Referrals for At Risk adults on the rise

19 May 2023

Following a 19% increase in the estimated number of Adult Support and Protection referrals carried out for those at risk of harm, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and local MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton has today urged the government to take tougher and swifter action to battle the country’s mental health crisis.  

The Scottish Government statistics published today also show that:   

  • Mental health problems accounted for 19% of those who were subject to Adult Support Protection (ASP) investigations in 2021/22, while infirmity due to old age accounted for 18%.      
  • Physical harm was the most common type of reported harm, accounting for one quarter of those subject to an ASP investigation.
  • The number of those subject to an investigation related to self-harm remained at 14% during 2021/22, after increasing from 11% in 2019/20.
  • The number of those subject to an investigation related to neglect has increased from 15% in 2019/20 to 18% in 2021/22.  

Alex said: “It’s absolutely heart-breaking to see these numbers on the up.  

“Mental health is one of the key factors putting adults at risk, but as our health service lurches from crisis to crisis, it’s extremely difficult for staff to get to grips with that.  

“This government has responded by breaking countless promises on waiting times and inflicting brutal cuts to the mental health budget. That mountain of failures has left more and more people extremely vulnerable.    

“Scottish Liberal Democrats would roll out mental health professionals across the country and increase the number of training places for psychologists and psychiatrists in order to cut mental health treatment times in half.”