‘One of the worst in the country’ Council denies failing elderly and vulnerable people in Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes Council is in discussion with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport regarding the bid
Milton Keynes Council is in discussion with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport regarding the bid

Milton Keynes Council is one of the worst in the country for investigating abuse of elderly and vulnerable adults, a charity has claimed.

A report from Action on Elder Abuse has revealed 2,445 concerns have been reported to the council, covering everying from beatings and neglect to sexual abuse.

Nigel Long

Nigel Long

The charity says only 240 – 10 per cent – of them were deemed important enough to merit a safeguarding inquiry.

This week the council insisted the figures were WRONG, saying it gave the wrong data and twice as many claims have been investigated.

But the matter has sparked a call from Tory councillor Alice Jenkins for an immediate review of the council’s adult safeguarding procedures.

“It should be placed as a priority for the council to ensure that we are properly safeguarding. Protecting the most vulnerable is the council’s most important role,” she said.

Action on Elder Abuse spokesman Stephen McCarthy said: “Too many people who are old, frail and vulnerable appear to be left to fend for themselves in abusive or neglectful situations.“

Councillor Nigel Long, who is Labour’s Cabinet member for adult social care, said: “Safeguarding is our primary concern and we take it very seriously.

“Unfortunately it looks like the data used in the report was incorrect and we have double the level of referrals reported.”

Nigel said many of the concerns reported were about general welfare and were not safeguarding issues. He said the council made it easy for people to report concerns and this explained the high number recorded.

“ All concerns – even low level ones – are investigated and some form of action is taken,” he said.

“We never want to stand still and how we deal with abuse is something the Adult Safeguarding Board will be looking at in 2018.”