Two cases of abuse a week against vulnerable adults investigated in Flintshire

MORE than two cases of abuse a week against vulnerable adults were investigated in Flintshire in the last year. No fewer than 117 cases were investigated between April 2008 and March this year, new figures have revealed.

Of the people alleged to be responsible for the abuse, which ranges from physical to financial, 34% were independent sector staff from private care homes and agencies and 9% were social services’ staff.

Almost half of the victims were women over the age of 65.

The figures were due to be discussed by Flintshire County Council’s social and health overview and scrutiny Committee yesterday afternoon.

Cllr Trefor Howarth, who is on the committee said: “It is very sad when abuse happens and it is a concern.

“This is such a serious thing and we have got to try to improve matters.”

Of the alleged abuse 30% related to financial matters while 28% of the allegations involving physical abuse.

Only 22% of the cases were admitted or proved, but 30% of the investigations were inconclusive.

Just over a quarter of allegations were withdrawn, disproved or thought to be unlikely on the balance of probability.

Most of the incidents had occurred in the victims’ own homes.

The elder abuse project run by Age Concern Cymru and Help the Aged in Wales, funded by Comic Relief, offers help and information for older people who may be suffering abuse.

Louise Hughes, Elder Abuse manager for Age Concern Cymru and Help the Aged in Wales, said: “We’ve been working closely with experts from across Wales to look at the failings of current policies to protect older people from abuse, neglect and mistreatment.”

Flintshire County Council’s executive member for social services, Cllr Carol Ellis said: “These figures are actually a good sign, as they show that more people are aware that this type of abuse does go on and they know how to report it.

“More people are getting involved meaning the vulnerable are better protected.

“It is always a concern to hear of this type of incident but the biggest thing the council can do is encourage anyone who thinks a vulnerable person they know may be being abused to report it to social services.