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Half adult abuse 'happens in home'

Almost half of alleged abuse towards vulnerable adults takes place in their own homes, research suggests.

An NHS Information Centre report found that of 94,500 such incidents logged last year, 39,300 cases - or 42% - were said to have taken place in the alleged victim's home. A further 35% occurred in care homes, the report said.

The data comes from cases of abuse reported to English councils' adult safeguarding teams between April 2010 and March 2011. The victims are vulnerable adults who can be unable to take care of themselves or need social care because of mental or other disabilities.

A quarter of the alleged incidents were perpetrated by a family member, including the victim's partner. Social workers were alleged to have carried out 29% of the abuse.

More than one in 10 (13%) of the alleged abusers were other vulnerable adults while 12% were either a neighbour, friend, stranger, volunteer or other professional.

More than a third (36%) of the incidents involved physical abuse. Neglect (28%) and so-called financial abuse (24%), including fraud and theft, were also commonly involved in the incidents.

Emotional or physical abuse accounted for 19% of cases while 12% involved sexual, discriminatory or institutional abuse. Some of the cases involved more than one type of abuse.

By the end of the financial year, 32% of the reports of abuse were substantiated, with 28% not determined or inconclusive and 31% not substantiated. A further 9% of reports were partially substantiated.

The findings are provisional and the final figures will be published in March next year. The NHS Information Centre is still waiting for Nottingham City Council to return its data.

Care services minister Paul Burstow said: "These figures are an absolute scandal. No one should have to put up with abuse. This is the first publication of mandatory data of this kind. It demonstrates our total commitment to shining a light on poor care." He added: "The tough new measures this Government is introducing will help root out and tackle abuse wherever it exists."


From Belfast Telegraph