Stoke & Staffordshire

Abuse of vulnerable people in Staffordshire rises 63%

The number of cases of abuse of elderly or vulnerable people in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire has gone up by 63%.

A report for the local branch of the Adult Safeguarding Partnership (ASP) revealed there were more than 2,000 cases reported between 2009 and 2010.

The group said better awareness and training were the key factors in the significant rise in referrals.

Peter Wellings, from ASP, said that publicity of the scandal at Stafford Hospital also highlighted the problem.

'Culture of caring'

"What we are noticing is that there are more referrals from Health, in particular, as they become more aware of the issues," said Mr Wellings, the independent chair of ASP.

"And of course, things like Mid Staffs [NHS Foundation Trust] get more and more publicity.

"We do think that nationally, this was an issue that was largely going unrecorded."

ASP is a partnership of organisations in Staffordshire concerned with the wellbeing and protection of vulnerable adults.

"We're going to have to work harder together and smarter together to counter the effect of any budget cuts," said Mr Wellings.

"What we need is a culture of caring, not just treating."

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