Rising number of safeguarding concerns made over vulnerable adults in North Tyneside

More safeguarding concerns were raised about vulnerable adults in North Tyneside last year, figures show.

More safeguarding concerns were raised about vulnerable adults in North Tyneside last year, figures show.

Age UK said some older people across England are being let down by a care system that has failed to protect them from abuse and neglect.

NHS Digital figures show 3,460 concerns of abuse were made about adults with care and support needs in North Tyneside in the year to March.

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    This was up from 3,050 in 2020-21.

    Across England, 541,535 abuse concerns were raised last year – an increase of 9% on the year before.

    However, one local authority was unable to submit data in 2021-22 so this figure is an estimate.

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    Age UK said the "distressing" figures show that some older people in care are not being treated with respect or protected from abuse and neglect.

    Charity Director Caroline Abrahams said: “Any abuse of older people is intolerable and there must be zero tolerance of any abuse whether through neglect, financial manipulation or physical or mental cruelty.

    "These cases concern some of the most vulnerable members of our society, many of whom feel that they have no one to turn to for help.

    "Care workers must adhere to the strict rules and procedures which are devised to help prevent problems such as abuse, poor management and neglect."

    She added that staff shortages might be leaving some settings ill-equipped to provide safe care, with record vacancy rates for manager roles in care homes particularly worrying.

    If councils believe an adult with care and support needs is experiencing or is at risk of abuse or neglect, they must carry out a Section 42 enquiry to determine whether they need to take action.

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    North Tyneside Council completed 1,190 such enquiries in 2021-22 – up from 1,030 in 2020-21.

    Raised in 36% of enquiries, neglect and acts of omission was the most frequently mentioned reason last year.

    Nationwide, the most common type of risk in Section 42 enquiries – which typically involve people aged 85 and over – was also neglect and acts of omission, which accounted for 31% of risks.

    The person's own home was the most common location of the risk – in just under half of all enquiries.