One vulnerable adult in Waltham Forest has died while receiving state care.

The borough’s Safeguarding Adults Board delivered its annual review at a meeting last night.

It set out how an elderly woman who was receiving state care, known as Ivy, was admitted to hospital with reduced mobility and was found to have a potentially fatal pressure ulcer; a severe bruise that occurs when someone cannot adjust their weight away from one particular point on their body.

Following treatment for her first ulcer, Ivy came home from hospital and was receiving care four times a day.

But when she was later admitted to the Royal London with a suspected stroke she was found to have a more severe pressure ulcer and died.

In another case John, an 83-year-old man who had type two diabetes and osteoarthritis, became housebound in 2012. His independence declined but he was “reluctant” to engage with health and care services.

The private care company looking after him considered he was mentally fit to make his own decisions, but John died in a fire at his home in 2016.

In both cases, while the cause of death cannot be directly linked to any oversight by authorities, the board identified lessons to be learned.

In response to John’s case, the board has set up a self-neglect sub-group and aims to improve mental capacity assessments of those who show signs of self-neglect.

Following Ivy’s case, it was agreed that improvements in leadership and coordination were necessary and reassessments of individuals following a hospital stay have been introduced.

Of five safeguarding adult reviews conducted between 2017 and 2018 in the borough, four were categorised as serious incidents.

The highest number of concerns raised related to adults aged over 65. These accounted for 57 per cent of the total.

A total of 59 per cent of concerns raised involved women, 41 per cent involved men.

In 2017-18, 1412 safeguarding adult concerns were received in Waltham Forest and 35 per cent went to an enquiry.

This is a 17 per cent increase in the number of concerns raised compared with 2016-17 figures and an 8 per cent fall in those escalated to enquiry status.

Reasons given for the increased number of referrals included increased awareness of the importance of reporting concerns.

The report also stated the decrease in the total number of concerns escalated to enquiry could be due to a more “robust” system of assessing a case’s level of seriousness.

Helen Taylor, independent chairman of Waltham Forest’s Safeguarding Adults Board, said in her message at the beginning of the annual report: “As a board we continue to challenge ourselves with the ‘so what’ question – considering how the work of the board will make a difference to the day to day activities across the partnership and ultimately protect vulnerable adults from harm and abuse.”

“The board is resolved and determined that people should be protected from harm and abuse in Waltham Forest and we will continue to be as effective as we can in our duties, responsibilities and priorities.”