400 suspected abuse cases logged in Cumbria each month

Date: Friday 12th October 2018

HUNDREDS of cases of suspected abuse are being logged across Cumbria every month, latest figures show.

The average number of concerns raised monthly with Cumbria County Council now stands at around 400, a meeting in Kendal was told on Wednesday. The yearly figures have reached more than 1,700 concerning 1,500 people.

But council officials told the scrutiny advisory board meeting that the figures are “stable”. Social workers, health staff, care home workers and police are now obliged to flag up safeguarding concerns to protect people from potential harm.

The reporting system is designed to ensure that public agencies act if they fear someone is being physically, emotionally, psychologically, financially or sexually abused. Concerns about neglect are also raised concerning the young, old or vulnerable.

Family members, friends and neighbours are also raising concerns.

Staff at hospitals in Carlisle, Barrow, Whitehaven and Kendal have rung the alarm bell over people in their care, as have staff at community hospitals in Penrith, Cockermouth, Brampton and Wigton.

Adrienne Halliwell, senior manager for safeguarding at the council, said: “The predominant type of abuse is physical abuse followed by acts of neglect, or omission, which can relate to things like someone not being given their medication in a care home.”

Most concerns do not end up becoming subject to full safeguarding inquiries. Mrs Halliwell said: “In Cumbria, we encourage everybody to raise a concern if they have one. We log everything and make inquiries on everything. There will be a lot of inquiries that when you look into them have perfectly reasonable explanations.

“Somebody may have reported a bruise on somebody and when you go out to see them they can fully explain how that they had fallen or tripped over.”