Three 'safeguarding' calls a day in South Tyneside

More safeguarding concerns were raised over vulnerable people in South Tyneside last year, figures show.

Safeguarding calls on the increase.
Safeguarding calls on the increase.

NHS Digital figures show 1,085 concerns of abuse – almost three a day – were raised about adults with care and support needs in the borough in the year to March – up from 970 in 2020-21.

Neglect and acts of omission was the most frequently mentioned reason – making up 44% of all calls.

Across England, 541,535 abuse concerns were raised last year – a nine per cent increase.

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

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South Tyneside Council completed 360 such inquiries in 2021-22 – down from 480 in 2020-21.

Nationally, the data shows a person's own home was the most common location of the risk – making up just under half of all inquiries.

Age UK said some older people are being let down by a care system that has failed to protect them.

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."

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She said staff shortages might be leaving the system ill-equipped, with record vacancy rates for manager roles in care homes particularly worrying.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: "The Government has made sure that across the country, the police, councils and NHS are working together to help protect vulnerable adults from abuse or other types of exploitation.”