Neglect and acts of omission

These include ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs, failure to provide access to appropriate health, social care or educational services, and the withholding of the necessities of life
such as medication, adequate nutrition and heating. Neglect also includes a failure to intervene in situations that are dangerous to the person concerned or to others, particularly when the person lacks the mental capacity to assess risk for themselves.

Neglect and poor professional practice may take the form of isolated incidents or pervasive ill treatment and gross misconduct. Neglect of this type may happen within a adult’s own home or in an institution. Repeated instances of poor care may be an indication of more serious problems. Neglect can be intentional or unintentional.

Possible indicators

  • Adult has inadequate heating and/or lighting;
  • Adult’s physical condition/appearance is poor (e.g. ulcers, pressure sores, soiled or wet clothing);
  • Adult is malnourished, has sudden or continuous weight loss and/or is dehydrated;
  • Adult cannot access appropriate medication or medical care;
  • Adult is not afforded appropriate privacy or dignity;
  • Adult and/or a carer has inconsistent or reluctant contact with health and social services;
  • Callers/visitors are refused access to the person;
  • Person is exposed to unacceptable risk.