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Adult support and protection (ASP)

Adults at risk of harm

Illness, or disability, can make an individual reliant upon others for help and support. In some cases, reliance can increase vulnerability to abuse and exploitation when trust is abused. People over the age of 16, who fall into this group, are sometimes referred to as adults at risk of harm. They could be someone who, through mental or physical disability: 

  • is unable to live unsupported alone
  • cannot deal with their own financial affairs
  • has suffered or is suffering physical or emotional abuse
  • has been or is being financially exploited
  • poses a danger to themselves or others

What is meant by harm?

Harm can take many forms including;

  • physical violence
  • psychological intimidation
  • neglect
  • financial exploitation
  • sexual abuse.

It can happen anywhere.

Report any concerns to 01294 310300 during working hours or 'out of hours' call 0800 328 7758

If the person is in immediate danger or in an emergency situation, call Police Scotland on 999. For non-emergency situations call 101. You do not need to leave your name, but it would help for more information.

If you work for an organisation and are worried about a client, complete a referral form (APR) (Word, 35kb) and email it to: adultprotection@north-ayrshire.gov.uk 

A person under the age of 16

Do as above. Separate child protection procedures will apply.

What happens next?

A council officer will investigate. They will work alongside other agencies to ensure the safety of the adult. This may involve:

  • advocacy services - if the adult is unable or lacks the confidence to speak for themselves
  • additional support - Care at Home, day services, respite care or Telecare
  • guardianship order, or power of attorney, if the vulnerable adult is at risk of financial exploitation.

North Ayrshire Adult Protection Committee

The North Ayrshire Adult Protection Committee brings together practitioners from social care, voluntary organisations, the police and the NHS. The committee provides specialist training on adult protection to staff in its partner agencies.

Meeting are held quarterly:

May 2019 minutes (PDF, 149kb) 

February 2019 minutes (PDF, 146kb)

Annual report

ASP summary of key activity in North Ayrshire 2018-19 (PDF, 220kb).

Biennial Report 2016 - 2018

The Adult Protection Committee reports to the Scottish Government every 2 years, Biennial Report 2016-18 (PDF, 1010kb).

Joint Thematic Inspection of ASP Report

North Ayrshire was one of six participating Authorities in the Joint Thematic Inspection of ASP.

View the Care Inspectorate report on the inspection.

Training opportunities

There is information available on ASP training. It is open to individuals and partner organisations:

To request a place, complete and return an ASP Training Nomination Form (Word, 239kb).

For ASP training enquiries, email.

More information

Identifying and Helping Adults at Risk of Harm (PDF, 1.8mb).