Worrying statistics have revealed a rise in the number of reports of Walsall adults in care being subjected to physical abuse or neglect.

A report going to the social care and health overview and scrutiny committee on Thursday (January 17) shows that Walsall safeguarding adult board dealt with 1,620 individuals at risk in 2017/18 compared with 1,385 the previous year, resulting in a total of 2,183 concerns.

The number of people requiring section 42 enquiries for serious concerns rose to 446 in 2017/18 from 300 the year before.

Walsall Council House
 

The types of risks which drew the most reports were neglect and acts of omission which went from 219 from 120 the year before and physical abuse which rose to 132 in 2017/18 from 85 in 2016/17.

There were 104 cases of financial or material abuse - up from 80 in 2016/17 - and 83 reports of psychological abuse compared with 40 the year before.

Officers also dealt with 36 sexual abuse reports in 2017/18, which is 26 more than the year before.

But, positively, the report said 86.3 per cent of the cases saw the risk identified and reduced or removed as a result of action being taken.

The report said: "The number of safeguarding concerns that are being raised has increased year on year over the past three years.

"In 2017-18 2,183 safeguarding concerns were raised for 1,620 people with the Local Authority. This was a 21 per cent increase on the number of concerns raised in the previous year."

The report will be discussed by the scrutiny committee on Thursday (January 17) where members are expected to challenge safeguarding board members on work to prevent and protect adults against abuse and neglect.