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Publication, Part of

Abuse of Vulnerable Adults in England - 2011-12, Provisional report, Experimental statistics

Official statistics
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
Geographical Granularity:
Date Range:
01 Apr 2011 to 31 Mar 2012


This report contains information on alerts and referrals to adult social care safeguarding teams in England derived from the Abuse of Vulnerable Adults (AVA) data collection for the period 2011-12. It presents a variety of information on aspects of the safeguarding process.

Please note that this report is being made available to the public as Experimental Statistics, which is defined in the UK Statistics Authority Code of Practice for Official Statistics as new official statistics undergoing evaluation. They are published in order to involve users and stakeholders in their development and as a means to build in quality at an early stage.

This data is published as experimental statistics and as such we invite users to provide any feedback via the feedback form above.



Key Facts

This summary utilises the second cut of AVA data submitted by 152 councils in September 2012. Some councils were unable to submit all data items before the deadline and therefore some totals do not provide a complete picture of the England data. Further details of this can be found in Appendix B within the Provisional Report.


The figures below only include vulnerable adults where their gender, age and client group were known at the time of recording.


  • There were 130,000 safeguarding alerts reported by 121 councils in 2011-12. This reflects an increase of 40 per cent in the number of alerts compared to the previous reporting period but this is attributable in part to the 22 councils who submitted alert data for the first time in 2011-12. For the 99 councils who submitted data on alerts in both 2010-11 and 2011-12, the number of alerts has grown by 23 per cent (21,000 alerts).

  • For vulnerable adults whose gender, age and client group were known at the time of reporting there were 106,000 safeguarding referrals reported by 152 councils. This equates to a 12 per cent increase in the number of referrals (11,000 referrals) in 2011-12 compared to 2010-11.

  • In 2011-12, 61 per cent of the referrals were for women. Sixty per cent were for vulnerable adults aged 65 or over. Almost half of the referrals (49 per cent) were for adults with a physical disability. These figures are in line with the 2010-11 return. The rate of referrals per 100,000 population was highest in the Midlands. There were 338 and 322 referrals per 100,000 population in the West Midlands and East Midlands respectively. The referral rate was lowest in the South West with 151 referrals per 100,000 population.

  • Physical Abuse was the most common type of abuse reported, accounting for 29 per cent of all allegations. This was followed by Neglect (26 per cent) and Financial Abuse (19 per cent). Vulnerable adults were more likely to be abused in their Own Home (accounting for 40 per cent of all locations cited) or a Care Home (36 per cent) than any other location. The source of harm was most likely to be Social Care Staff (28 per cent of all perpetrators) or a Family Member (22 per cent). These figures are consistent with the equivalent findings in 2010-11.

  • Of the 83,500 completed referrals where a case conclusion was recorded, 41 per cent of cases were either Substantiated or Partly Substantiated, 31 per cent were Not Substantiated and for 27 per cent of cases an outcome could not be determined. The most common outcome for the vulnerable adult was No Further Action (accounting for 31 per cent of all the outcomes recorded), followed by Increased Monitoring (27 per cent) and Other (12 per cent). The most common outcomes for the alleged perpetrator or organisation were No Further Action (35 per cent) and Continued Monitoring (18 per cent). Nine per cent were recorded as Not Known at the time of reporting. The outcome data includes referrals that could not be proven. This may account for the high proportion of No Further Action outcomes for the vulnerable adults and alleged perpetrators.

  • The underlying data for this publication is available through our National Adult Social Care Intelligence Service (NASCIS) online analytical processor, within the AVA tables or the raw data file is also available to download from the zip file on this page. If you're not already a NASCIS user, you will need to complete the self-registration process.


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Last edited: 2 November 2018 2:34 pm