Protection referrals in Wales rise sharply

Adult protection referrals in Wales have risen by 70 per cent over the past year, adding weight to the concerns of social services that adult care is under significant pressure in the country.

The rise, revealed in Social Services Inspectorate for Wales figures, signal a significant increase in complex assessment work for social workers even if allegations do not result in further action.

The news comes with two-thirds of councils predicting overspends in adult services this year.

Pat Vogt, deputy chief inspector at SSIW, told the Welsh assembly’s health committee last week that demand had also increased through changes to eligibility criteria, which now cover risk as well as need.

“The eligibility cut-off for people with learning disability used to be an IQ of 70. Now someone with a greater IQ [than 70] but who is at risk could be eligible,” she said.

Vogt also warned the trends could force councils to raise eligibility criteria across all services, undermining their efforts to focus more on prevention, as demanded by the Welsh assembly government.

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