Nottinghamshire County Council conducted around 1,000 inquiries into reports of abuse and neglect in care homes
Almost 1,000 inquiries into reports of abuse and neglect in care homes were conducted by Nottinghamshire County Council last year, new figures show.
Charity Age UK has called for a zero-tolerance approach to abuse, after “deeply distressing” national figures revealed an increase in investigations of maltreatment of elderly people across England.
If councils believe an adult with care and support needs is experiencing or is at risk of abuse or neglect, they must carry out what is known as a Section 42 enquiry, to determine whether they need to step in.
Figures released by NHS Digital reveal Nottinghamshire County Council completed 890 such enquiries into incidents occurring in care homes in 2018-19.
The enquiries — which can also be carried out for suspected abuse occurring in other settings, such as hospitals or a victim’s own home — may concern allegations of physical, sexual, psychological or financial abuse, as well as neglect and substandard care.
Across England, people aged 85 and over were 20 times more likely to be the subject of a Section 42 enquiry than those aged between 18 and 64.
In Nottinghamshire, one in every 45 people aged 85 or over were involved in an enquiry, compared to one in every 840 under 65s.
Caroline Abrahams, director of Age UK, said the figures were deeply distressing.
She said: “Any abuse, whether neglect, financial manipulation or physical or mental cruelty, is unacceptable and deserves a zero-tolerance approach.
“We would encourage anyone who suspects that someone is being abused to contact their social services department or the police straight away.”
Across England, the number of enquiries into abuse in care homes increased by 6% compared with the previous year, climbing to 47,535.
Nottinghamshire did not follow this upward trend, with the number of enquiries falling.
The Care Quality Commission, which inspects and regulates care homes, said it was unacceptable for vulnerable people to experience poor care.
Kate Terroni, chief inspector of adult social care, said: “People deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and for their human rights to be protected at all times.
“We will continue to work with providers to encourage them to improve but where this does not happen we will use our enforcement powers in people’s best interests and take action when necessary.”
Overall, 4,265 safeguarding concerns were raised about vulnerable adults in Nottinghamshire during the year, and 1,810 Section 42 enquiries completed.
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More by this authorSharon Hodkin