Carers abuse scandal

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WIGAN’S care services are receiving hundreds of allegations of abuse every year shock figures have revealed.

A report released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre revealed that the Council received 640 complaints by vulnerable adults that they have been attacked or neglected by their carers including nursing home or day centre staff and home visitors.

Of these 63 per cent were female and 72 per cent were aged over 65. There were also 38 per cent who lodged a complaint who are known to have a disability.

The report also revealed that 28 per cent of allegations were of neglect and 35 per cent were of physical abuse.

Of those who complained 43 per cent of allegations occurred in the victims home with 38 per cent occurring in care homes.

However, council chiefs say adult social care is a key issue and has undergone dramatic improvements in the borough in recent years.

Stuart Cowley, director for adult social care and health at Wigan Council, said: “Protecting our most vulnerable adults is a key priority for Wigan Council, which is why we have been working hard to raise awareness of adult safeguarding issues within the local community.

“We want to ensure everyone has the tools to recognise and report concerns relating to an individual’s care. As a result of this work we’ve seen an increase in the number of reports, which is positive news.

“As part of that work we’ve also refreshed and strengthened our policies and procedures to ensure we take robust action to protect and support people at risk of abuse.

“We also have rigorous quality assurance measures in place, where we check and monitor the quality of services provided to our residents, in both their homes or settings such as residential care to ensure our customers are safe and happy.

“In November, we’ll be holding a high profile safeguarding conference to further embed our commitment to the best possible approach to safeguarding.”

Health chiefs say the report serves as a tool for councils to improve care.

HSCIC Chair Kingsley Manning, said: “This report sheds light on the extent and type of abuse reported to have been perpetrated on some of our most vulnerable citizens.

“Councils and policy makers are encouraged to use it in their work to protect adults who have care and support needs.”