MORE safeguarding concerns were raised about vulnerable adults in Dudley last year, figures show.

Age UK said some older people across England are being let down by a care system that has failed to protect them from abuse and neglect.

NHS Digital figures show 6,155 concerns of abuse were made about Dudley adults with care and support needs in the year to March - up from 5,295 in 2020-21.

Across England, 541,535 abuse concerns were raised last year – an increase of nine per cent on the year before.

Age UK said the "distressing" figures show some older people in care are not being treated with respect or protected from abuse and neglect.

Charity director Caroline Abrahams said: “Any abuse of older people is intolerable and there must be zero tolerance of any abuse whether through neglect, financial manipulation or physical or mental cruelty.

"These cases concern some of the most vulnerable members of our society.

"Care workers must adhere to strict rules and procedures which are devised to help prevent problems such as abuse, poor management and neglect."

She said staff shortages might be leaving some settings ill-equipped to provide safe care, with record vacancy rates for manager roles in care homes particularly worrying.

If councils believe an adult needing care and support is experiencing or is at risk of abuse or neglect, they must carry out a Section 42 enquiry to determine whether action should be taken.

Dudley Council completed 465 such enquiries in 2021-22 – up from 365 in 2020-21.

Raised in 34 per cent of enquiries, neglect and acts of omission was the most frequently mentioned reason last year.

Nationally the most common type of risk in section 42 enquiries – typically involving people aged 85 and over – was also neglect and acts of omission, which accounted for 31 per cent of risks.

The person's own home was the most common location of the risk – in just under half of all enquiries.

The Department of Health and Social Care said abuse of any kind is abhorrent and comprehensive inspections aim to ensure it is caught.

A spokesman added: "The Government has made sure that across the country, the police, councils and NHS are working together to help protect vulnerable adults from abuse or other types of exploitation.

“Local authorities have a duty under the Care Act to carry out safeguarding enquiries where concerns have been raised and, following this, to take appropriate action to ensure that people are as safe as possible.”