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Safeguarding concerns

There continues to be an increase in safeguarding concerns reported to the Local Authority from 672 in 20/21 to 1270 in 21/22, this increase was due to improved recording on the system and changes to the process. However, the concerns continue to rise to 1770 in 22/23. The volume continues to increase due to changes in recording practices that are now more in line with other local authorities. There is often a debate about whether a high number of concerns is a negative or positive sign. Generally, we welcome a rise as it indicates that any training and awareness raising is having an impact on numbers.

Section 42 and other enquiries

There has not been a significant increase from last years of Section 42 and Other Enquiries, over the past three years the numbers have been 340 in 20/21, 670 in 21/22 and 680 in 22/23, which is similar to the previous year.

As in previous years Neglect and Omissions and Physical Abuse continue to be the highest reported risk factors in Section 42 and Other enquiries, making up for 48% of concluded cases in 2022/23. Neglect encompasses many factors which is the reason it is recorded as the highest form of abuse. Physical abuse also encompasses moving and handling, needing assistance etc. More than one form of abuse can be reported.

Financial Abuse became the third highest reporting factor, accounting for 19% of concluded cases. These are similar proportions to previous years.

The main location of abuse is the client’s own home with 46% of concluded cases this is similar as in previous years. Again, followed by care homes with 33% which is consistent with previous years. There have been no reported incidents taking place in services in the community this year.

Making Safeguarding Personal

At the commencement of a Section 42 and Other enquiry the client/ advocate is asked to identify what they want from this enquiry.  The number of clients who expressed their wishes at the commencement of support was 86% which is a slight increase on the previous year. Of these, 96% had their outcome fully or partially achieved, which is a slight decrease on the previous year. The overall satisfaction with the enquiries has slightly decreased from 76% last year to 73% this year.  This evidences that Making Safeguarding Personal is central to the support provided by the Partnership.

Cohort of Gender and Age

Females continue to be the highest ratio of clients open to Section 42 and Other enquiries, with 63% compared to males with 37% The two highest age groups continue to be the 18-64 group (36%) and the 85+ age band (22%). The 18-64 group has a slight decrease of 4% compared to last year and the 85+ group has a 1% 4% increase decrease compared to the last financial year. Age 18-64 age range includes adults with a disability and mental health. Age 85+ reflects a higher concentration of need, fragility and people living longer.