There's been, what the Salford Safeguarding Adult Board calls, a "significant increase" in referrals that were opened last year regarding abuse of adults. Figures show 731 referrals opened during the year 2016/17, compared to 492 the previous year. This represents a rise of 33% such cases.
Cases of Physical Abuse more than doubled, from 73 in 2015/16, to 167 in 2016/17. However, the main type of abuse recorded was Neglect, with 455 cases this year, compared to 265 the previous year.
There were 96 cases of Financial or Material Abuse in 2016/17 (58 the previous year), 42 cases of Psychological Abuse (28 the previous year) and 21 cases of Sexual Abuse (13 the previous year). There were also nine cases of 'Organisational Abuse' (four the previous year).
The two main locations of abuse are in a care home or a person's own home, with an increase in safeguarding cases located in a community service...
"The percentage of abuse concerns being reported in care homes may seem high but these figures are typical of most other councils" the Salford Safeguarding Adult Board states in its annual report "Care home residents are seen as a particularly 'at risk' group as many have dementia and are therefore less able to protect themselves from abuse.
"As there is a high level of agency oversight of care home provision (through professionals visiting such as CQC, GPs and other health and social care workers), it does mean that where concerns are identified, they are regularly and quickly referred" it adds.
In 690 of the referrals, action was subsequently taken. The report adds that in 33% of safeguarding cases, service users did not have mental capacity, and in another 31% of cases people's mental capacity was 'not recorded'.
The 'significant increase' in referrals, the report states, is "partly due to a change in our recording" and also due to "increasing awareness of adult abuse" and "newer categories of abuse added through the Care Act which impact on adults at risk living in the community such as self-neglect and financial scams".
The Safeguarding Board adds that Adult Social Care, for this year, has been run according to a 'Making Safeguarding Personal' (MSP) approach which puts the adult at risk central to the process. It concludes that its new data "does very clearly suggest that in general, people do feel safer and that some or all of their personal outcomes are being achieved..."
To read the full Salford Safeguarding Adult Board report Ė click here
Update: 1st December:
Salford City UNISON has made the following comment... "Talk to anybody working in community services and they will tell you there arenít enough staff, there is a constant pressure to cut corners and there is a fear of reporting abuse lest you become seen as a trouble maker. The only thing not at risk in todayís social care sector is the ability for private companies to make a profit.
"UNISON is supporting care workers to speak out, while also fighting for the wages, secure contracts and training they deserve. They can contact us on 0161 794 7425 or at 443-445 Chorley Road, Swinton."