Thursday, 2 June 2011

BBC Panorama Care Program

I was shocked last night while watching the Panorama programme about abusive carers.

However, from the start of the programme there were alarm bells ringing, provided from the narration.

First off, patients at the "Hospital" were only allowed to see visitors in a visitors area. This causes a problem straight away, as it creates a "behind closed doors" mentality where staff can act without fear of discovery. If I was a parent of a service user in any facility, I would be seriously concerned if I couldn't access their bedroom and living area without a good reason like it was a unit for violent residents.

Actually a place like this calling itself a hospital sets off alarm bells, because it enforces a mindset of staff and patients, rather than carers and service users. A place like this should be regarded as the service user's home and its up to the carers to facilitate their lives in their home. It doesn't matter if the home houses 1, 10 or 100 people, its where they live and it should be regarded as their home.

Its quite obvious that the segregation of staff levels was another issue within that home. Keeping nurses or supervisors tucked away in offices is not a regime that is conducive to openness. It allows the care workers to make up excuses for behaviour. The best regimes are when supervisors are working with carers and if needs be able to pitch in and demonstrate best practice.

Its quite clear from the programme that companies are able to totally disregard things like DOLS and POVA and the regulating body the CQC can miss it despite inspections. Which indicates the current inspection and documentation regime is inadequate.

What isn't needed is knee-jerk legislation piled on top of the current huge pile of paperwork. What is needed is a common-sense approach to caring that puts the service users first and establishes that carers are not enforcers of company policy, nor bullies or security guards: they are there to care.

Finally, the CQC needs to take whistleblowers more seriously, with rigorous investigations of homes that come under suspicion.

2 comments:

  1. I watched it on iPlayer this morning Del after hearing it discussed on radio. The place should have been closed down immediately. That would give a strong message to other establishments who tolerate such behaviour. The Care Commission is completely inadequate.

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  2. I agree that CQC is unfit for purpose. What seems to happen in caring is that an incident happens and the only thing that comes out of it is increased paperwork. The problem with that is paperwork is easy to manipulate for the bad homes and creates an unnecessary burden on god homes.

    I'm not sure CQC has rules about institutional failings either: it was quite clear the staff structure, operating regime and physical layout in that home was a major contribution to the failings within it. None of which would be fixed by increased form-filling.

    The problem with closing it immediately would be the disruption to the residents and the scarcety of alternative places. Much better would be CQC having the power to take over the management of failing homes and if needs be replace failing staff members.

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