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Abuse allegations in Kingston rocket for adults cared for in their own homes
The number of abuse allegations made by adults cared for in their own homes in Kingston soared in the last financial year.
There were 307 home abuse alerts logged in 2011-12, compared with 72 the year before, according to Kingston Council’s adult safeguarding annual report.
The massive increase comes as the NHS and social services move to a different model of adult care, in which patients are looked after at home rather than in care homes or at hospital.
Complaints increased generally, with rises in allegations of abuse at care homes, at hospital, and in public.
Tom Bell, community services development manager at Age Concern Kingston, said better co- ordination could be a factor.
He said: “I cannot see any particular reason to think the abuse is any more widespread. I cannot think why it would be increasing.
“It is not necessarily occurring more, it is just people are noticing it and having more of an idea about what to do about it and looking out for it more.”
Jo Carmody, safeguarding manager at Kingston Council’s adult social services and at Kingston’s clinical commissioning group, said the council had tried for years to improve abuse reporting.
He said: “I do not think there is any evidence to suggest it is any worse than it was. We need to make sure people are mindful and they raise concerns as and when they arrive.
“People outside health and social care are becoming aware of this, and that is really heartening.”
The report also revealed just five of 13 Kingston care homes responded in October 2011 when social services checked on their level of safeguarding training.
Two more had to be prompted by the Care Quality Commission.
Mr Carmody said dialogue between the council and care homes was improving.
He said: “It has never been bad across the board, but there have been times when it’s been difficult.
“We have had a small number of homes who came back and asked us to do briefings for teams.”