Good communication is the bridge between confusion and clarity (Nat Turner)

Tinshill Communications Tower

In the last ten days or so, I have attended two meetings with the importance of clarity central to them both.

The first meeting was in the middle of the week before last, when I attended the Scottish Parliament (first time in about 7 years for me) with colleagues from across the ASP Community. This included Independent Convenors of APCs, Members of the Scottish Government (including the Adult Support and Protection Unit within the Directorate for Social Care and National Care Service Development) and Members of the ASP Implementation Group, amongst others. This round table event was Chaired by Mr Kevin Stewart MSP.

On the Agenda was the opportunity to hear from colleagues from the Care Inspectorate about their recently published Triennial Review into ASP Learning Reviews (Significant Case Reviews, Initial Case Reviews – now collectively known as ASP Learning Reviews) where circumstances which lead to adverse impacts for adults either subject to the ASP legislation or those who could have been subject to the legislation had their case been referred under ASP, are considered to determine what learning could arise from the findings into the Learning Review. This led to a healthy discussion in relation to the sometimes distinctly contrasting approaches to the process taken in relation to implementing these reviews across Scotland and to the lack of opportunities to share the learning nationally. These are both areas that I am hopeful that the recently reconvened National ASP Learning and Development Network will be able to assist with, alongside colleagues in Child Protection and the Scottish Government. The Sub Group of the Network will shortly be meeting to developed a detailed Work Plan and it is my hope that the work of the Network will be able to effectively impact on both of these issues.

This input was followed by the sharing of Practice Experience in 3 areas; Neglect and Self-Neglect (Dumfries and Galloway APC), Legal Literacy (Aberdeen City APC) and Involving Individuals in the Learning Review process (South Lanarkshire APC). Following this, there was an opportunity for smaller groups to meet to discuss the inputs of the day, before rejoining all colleagues for a full room discussion. This was a very worthwhile event and I hope that there will be more – the conversations, showcasing of good practice and priorities arising as a result of events like this will very much inform my future Work Plan and that of the National ASP Learning and Development Network.

Last week, I attended the National ASP Communications Group. Everyone around the table in this multi-agency group recognises the importance of getting out campaigns containing regular, coordinated messages about Adults at Risk of Harm for both the general public and professionals with links to ASP and there is now a move towards taking forward more regular thematic campaigns that might link with other relevant national causes and campaigns. It is hoped this year, for the first time, in addition to providing some resources which can be used nationally and locally across Scotland specifically for National ASP Day in February, there will be some additional thematic campaigns this year. It is hoped that resources identified or developed as a result of the identification of these additional campaigns, will be made available across Scotland to be shared nationally (by myself and other colleagues in a position to share nationally) and locally by the APCs across the country. Watch this space for forthcoming campaign information. If you have a suggestion for an ASP Campaign – please let me know at: