HSE National Safeguarding Office publish 2017 Annual Report

To coincide with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the National Centre for the Protection of Older People (NCPOP) at UCD are hosting the launch of the HSE National Safeguarding Office Annual Report 2017 and Banking & Payments Federation Ireland’s (BPFI) Guide to Safeguarding your Money Now and in the Future. The event is taking place in the John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies, Clinton Building, Belfield, UCD, Dublin 4 at 2.00pm today, Thursday 14th June.  

 Awareness initiatives

2017 was a significant year for adult safeguarding which is reflected in the output of the HSE’s National Safeguarding Office. Targeted training and public awareness initiatives both within the HSE and with partner organisations in the National Safeguarding Committee have highlighted the challenges in protecting those that are most vulnerable in Irish society.

2017 is the second year the HSE has published safeguarding data reported to its Safeguarding and Protection Teams (SPTs) in each of the nine Community Healthcare Organisations (CHOs).

Key statistics include;

·             10,118 safeguarding concerns were raised in 2017; a 28% increase from 2016 with the largest increase evident in the 18-64 year age category

·             Alleged abuse categories remained consistent with 2016 figures

  • For persons aged under 65 the most significant category of alleged abuse remains physical abuse at 46 % 
  • For persons aged over 65 the most significant category of alleged abuse is psychological abuse and financial abuse at 31% and 22% respectively.
  • Alleged financial abuse and neglect increase with age with the highest level of reporting in those over 80 years

Analysis of the reporting rate per 1,000 populations over 65 illustrates that the rate increases with age. Concerns relating to females are higher in all age categories however, male              reporting increases three fold in the over 80s category

  • The alleged person causing concern is most likely a service user for those 18-64 and a son/daughter for those over 65 years.
  • 50% of cases had an agreed outcome of reasonable grounds with the Safeguarding and Protection Team - (47% 2016)
  • The provision of training and public awareness has increased the level of concerns being notified to the safeguarding service. The training target of 17,000 was exceeded by 30% in 2017 with more than 23,000 people trained the majority of which pertained to Safeguarding Vulnerable Persons at Risk of Abuse.

Tim Hanly, General Manager of HSE National Safeguarding Office said, “The publication of the National Safeguarding Office Report 2017 indicates a significant increase in safeguarding concerns notified to the HSE over the past year. However there is still much work to be done on increasing awareness of abuse of older persons and persons with disability in Irish society. Interagency collaboration is essential in this work and today’s event shows how important and beneficial it is for a range of agencies to work together to safeguard vulnerable people from abuse.”

 Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland 

Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI) have also published a new ‘Guide to Safeguarding your Money Now and in the Future’.  Published on behalf of AIB, Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB, Ulster Bank and KBC, the Guide provides tips and advice for people to prepare for a time when they may need assistance to manage their money. It seeks to raise awareness of financial abuse, which can impact on anyone in vulnerable circumstances, regardless of wealth or age.  For BPFI, interaction with the National Safeguarding Committee and HSE safeguarding teams has provided valuable insights into the experience of adults at risk. Along with feedback from frontline banking staff, this cross-sectoral engagement indicates shared concerns and challenges across service providers.   The booklet will be available online and in bank branches.

Louise O’Mahony, Head of Sustainable Banking, BPFI, says, “This guide is for all banking customers. We all have experienced times when we may feel vulnerable or overwhelmed and our financial affairs become difficult to manage. We all need to prepare for the likelihood that one day we may need assistance to manage our financial affairs in a way that reflects our wishes. Some simple actions now will help make our lives easier and ensure those helping us know what we want.”

Speakers at today’s event include:

  • Tim Hanly, General Manager, HSE National Safeguarding Office, Introduction to the National Safeguarding Office Report 2017
  • Marguerite Clancy, Senior Researcher, HSE National Safeguarding Office, Presentation on 2017 HSE Safeguarding Data
  • Patricia Rickard-Clarke, Chair of the National Safeguarding Committee on Advancement and challenges in addressing financial abuse of older persons in Ireland
  • Louise O’Mahony, Head of Sustainable Banking, Banking and Payments Federation Ireland on the BPFI Guide to Safeguarding Your Money Now and in the Future.


A copy of the HSE National Safeguarding Office Annual Report 2017 is available to view here and the Guide to Safeguarding your Money Now and in the Future is available here.


Last updated on: 14 / 06 / 2018