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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 including at home, in hospital, in day centres and in public.

If you are worried about someone

Report to your local Health and Social Care Partnership office, or for '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 (AP1) (Word, 33kb) and email it to: adultprotection@north-ayrshire.gcsx.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.

Annual report

ASP summary of key activity in North Ayrshire 2016-17 (PDF, 654kb).

Biennial Report 2014 - 2016

The Adult Protection Committee reports to the Scottish Government every 2 years. Read the latest Biennial Report 2014 - 16 (PDF, 921kb).

Training opportunities

ASP training is open to interested individuals and partner organisations. Please see our training leaflets below:

To request a place, complete and return an ASP Training Nomination Form (Word, 239kb). For ASP training enquiries, please email.

More information

The Adult Support & Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 ensures vulnerable adults receive dignity, respect and safety. This informs our work in protecting vulnerable adults. Find out more in our guide Identifying and Helping Adults at Risk of Harm (PDF, 1.8mb).