Until Care Act 2014, self-neglect in England was located outside of Safeguarding systems and procedures. Statutory guidance (DH, 2000) described ‘vulnerable adults’ as those at risk of abuse and neglect from others. Some areas found ways of involving agencies in shared risk management, there was a danger elsewhere that, instead of being everybody’s business, self-neglect was nobody’s (or somebody else’s business).
The Care Act changed this, and gives a broad definition of adults in need of care and support and articulates duties towards them. Safeguarding Adults Boards' have a statutory objective to help and protect adults with care and support needs who are experiencing or at risk of abuse and neglect, and are unable to protect themselves. The hoarding training has been updated to include more detail on the Care Act criteria in relation to Self-neglect. It covers the definition of Self neglect and includes Hoarding, as well as the Mental Capacity Act.
A multi-agency framework and referral pathway has been developed to identify, refer and respond to self-neglect and hoarding.
The Framework is to recognise indicators of hoarding and self- neglect, covers areas such as: risk assessment and management, joint working and information sharing; Mental Capacity assessment processes; and practices. Consideration of pathways included: 1) those with care and support needs and 2) those without care and support needs.