THE number of allegations of abuse by home care staff in the Borders more than doubled last year.

There were 12 claims levelled at carers either employed by Scottish Borders Council or by companies the local authority had commissioned to provide the service.

This compares to five in 2015 and eight in 2014 – giving a three-year total of 25 allegations.

A Freedom of Information response from the council reveals that the police were involved in 16 of the 25 complaints, eight of which were “substantiated” and 17 were “unsubstantiated”.

“Six cases warranted staff dismissal,” reveals the response from the council, although it cautions: “Careful interpretation should be taken with this data as one carer may have been involved with multiple service users.

“All care providers must contact the SSSC [Scottish Social Services Council] and PVG [Protection of Vulnerable Groups] scheme to report dismissed staff.”

A breakdown of the allegations over the past three years shows that 15 related to service users aged between 70 and 99 while the type of alleged abuse was as follows: nine financial, six emotional/psychological, five neglect, three sexual and two physical.