A range of new materials was launched at the seminar and they 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 financial abuse in Lanarkshire since the adult protection committees hosted their first seminar on the topic last year.

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

The seminar also included a presentation from Mary Gilhooly of Brunel University.

She has carried out research into the decision making in detecting and preventing financial abuse of older adults.

This research focused on professionals from social care, health and banking, and examined their judgement and decision making in relation to professional detection of financial abuse of older people.

The research also examined why ‘bystanders’ can fail to act on their concerns, what triggers them to take action and what is most likely to lead to problems being detected.

One of the most compelling presentations of the day was a DVD featuring two older men living in Lanarkshire .

They had each suffered appalling financial abuse before Adult Protection legislation was used to help them regain control of their lives.

Anyone concerned that a vulnerable adult is at risk of harm should contact North Lanarkshire Council social work services in Cumbernauld on 01236 638700.