Shock figures show hundreds are at risk of abuse

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HUNDREDS of adults are at risk of neglect or abuse in the borough, new figures reveal.

In total, 295 residents aged over 18 were referred to Wigan Council’s Safeguarding Adult Board in 2014/15, according to figures released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre.

Our vision is that residents of the borough can live safely, free from harm, and abuse or the fear of abuse in communities which; have a culture that does not tolerate abuse, work together to prevent abuse and know what to do when abuse happens

Dr Paul Kingston

Of those, 55 were feared to be in danger of physical abuse, 15 were at risk of sexual abuse, 30 of psychological, 25 of financial and 90 of neglect.

A total of 95 referrals were for people deemed at risk in a care home, 25 were at risk in their own home and 95 while in hospital.

A Wigan Council spokesman said: “We have a strong partnership committed to ensuring a high quality response to any safeguarding incidents and to reducing the number of incidents through a robust approach to early intervention and prevention.

“There are a number of key activities, overseen by partners around the board, aimed at improving outcomes for adults in the Wigan borough.

“Local learning reviews and data from case file audits informs a strong Learning and Improvement framework owned by all partners with a commitment to ensure it influences and effects positive change across services in the borough.

“Wigan Council has invested in a new IT system which will improve the quality of data and allow for more detailed analysis of safeguarding incidents which in turn will inform and improve our quality assurance processes.

“We are committed to a rigorous and robust approach to quality assurance, and have invested significantly in a new Quality Performance Officer role where Wigan staff are out on the ground, talking to families, customers and providers about their experiences and driving up improvements.”

The figures also show that the council took no action in 50 cases, action was taken but the risk remains in 25 cases, in 80 cases action was taken and the risk reduced and in 90 cases action was taken and the risk removed.

In 125 cases the claims were fully substantiated, 65 were inconclusive and 40 were not substantiated and in 10 the investigation ceased.

Support was provided in 90 of the 95 concluded cases where referrals were recorded as a yes.

Dr Paul Kingston, Independent Chair of the Wigan Safeguarding Adults Board, said: “I’m impressed by the commitment and energy of partners in the Wigan Borough.

“Our vision is that residents of the borough can live safely, free from harm, and abuse or the fear of abuse in communities which; have a culture that does not tolerate abuse, work together to prevent abuse and know what to do when abuse happens.”

As part of its commitment to improving agency responses to safeguarding, the board is holding its second annual safeguarding conference on November 11, where 200 front line practitioners will hear from experts in their fields around key safeguarding priorities.