THOUSANDS of safeguarding concerns were made about vulnerable adults in Worcestershire last year, new figures reveal.

Age UK said the figures - which showed the number of concerns raised across England doubling in the last four years - coincided with a period of long-term underfunding from the Government.

NHS Digital figures show 4,025 concerns of abuse were made about adults with care and support needs in Worcestershire in the year to March – 40 per cent more than the 2,865 in 2018-19.

The number of abuse concerns rose to 475,560 across England last year, more than double the number there were in 2015-16.

Age UK said this increase was significant, but said it was hard to judge how much of this was due to greater awareness, instead of an increase in abuse.

Charity director Caroline Abrahams said: “It is important to note that the biggest single category of these concerns was that of ‘neglect’, mostly applying to people living in their own homes.

“We know that both social care and community health services, like district nurses, were under enormous pressure at this time due to long term underfunding, weakening the safety net that protects older people living at home, many of them alone.”

If councils believe an adult with care and support needs is experiencing or is at risk of abuse or neglect, they must carry out a Section 42 enquiry, to determine whether they need to take action.