Woman with Alzheimer's given only paracetamol for a broken leg

Safeguarding figures revealed in a new report
Safeguarding figures revealed in a new report
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A woman with Alzheimer's given only paracetamol for a fractured femur is among thousands of cases of abuse highlighted in a shocking report.

The woman was left for four hours before emergency services were called. And when she was found by ambulance staff she was screaming in pain while she lay face down with a deformed and swollen leg.

The scale of abuse against vulnerable adults in Sheffield had been revealed in the report, which shows there were nearly 5,000 cases in the past year.

A total of 4,884 allegations of abuse were made to Sheffield Council and Sheffield Health and Social Care in 2016 to 2017. Half of the complaints were from people aged 75 and over.

The most common types of abuse were physical, psychological and financial with some cases of modern slavery, sexual abuse and discrimination.

The report said: “Some of the most vulnerable members of our society live in residential or nursing home care, yet a high proportion of concerns raised are about these people and places.”

In another case, an man with cerebral palsy who requires the assistance of carers had £62 stolen from his wallet in his own home, allegedly by a new carer. However there was not sufficient evidence to find a culprit or conclude the case.

The Safeguarding Adults Partnership is responsible for overseeing various organisations which have a key role in protecting adults from harm in Sheffield including the NHS, emergency services and the council.

In the report, officers said: “[Our] purpose is to ensure that all those in Sheffield, particularly those with care and support needs are protected from harm through abuse or neglect.

“This is a challenging task, but we are clear that by working in partnership with the local community, carers and those who use our service we can make a difference to their well-being and safety.”

It was also the first year the partnership funded work to support people suffering financial abuse. The report found over 700 residents in Sheffield were recipients of scam mail, around 30 percent of which were confirmed as regular respondents.

The service had also dealt with 70 alleged incidents of doorstep crime in the past year, with the average age of victims between 75 to 85. It also noted having 35 ongoing criminal investigations for fraud and related offences totalling over £130,000 in damages.

In most incidents the risk was reduced or removed following action however, on average, there were 20 percent of cases where no evidence of risk was recorded. The report noted this as poor and a key area for improvement.

In total, the council spent around £459,800 on safeguarding in Sheffield, around £158,000 less than the budget available, with the biggest cut to supplies and services.

Under the Care Act 2014 every local council are required to have a safeguarding board to protect vulnerable adults from neglect and abuse and produce an annual report. Statistics from previous years show the number of cases have remained stable.
The full council report can be read here and is set to be discussed at the Healthier Communities and Adult Social Care meeting next Wednesday, April 18 at 5pm in the Town Hall.