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POVA referrals - the first 100

Analysis of the first 100 referrals to the POVA list

  • Document type:
    Publication
  • Author:
    Kings College London, Social Care Workforce Research Unit
  • Published date:
    26 July 2005
  • Primary audience:
    Care services,Professionals
  • Publication format:
    Electronic only
  • Gateway reference:
    5299
  • Pages:
    2
  • Copyright holder:
    Crown

As part of the implementation of the Care Standards Act (2000), the Department of Health introduced the Protection of Vulnerable Adults (POVA) list on 26 July 2004, as a complement to the requirement for the development of local multi-agency adult protection policies and procedures. This small study aimed to identify any commonalities and the extent of differences between the first 100 referrals to the POVA list.

This small study aimed to identify any commonalities and the extent of differences between the first 100 referrals to the POVA list, with an initial exploration of:


* The genesis and contexts of referrals
* The context of the reason(s) for referral
* Stated reasons(s) for referral
* The employment status of the person referred
* What is known about any 'victim(s)'
* The presence/absence of criminal proceedings
* The risk factors mentioned (if any)
* Any involvement/consultation with other agencies.

Background

As part of the implementation of the Care Standards Act (2000), the Department of Health introduced the Protection of Vulnerable Adults (POVA) list on 26 July 2004, as a complement to the requirement for the development of local multi-agency adult protection policies and procedures, set out in No Secrets (DH, 2000). One of the main requirements of this was that employers would be required to make checks on the POVA list, in addition to the Criminal Records Bureau Check, when employing workers (or providing volunteers) in regular contact with (in care homes) or providing personal care (in their own homes) to vulnerable adults. Furthermore, employers are required to make a referral to the list whenever a worker has been seen to be guilty of misconduct that harmed, or placed vulnerable adults at risk of harm (DH, 2004a). Once an individual's name is placed on the POVA list, that person is not able to work or volunteer with vulnerable adults, until his or her name is removed. Initially, the POVA regulations apply to staff in registered residential establishments or domiciliary agencies and Adult Placement carers. Staff working in NHS and private hospitals and other units providing services to vulnerable adults, such as day care centres, are excluded.

The POVA list is being run by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) on behalf of the Department of Health (DH, 2004a). A similar list exists in relation to children, the POCA (Protection of Children Act, 1999) list. Introducing the Practical Guide (DH, 2004a), the Minister for Community Care linked this development to 'the Government's drive to raise standards across health and social care' (DH, 2004a, p4). The POVA list is part of a general strengthening of the protection of vulnerable adults. Local procedures for adult protection had been required in England, as part of the implementation of No Secrets (DH 2000), and the House of Commons Health Select Committee (2004) indicated the extent of progress in elder abuse, but identified the need for further work, deliberation and evidence. POVA may also be viewed in the context of the regulation and professionalisation of the social care sector, where a wide range of more general problems has been identified. It applies in both England and Wales.

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