Any Charges Reported on this blog are Merely Accusations and the Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless and Until Proven Guilty, through the courts.

November 7, 2011

100,000 Elderly and Disabled Victims of Suspected Abuse (UK)

100,000 elderly and disabled victims of suspected abuse
Almost 100,000 elderly and disabled people were feared to have suffered abuse at the hands of their carers last year in what ministers described as “an absolute scandal”.
By Tim Ross, Political Correspondent
03 Nov 2011

A landmark inquiry into the scale of mistreatment disclosed that a quarter of cases involved relatives or carers putting alleged victims under pressure to change their wills, stealing property, or fraud.
More than 34,000 vulnerable adults were alleged to have been hit, slapped, kicked or suffered another type of physical abuse while almost 27,000 allegations of neglect were recorded.
Ministers and elderly rights campaigners condemned the picture of care home staff and relatives who exploit society’s most vulnerable citizens.
It is the first time that comprehensive government figures have been published showing the number of cases of alleged abuse in care homes and in the private residences of vulnerable adults in England.
The figures follow warnings from the Care Quality Commission over the “alarming” failure of hospitals to care for elderly patients.
The watchdog has also severely criticised the company that owned the now closed Winterbourne View care home for disabled adults in Bristol, where alleged abuse, including slapping and taunting of residents, was uncovered in a BBC documentary earlier this year.
Details from 151 councils showed 96,000 adults had suffered alleged abuse between April 2010 and March this year.
Almost 14,000 victims were suspected of having been abused or neglected repeatedly during the year, according to the report from the NHS Information Centre.
Most of the allegations were reported to social workers by health or care nurses but 42% of incidents were alleged to have taken place in the victim’s own home.
Almost one in four cases, some 23,000, involved “financial abuse”, including theft, fraud, exploitation, pressure related to wills, or the misappropriation of benefits or possessions. In the majority of these cases, the alleged victims were elderly.
Paul Burstow, the health minister, said the figures were “an absolute scandal” and promised more snap inspections of care services to stamp out abuse.
“No-one should have to put up with abuse,” he said. “This is the first publication of mandatory data of this kind. It demonstrates our total commitment to shining a light on poor care.
“Hundreds more unannounced inspections of adult care will be taking place, and we will also be making it mandatory to have local boards, involving police and other professionals, in place to tackle abuse.”
Social or healthcare workers were the alleged perpetrators in 29% of cases while family members, including the victim’s partner, were suspected of being the abusers in 25% of cases.
There were more than 18,000 cases of alleged emotional or psychological abuse, and almost 7,000 cases of sexual abuse.
Four in 10 investigations that were completed during the year were found to have been fully or partly substantiated, while 30% were not, and more than a quarter were inconclusive.
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director of Age UK, said: "These figures show shocking mistreatment of the most vulnerable in our society.
"It is extremely worrying to see such high levels of neglect and abuse in residential home settings. The figures also raise further concerns about the quality of domiciliary care, which is delivered in a person's home behind closed doors and so problems are likely to be under reported.
"Safeguarding measures are clearly still failing far too frequently and urgent attention needs to be paid as to why 96,000 cases of abuse were allowed to happen last year."
Adrian McAllister, chief executive of the Independent Safeguarding Authority, which is responsible for banning abusers from working with vulnerable people, said the figures were "appalling".
"Behind these statistics are stories of real pain, lives that have been damaged and trust that has been broken by those who job was to improve the lives of vulnerable adults, not abuse them," he said.

SOURCE:      The Telegraph, UK

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