More than 23,000 allegations of abuse were made against home carers in the UK in the last three years – but only 15 people were prosecuted.
The data comes from a Freedom of Information request submitted by the BBC Radio 4 programme File on 4.
The BBC asked every council in England, Scotland and Wales with responsibility for social care for the numbers of allegations of abuse and neglect made against home carers contracted by local authorities.
The results revealed that between 2013-14 and 2015-16 there had been at least 23,428 safeguarding alerts. However, the figure is likely to be significantly higher, with only half the councils providing data.
Yet just 700 of the allegations resulted in police action and there were just 15 prosecutions.
Gary Fitzgerald, from Action on Elder Abuse, said: “The overwhelming majority of abuse is criminal in nature and never gets prosecuted.”
Councils were asked by File on 4 for the reasons behind the alleged abuse. They included:
– more than 12,300 alerts concerning neglect
– 2,400 reports of psychological abuse
– more than 3,400 alleged incidents of physical abuse
– more than 400 claims of sexual abuse.
The Department of Health say the Government has introduced tougher inspections of care services, given councils access to up to £7.6 billion of dedicated funding for social care and will continue to challenge local authorities that do not fulfil their duties under the Care Act.
How can our personal injury lawyers help?
Discovering that a parent or elderly loved one has suffered abuse is extremely distressing, especially if the professionals entrusted with their care are responsible.
Abuse can be emotional, physical or even financial. It can be deliberate or as a result of someone in a position of trust failing to provide necessary care.
Elderly abuse can often go unnoticed, with victims feeling too ashamed or scared to speak out.
To find out more, contact us on 01473 298125 or email [email protected]