MORE than two thousand allegations of abuse in the care sector have been recorded in Wigan borough.

NHS data regarding the safeguarding of adults in care settings has revealed that a total of 2,760 Section 42 enquiries were recorded in the Wigan borough in the year to March 2023.

Section 42 enquiries involve reports where an adult who receives care or support is experiencing, or is at risk of experiencing, abuse or neglect and is unable to protect themselves because of their needs.

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Leigh Journal: Reports of abuse could come from a number of settings in the care sectorReports of abuse could come from a number of settings in the care sector (Image: Stock)
Of the 2,760 Section 42 enquiries across the borough, 480 were reported to be alleged physical abuse, 110 were alleged sexual abuse, and 420 were alleged psychological abuse.

The enquiries also included further allegations of financial abuse, domestic abuse, discriminatory abuse, and more.

With investigations into abuse carried out by the council's safeguarding unit, social workers, or the police, risk was identified and action was taken in 1,660 of these cases.

Wigan Council has stressed that it takes swift action to root out abuse in care settings, and that 97% of those reporting alleged abuse achieved a "desired outcome".

Wigan is also one of the biggest borough's across the North West, but the figures are still concerning as the allegations are one of the highest number of enquiries across the wider region.

Across Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire, and Lancashire, only Lancashire County Council had more Section 42 enquiries than Wigan.

The total number of Section 42 enquiries in the borough also increased from 2,415 reports in 2021-22 and 2,195 in 2020-21.

The reports of abuse could be in a community setting, care home, hospital, or at home, and the source of risk could be the service provider, carer, a person known to the individual or completely unknown to them.

Leigh Journal: Wigan Council said it takes a multi-agency approach to all reports of abuseWigan Council said it takes a multi-agency approach to all reports of abuse (Image: LDRS)
A Wigan Council spokesperson said: "Wigan Borough's safeguarding board actively encourage and promote reporting safeguarding alerts, this ensures the right support is in place for an individual who may require protection planning or an enhanced level of safeguarding support.

"Safeguarding alerts are accepted from any source, including the health and care sector, other professionals, and members of the public.

"All section 42 enquiries are thoroughly screened with enquiry actions taken and the individuals views asked. For those who expressed their wishes, 97% achieved their desired outcome.

"67% of section 42 enquiries required a protection plan, 19% did not require a plan as, following thorough screening and necessary measures put in place, no risk was identified. 9% of section 42 enquires were closed in line with Care Act principles as individuals did not wish to pursue further enquiries.

"The council takes a multi-agency approach to all enquiries, ensuring a comprehensive plan is in place and work closely with all care home providers through the quality performance office roles and relationships. Currently all care homes in Wigan Borough are rated good or outstanding."