Majority of council neglect claims made against care workers

NHS Digital has identified that councils have investigated almost 24,000 allegations of neglect by carers looking after adults in need of support.

The report examined over 100,000 council investigations into the alleged abuse of vulnerable adults, including 42,000 allegations of neglect. Almost two thirds of the investigations related to people over the age of 65, with many neglect case involving instances where elderly people were left in soiled clothing or calls for help were unanswered.

The research also revealed that around a quarter of allegations concerned accusations of physical abuse, while five per cent related to sexual abuse and 15 per cent to psychological abuse.

Janet Morrison, chief executive of Independent Age, a charity which campaigns for better care for the elderly, said: “The reality is that we have no idea of the true scale of the problem as these figures only reveal cases where concerns about potential neglect have actually come to light.

“Prime Minister Theresa May has talked about her desire to tackle injustice – we would urge her to tackle the cause of these appalling figures head on.”

Izzi Seccombe, chairman of the Local Government Association’s community wellbeing board, said: “Any form of abuse is unacceptable and we all have a role to ensure that every member of our community is able to live safe, dignified and happy lives either in their own home or in residential care.”

The Department of Health responded: “Abuse is completely unacceptable at all times and, whatever the cause, we are determined to stamp it out.

“This government has introduced tougher inspections on care services to help make sure abuse is caught and dealt with, and made sure that across the country, the police, councils and the NHS are working together to help protect vulnerable adults from abuse or other types of exploitation.”