Elderly care safeguarding concerns at record high in Hertfordshire

It is estimated more than 9,000 safeguarding concerns regarding care of the elderly and vulnerable a

It is estimated more than 9,000 safeguarding concerns regarding care of the elderly and vulnerable adults in Hertfordshire will be recorded in 2018/19. Picture: Pexels. - Credit: Archant

More than 9,000 safeguarding concerns are believed to have been raised about the care of elderly or vulnerable adults in Hertfordshire during the past 12 months – the highest number on record.

Safeguarding concerns are reports that relate to any suspicion of neglect or abuse of an adult, and they can be lodged by a service user, a family member or health professional.

Data – shared with Hertfordshire County Council’s adult care and health cabinet panel – shows officers are expecting to have registered 9,609 concerns during 2018/19.

And that would be the highest number of safeguarding concerns ever registered in a 12-month period in Hertfordshire.

Councillors were told that the increase reflected improvements in recording and training, which now means a greater number of concerns are counted.

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Following the meeting, Councillor Richard Roberts – the executive member for adult care and health – said many of the concerns highlight areas where care was not as good as it could have been.

And he said feeding back that data to care providers would make the system better.

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The county council’s target for the number of safeguarding concerns is zero, and Mr Roberts accepted he would like the number to be lower than it is.

Although the 12-month period has ended, actual data has only been collected for the first nine months of the 2018/19 year – the first three quarters.

And the final figure of 9,609 is a 12-month projection based on the actual figures from the final quarter the previous year.

The latest actual figures show that in October to December 2017/18 there were 2,499 concerns raised.

If proven to be accurate, the 9,609 figure would be the equivalent of 1,056 per 100,000 population.

And it would be an increase in excess of 10 per cent on the previous year’s figure of 8,685.

The county council also compares its performance to other similar authorities, where performance varies.

In 2017/18, Essex County Council reported the highest number of concerns, with 12,520 – equivalent to 1,089 per 100,000.

Meanwhile, Buckinghamshire County Council reported the lowest, with 1,270 – equivalent to 308 per 100,000.

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