Care home attacks more than double in a year to three every day
- Credit: Archant
Attacks in Norfolk’s care homes have more than doubled in the last year, with almost three reported every day.
The county council's safeguarding team had 916 reports in 2019 of assaults with 551 ranked as low level and as 365 more serious, leading to investigations.
The council said the 129pc rise in a year was down to having more dementia patients and care homes improving their reporting.
It comes after two elderly women died after being attacked by fellow residents.
May Miller, 95, was assaulted by a man, believed to have dementia, just four days after moving into Beech House care home in Halesworth, Suffolk.
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At the time of her death in February, Mrs Miller's granddaughter Bonita Dickman claimed the care home 'did not do their checks properly'.
In a separate case at Amberley Hall Care Home in King's Lynn, 88-year old died Doreen Livermore died in 2018 after being pushed over by a resident.
The resident, who had dementia, had repeatedly attacked staff and patients in the months before the death.
He had been helped by the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust but they closed his case, meaning he continued to be looked after in the home.
Mrs Livermore's son Roy, from Snettisham, said he found the figures surprising and questioned why more reports were not investigated.
'The figures suggest that more transparency in the decision-making process is required,' he said.
The biggest increase was in low level assault allegations, which were up 240pc in a year. More serious reports increased by 54pc.
A county council spokesman said: 'We have strengthened our systems so we are now able to capture and record safeguarding alerts alongside safeguarding incidents.'
Alex Stewart, chief executive of patient group Healthwatch Norfolk, said: 'I'm actually encouraged that the figures are going up because it shows that safeguarding teams are doing what they are supposed to do.
'Care homes are doing a better job at reporting and are not afraid of the consequences.'
He did however raise concerns that some patients with complicated conditions were being left in homes with staff who could not cope, rather than moving to specialist places, because of a lack of spaces.