30,000 cases of abuse of vulnerable adults last year

Councils identifed over 30,000 cases of abuse of vulnerable adults last year, according to official figures from the NHS Information Centre

Councils identifed over 30,000 cases of abuse of vulnerable adults last year, official figures indicate.

Of 73,600 completed referrals to council adult protection teams in 2010-11, 41% were wholly (32%) or partly substantiated (9%), meaning physical, sexual, emotional, financial, discriminatory or institutional abuse, or neglect had been found on the balance of probabilities.

Thirty one per cent were unsubstantiated and 28% were inconclusive, though the NHS Information Centre, which published the figures, advised that the results should be treated with caution due to data quality issues.

In 54% of cases a protection plan was offered to the adult at risk, 58% of which were accepted.

Councils received 96,000 referrals in 2010-11 and provided client data for 94,500. Of these:-

• 13,900 were recorded as repeat referrals.

• 49% of clients were classified as ‘physical disability’.

• 39% were aged 18-64 and 61% 65 or over.

• Physical abuse was the most common form of alleged abuse (36%) followed by neglect (28%) and financial abuse (24%).

• The vulnerable adult’s home was cited as the location of alleged abuse in 42% of cases, with a care home the location in 35% of cases.

The figures were based on returns from 151 of the 152 councils with adult social services responsibility in England. It is the first year that councils were required to submit figures on adult protection referrals

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