Elderly people have reported they have been left unwashed or unfed by staff Local Government Ombudsman Michael King also said there was a growing problem over standards of home care.The vast majority of the allegations related to care of elderly people in their homes, with more than 9,700 involving people aged over 80.The investigation revealed how some elderly people were left for days without proper medication or attention to personal hygiene.Only half the councils contacted in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland provided data, suggesting the true number of allegations could be far higher.Although File On 4 said it was not possible to find out whether all these reports were valid and fully investigated, however officially, complaints to the ombudsman about home care rose by 25 per cent last year to 372 and 65 per cent of them were upheld.A recent report by the Good Care Guide found that people who needed care in their own homes also complained of rushed or cancelled visits, rude staff and poor timekeeping. A daughter of a woman with Alzheimer’s said that her mother had been left without food for nine hours after care workers failed to turn up.Caroline Abrahams, director of AgeUK said there had be warnings that social care was approaching a ‘tipping point’ but she feared that it had now been reached. The Department of Health told the programme it had “introduced tougher inspections of care services, given councils access to up to £7.6bn of dedicated funding for social care and will continue to challenge local authorities that do not fulfil their duties under the Care Act”.File On 4 is on Radio 4 on Tuesday at 8pm. More than 23,000 allegations of abuse by home care workers against elderly and vulnerable people were made in the last three years, yet just 15 people were prosecuted as a result, new figures show. Around 500,000 people in Britain need home help services but the new figures suggest that one in 25 people may be suffering at the hands of their carers.The BBC Radio 4 File on 4 programme asked every council in England, Scotland and Wales with responsibility for social care, for the numbers of allegations of abuse and neglect made against home carers who were contracted by local authorities to provide home care.They discovered 23,428 accusations of mistreatment, including 12,000 allegations concerning neglect, 2,400 cases of psychological abuse, more than 3,400 allegations of physical abuse, and 400 claims of sexual abuse.Yet just 700 of the allegations resulted in police action, and there were just 15 prosecutions. Bridget Warr, chief executive of the UK Home Care Association, which represents care companies in the UK, described the findings as “horrifying” and blamed cuts to local Government budgets. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.