Sussex councils get reports of neglect for vulnerable adults

Thousands of reports of abuse and neglect were received by councils across the county last year.

In the year to March, approximately 12,575 abuse concerns were raised by adults with care and support needs in Sussex.

Neglect and “failure to exercise due care” were the most commonly cited reasons.

Age UK said the “worrying” figures were “intolerable” and showed some elderly care recipients were not being treated with respect or protected from abuse and neglect.

Brighton and Hove City Council received 2,085 complaints, while 5,835 were lodged with East Sussex County Council and 4,655 with West Sussex County Council.

A spokeswoman for East Sussex Councy Council said: “It is of the utmost importance to ensure adults with care and support needs are safe and free from abuse.

“We are making it as easy as possible for people to report concerns with a 7 days a week hotline and after hours service where every report is thoroughly investigated.

“The nationwide surge, numbers and trends are also indicative of the pandemic and associated lockdowns. Protection is the responsibility of any agency and we encourage anyone with concerns about the safety of adults with care and support needs to reach out to us.”

The district council recorded 895 more complaints than in the previous period.

A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said: “We always follow up on such concerns in accordance with our legal obligations.

“Whenever someone with care and support needs has experienced abuse or neglect or is at risk – and is unable to protect themselves – we work with them or their representative to address the issue and help them reduce risk as much as possible .”

The city council received 2,055 fewer reports during this period than in the previous year.

West Sussex County Council had 70 fewer reports than in the previous period.

It said: “As the leading adult protection organization in West Sussex, our priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of those who live and work in the county.

“We are an active member of the West Sussex Safeguarding Adults Board (SAB), which oversees adult protections for people with care and support needs who may be experiencing abuse, neglect or at risk.

“The board works together to prevent abuse and neglect whenever possible. We investigate all reasonable protection concerns reported to us and work with multi-agency partners, including the public health and law enforcement sectors, as appropriate.

Nationwide, the most common type of risk in Section 42 investigations — which typically involve people aged 85 and older — was also neglect and failure to care, which accounted for 31 percent of the risks.

Your own home was the most common risk location – in almost half of all inquiries. Sussex councils get reports of neglect for vulnerable adults

Fry Electronics Team

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