§ Mr. Burstow
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what legislation is in place to prosecute individuals who(a) neglect and (b) abuse vulnerable adults in care settings; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Jacqui Smith
[holding answer 15 January 2002]: It is an offence under section 127 of the Mental Health Act 1983 to ill-treat or wilfully neglect mentally ill patients. In addition, the Mental Health Act 1959 makes it an offence for a man to have sexual intercourse with a mentally disordered woman in his care. Those who commit offences against other vulnerable adults will be liable to prosecution for criminal offences which are of general application.