In your news item, you referred to Margaret Flynn, who rightly highlighted the role of the NHS in the failures that led up to the tragic death of Steven Hoskin and drew attention to the tendency within the service to view safeguarding vulnerable adults as solely a social care responsibility.
Keeping adults with a learning disability safe is an exercise in collective irresponsibility - that is, the responsibility of everyone and no one. This will continue to be so until all agencies fulfil their duty to blow the whistle on any concerns they have over the safety of a vulnerable adult.
Sound foundations must be put in place for better and more inter-agency working. This should include comprehensive training and guidance for staff, as well as clear procedures on how to report problems, with clear lines of responsibility for ownership of such concerns.
For a society that aspires to fulfil the right of people with a learning disability, like Steven Hoskin, to live independently and safely in their community, a lack of real action by all agencies on safeguarding is a serious failure.
Mencap wants agencies to take their role in keeping vulnerable adults safe as seriously as that of safeguarding children and victims of domestic abuse. This can only be achieved if the government makes agencies and staff culpable for their actions - or lack of them. We hope the government reflects this in its upcoming review of No Secrets.
David Congdon, head of campaigns and policy, Mencap