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Nearly 450 allegations of care abuse made to county council in last three years

PUBLISHED: 18:42 28 February 2017 | UPDATED: 18:42 28 February 2017

Hundreds of complaints of care abuse have been made to Norfolk County Council in the last three years. PICTURE POSED BY MODEL. Pic: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Hundreds of complaints of care abuse have been made to Norfolk County Council in the last three years. PICTURE POSED BY MODEL. Pic: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Norfolk County Council says it has strong procedures in place for investigating allegations of care abuse in people’s homes after figures revealed more than 400 such complaints were registered in the last three years.

Figures obtained by the BBC using the Freedom of Information Act revealed 440 complaints against have been made to Norfolk County Council between 2013-16.

The council said it had well-established and strong procedures for examining allegations by individuals or carers.

The majority of the complaints related to neglect, physical abuse, or financial wrong-doing by staff at care providers.

But 14 of the complaints related to sexual abuse.

In total more complaints were upheld than dismissed, the figures show.

Complaints were made against carers looking after people aged up to the age of 99.

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said: “Every allegation of abuse involving vulnerable people is a cause for concern for the council and our partners in this area.

“We have well-established and strong procedures for investigating all matters which are raised by individuals or carers.

“To really tackle adult abuse in Norfolk, we need everyone to see safeguarding people in their community as a collective responsibility and be vigilant.

“Most often the abuse is carried out by someone known to the person who is being harmed and it can come in many forms.

“If you are suspicious or concerned about the safety of a friend, relative or neighbour, ring Norfolk County Council’s adult social services department on 0344 800 8020.

“Calls can be made anonymously, but please give us as much information as possible.”

Nationally more than 23,000 allegations of abuse were made in the last three years.

The United Kingdom Homecare Association, which represents 2,000 care companies, described the findings as “horrifying” and blamed cuts to local government budgets.

The Department of Health said it had given councils up to £7.6bn of funding.

A spokesman said: “This government has introduced tougher inspections of care services.”

For more information about safeguarding visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/speakup

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