Abuse claims rise in vulnerable adults

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COMPLAINTS of abuse suffered by vulnerable adults in Northamptonshire, passed on by the likes of police, the NHS and care homes, rose by more than a third in 12 months.

Safeguarding referrals between 2011 and 2012 totalled 3,216, up from 2,403 in the previous year, according to the annual report by the county Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults (SOVA)board.

However the number of substantiated allegations fell from 417 to 380. Almost 700 are still being investigated.

Most alleged abuse took place in people’s own homes followed by care homes.

Marie Seaton, the SOVA board’s chairwoman, said: “The increase in referrals relating to people’s homes can be attributed to increased review activity and reporting mechanisms in place, such as within East Midlands Ambulance Service, NHS Northamptonshire Healthcare and domiciliary care services.

Referrals over suspected neglect were the most common, with a total of 1, 140 
allegations. Physical abuse made up 1,059 of the complaints.

Mrs Seaton said: “People must remain alert to vulnerable adults who may be at risk of abuse and report it accordingly.”