HSE National Safeguarding Office 2019 Annual Report and Explainer Video launched

HSE Press Release: Tuesday, 10th November 2020

Today (Tuesday, 10 November 2020) at an online event the HSE published the National Safeguarding Office Annual Report 2019 and launched an Adult Safeguarding Explainer video

The publication of the 2019 Annual Report is a timely reminder of the central position that adult safeguarding plays across all health and personal social care services. This is of particular resonance when we consider the individual stories and experiences behind the activity data and statistics contained in the Annual Report.

2019 is the fourth year of the HSE publishing data and recorded outputs on adult safeguarding activity. This data represents the screenings undertaken by Designated Officers operating in HSE and HSE funded services as well as direct community referrals to the HSE Safeguarding and Protection Teams. The Report also gives an outline of the training figures and programmes undertaken in 2019 which included almost 22,000 participants.

The significant messages from the figures are:

Notifications numbers have stabilised after years of double digit increases. There was a marginal increase of 1% in the number of safeguarding concerns received at 11,929 compared with 2018 figures.

  • 72% of notifications related to adults less than 65 years of age, 28% for adults over 65 years
  • The number of notifications on persons aged over 65 was 3,337 in 2019 compared to 3,061 in 2018
  • For persons aged under 65 the most significant category of alleged abuse remains physical abuse followed by psychological abuse
  • For persons aged over 65 the most significant categories of alleged abuse are psychological abuse physical abuse and financial abuse
  • Alleged financial abuse and neglect increase with age with the highest level of reporting in those over 80 years
  • On an average week in 2019 the Safeguarding and Protection Teams nationally received over 250 notifications whilst responding to an additional 1,046 advice calls over the year
  • The need for further investment and reform in the area of adult safeguarding is highlighted within the Report. The Report welcomes the ongoing work to develop a national health sector safeguarding policy by the Department of Health and separately the examination by the Law Reform Commission into the form of a statutory regulatory framework for adult safeguarding in Ireland

The adult safeguarding explainer video launched today by the HSE is an accompaniment to a HSE Safeguarding training programme and can be used by the wider public as a user friendly account of how to recognise and respond to adult abuse concerns.

Tim Hanly, General Manager of HSE National Safeguarding Office said, “The publication of the National Safeguarding Office Report 2019 and the launch of this video indicate once again the important role of adult safeguarding. This is especially so at this time of uncertainty for adults who may be vulnerable and at risk of abuse with the impact of a worldwide pandemic. In the past 4 years this service has provided an intervention and oversight role in over 40,000 safeguarding concerns. This Report highlights that interagency collaboration and associated public awareness are central in the protection of adults at risk of abuse in Irish society. The HSE is committed to implementing a revised and updated Adult Safeguarding Policy during 2021 as a core part of the organisation’s service improvement plans.”



Last updated on: 10 / 11 / 2020