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Increase in Reports of Care Home Abuse of Vulnerable Adults

Increase in Reports of Care Home Abuse of Vulnerable Adults

Disturbing new statistic from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) shows an increase of 4% in the number of safeguarding referrals in 2012-2013, with 61% of the referrals made for vulnerable adults aged over 65 years. All too often we hear cases of abuse in care homes, with the abuse sometimes even contributing to the death of the victim(s). In the case of Orchid View Care Home in Copthrope, residents were given the wrong dose of medication, left soiled and unattended, and suffered injuries which were left undetected for several days. A police investigation was started, however, there was insufficient evidence to support a criminal conviction, and the matter was passed to the West Sussex coroner. Coroner Penelope Schofield found there was “institutionalised abuse” within the home and held that the abuse had contributed to the death of 5 elderly residents.

Financial Abuse of the Elderly

However, abuse of vulnerable adults is not always physical. Just recently in our own community a series of raids were carried out by Hillingdon Police officers where six arrests were made for fraud by care workers against vulnerable adults. Furthermore, a recent check on Heathfield House, Hillingdon, by the Care Quality Commission, whose duty it is to ensure that care homes, and all other care services in England, provide people with safe, effective, compassionate and high-quality care, found that people were not cared for, or supported by, suitably qualified, skilled and experienced staff. Abuse is not reported in this instance, however it is easy to see how it can occur in care homes when staff members’ education and employment history is not checked, references are not followed up, and work permits are allowed to expire. Although the Orchid View Care Home has been closed down, the arrests made by Hillingdon Police and the checks by the Care Quality Commission are encouraging, the statistics show that abuse of vulnerable adults is on the increase and more needs to be done to safeguard the most vulnerable members of our society.

If believe that you, or someone you care about, has or is suffering abuse in a care home or whilst in the care of others, you should seek advice as soon as possible. To enquire about making a claim for care home abuse, please contact a member of our team on 01895 207 835 or 01895 207 295. Alternatively, you can send an email to PI@ibblaw.co.uk and one of our team will be able to help you