Services for abuse victims vary

Neglect and Abuse

05.11.2008

Neglect and abuse varies nationwide depending on the quality of care services available, according to a study.

The study by the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) found councils that perform well on safeguarding tend to have not only better arrangements for assisting people who have experienced abuse, but also better systems for helping to prevent abuse happening.

The study also reports that disabled and older people who experience abuse get a varied quality of support.

CSCI chair Dame Denise Platt said: "Everybody receiving care services has the right to be safeguarded, and any form of abuse is unacceptable. They should also have access to a range of options to support them and help keep them safe.

"Our report finds that not all social care organisations have made enough progress in developing effective safeguarding arrangements."

The report suggests that more needs to be done to ensure people who direct their own support are able to benefit from appropriate and individually tailored safeguards, and that everyone using services should be able to access a range of options for support to keep them safe from abuse.

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Jonathan Peacock, Partner with national law firm Irwin Mitchell, which supports the call for legislation, said "We see many cases of the abuse of vulnerable adults. This report reflects our experience, namely, that regulatory, investigative and enforcement roles and responsibilities are not clearly defined and the official response is often too little too late. If unnecessary suffering and deaths are to be avoided, a clear legislative base for the protection of older people and other vulnerable adults is needed to ensure the risks of abuse are understood and allegations and warning signs are seriously and effectively pursued. The current system based on guidance alone is clearly failing as yet another report has now shown."