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To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S4W-24953 by Jamie Hepburn on 26 March 2015, whether it will provide (a) local authorities and (b) other stakeholders with a clearer definition of harm from failure to provide adequate care, as set out in the adult support and protection guidelines and mental health legislation.

Answered by Jamie Hepburn (29/04/2015):

The Code of Practice to the Adult Support and Protection Act 2007 gives a clear definition of harm for the legislation. This makes explicit reference to accidental or intentional neglect by a carer, and to care as one of the types of settings where an adult can be at risk of harm.

Section 53 states harm includes all harmful conduct and, in particular, includes:

conduct which causes physical harm;

conduct which causes psychological harm (for example by causing fear, alarm or distress);

unlawful conduct which appropriates or adversely affects property, rights or interests (for example theft, fraud, embezzlement or extortion); or

conduct which causes self-harm.

The definition of ‘harm’ in the Act sets out the main broad categories of harm that are included. The list in the definition is not exhaustive and no category of harm is excluded simply because it is not explicitly listed.

The Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland Act) 2003 does not define harm but it does refer to a criminal offence of ill treatment, neglect or some other deficiency in care or treatment.

Current Status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 29/04/2015
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