COUNCIL staff have been praised for the work they do to care for and protect vulnerable adults.
It follows an independent five-day review into Hartlepool Borough Council’s adult safeguarding measures.
The local authority commissioned Local Government Improvement and Development (LGID) to carry out the review in May.
It found the staff to be “passionate, enthusiastic and committed” and that there was good partnership work in Hartlepool between a range of organisations, including the council, police and health organisations.
The review also praised the work being done to get the views of people in the system, while it also found that there was “committed” political support in town.
But the review also found that there is scope to do more work in relation to domestic violence, hate crime and anti-social behaviour and opportunities for more joint working.
It added that there was the potential to develop better systems to collect, share and analyse data.
Senior councillors on the council’s cabinet committee met recently to discuss the report.
Labour councillor Ged Hall, portfolio holder for adult and public health services, said: “This is an issue that we take very seriously.
“This is part of the real hidden work that the local authority does and there are a lot of positive things to come from this report.
“Hopefully this document will go towards addressing any of the points that we need to improve, but also promote the good work that we already do.”
Coun Hall added that it is important that people know there is somewhere for them to go if they are being abused, either mentally, physically, emotionally or financially.
Council chief executive Paul Walker said: “We have had experts from other areas come in and they were really impressed with what they saw.
“Officers should be congratulated on the work that they are doing in the adult care field.”
The review team included a senior manager from the police, a serving director of adult social services and a specialist senior manager with direct experience of adult safeguarding.
Team members had meetings with staff, senior managers and people who use the service.
Recent figures show that reports of suspected abuse against vulnerable adults have gone down compared to the same period last year, as reported by the Mail.
The figures, which cover April last year to March this year, show that in Hartlepool the total number of referrals was 397 – down from 413 the year before.
Council officers say care homes continue to be the most common location of abuse with neglect and physical abuse the most common cause.
l To report a suspected case of abuse call the duty team on (01429) 523872 or the out of hours emergency number on 0870 2402994.