Two new pieces of guidance, Child Protection and Protection of Vulnerable Adults, published by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain this week 6 August 2005 will help pharmacists and registered pharmacy technicians recognise and act on instances where they believe patients may be victims of abuse.
The guidance will be available on the Society’s website at: www.rpsgb.org/practice. Pharmacists and registered pharmacy technicians come into contact with vulnerable children and adults in their everyday work. As a result, they may become aware of situations where the child or vulnerable adult is being abused or at risk of abuse.
In the case of children, this abuse could take the form of physical, emotional or sexual abuse or neglect. In vulnerable adults, particularly those in need of community care services due to mental health, disability, age or illness issues, the abuse can take wider forms including all of the above as well as financial and domestic abuse.
Lynsey Balmer, the Society’s Head of Professional Ethics, says:
“It is important that pharmacists and registered pharmacy technicians are alert to potential indicators of abuse or neglect and that they are empowered to take appropriate action if abuse or neglect is suspected. This new guidance will therefore help pharmacies identify potential indicators of abuse, advise what to do if abuse or neglect is suspected and raise awareness of the types of local policies and procedures that should be in place for dealing with it.”