Thousands of safeguarding concerns for vulnerable adults in BCP

5th October, 2021 1:39 pm

SAFEGUARDING concerns regarding vulnerable adults in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole increased by 58 per cent last year, figures show.

Age UK said abuse and neglect may have thrived behind closed doors throughout periods of lockdown, contributing to a stark national rise in the number of concerns flagged with councils between April 2020 and March this year.

NHS Digital figures show 7,685 concerns about adults with care and support needs were reported to the council in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole in that period, up from the 4,865 recorded the year before – a 58 per cent difference.

Nationally, nearly 500,000 safeguarding concerns were flagged that year, up 5 per cent from 2019-20, with the very elderly – those aged over 85 – most likely to be the subject.

A spokesperson for BCP Council said: “BCP Council works with partners across the voluntary and statutory sectors, including Dorset Police and the NHS, to safeguard adults with care and support needs.

“Although a key part of our safeguarding role is to investigate instances of abuse, we work hard to prevent people with care and support needs from coming to harm.

If councils believe a vulnerable adult is experiencing or is at risk of abuse or neglect, they must carry out a Section 42 enquiry to determine whether action should be taken.

Around 1,005 such enquiries were launched in the local authority area during the year to March – more than the 830 that commenced in 2019-20.

Roughly 920 such investigations concluded in 2020-21, with the council finding that the highest proportion of allegations in the area were linked to neglect and acts of omission.

The highest number of incidents took place in a person’s own home with the source of risk in the conurbation most often someone the person knew.

A BCP Council spokesperson said: “During the COVID pandemic, new challenges faced vulnerable adults, and the safeguarding team worked together to protect our most vulnerable residents.

“One example was many of our most vulnerable residents needing to shield at home and subsequently finding it difficult to access support.

“The council responded through a volunteer scheme, to ensure people’s basic needs were met and this face to face contact led to identifying safeguarding concerns, such as people struggling to meet their care needs.

“Adult social care sought to safeguard people by offering an assessment of their needs and in many cases, by providing care or support to keep people safe and well.”

If you think someone is being abused, please contact BCP Council Adult Social Care Contact Centre on 01202 123654. Or call 999 if you think someone is in immediate danger.

Source: Bournemouth Daily Echo

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