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 Care Campaign For The Vulnerable

Care Campaign for the Vulnerable is learning of the pressures faced by conscientious led Care Providers striving to offer a caring and safe environment to both service users and staff. Safety monitoring is proving to be a invaluable care assist tool - bringing a more open and transparent culture into care homes as well as saving valuable resources within the care home sector and the NHS


“Abuse in Care - No end in sight...”

3rd November 2022

CCFTV - Abuse in Care ....no end in sight

When is enough actually enough? Ref:- Care Home Professional https://www.carehomeprofessional.com/guest-column-no-end-in-sight-for-abuse-cases-in-care-sector-warns-campaigner/

Edenfield Hospital, Muckamore Abbey Hospital, Reigate Grange Care Home, Whorlton Hall Hospital, Winterbourne View Hospital, Optima Care Homes, Birch Tree Manor Care Home, Levanto Care Home, TracsCare, Hesley Group (Children Services), Hawthornes Care Home, Hillview Nursing Home, Willows Care Home, Garside House, Ghyll Grove, Meera House, Laurieston Care Home but to name a few well-publicised cases of confirmed abuse. Many more exist but would the word limit for this article does not allow for providing an exhaustive list.
During the same period, we have had CQC and its predecessor regulatory organisations, all of whom appear to have been equally ineffective when it came to eradicating poor practice and implementing oversight procedures that adequately safeguarded vulnerable people in institutional care.
Some of these abuses are many years old, others very recent. What is clear is that the sector and the regulator have not introduced any material changes either in practice or legislation over that timeframe, which has resulted in the delivery of a care service that has consistently eradicated abusive traits and behaviours.
It appears that both care providers and regulators are by inference, telling us that a degree of abuse in the care sector will always exist given the nature of care services.
Einstein must have been reflecting on the care sector when he coined the phrase ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results because it is exactly that approach by care providers and the regulator that has resulted in the status quo of ‘ongoing abuses. For those who proclaim that such abuses are scarce in terms of the overall size of the care sector, I say to you two things.
1. Tell that to the families of loved ones who have been abused and see what comfort it brings them. Lives have been destroyed and relatives left to carry guilt for many years because of the self-recrimination linked to their decision to place their loved one in the care sector.
2. How do you actually know abuses are scarce? You have absolutely no mechanisms in place to give you the certainty that is actually the case, so asserting that position is merely denying the need to eradicate the plague of abuse in its entirety.
CCFTV has repeatedly observed the regulator suspending a care homes ratings after abuse allegations and findings. The irony of this action is not lost on families who mistakenly thought the regulator's purpose was to prevent the abuses occurring in the first place. Suspending care home ratings is tantamount to an admission of guilt by the regulator ‘that we got it wrong, and this home was never good in the first place’.
If we assess what is happening with the corporate providers, we can only conclude that they are even more blasé. They assert their care home facilities are beyond reproach and that most of them have been rated good or outstanding. Clearly, the point above re-rating suspensions appears to have passed them by when making such assertions. These and other providers prefer to adopt a

a reactive approach to the incidence of abuse and poor care, one that relates to ‘when we are caught’ we can respond robustly with an action plan whilst simultaneously trotting out the old lines of ‘resident welfare is our top priority in the belief that will convince all stakeholders that they take these abuse cases seriously.
The truth is if they did, they would introduce independent monitoring systems that would proactively and randomly review care, provide footage to explain so-called ‘unexplained’ injuries and act as a deterrent to those staff and others who want to perpetuate abuse.
Instead, for years market leaders such as Barchester, HC-One, Four Seasons, Care UK, Bupa, Runwood, Sanctuary, Anchor, and Priory Care Home Groups have all carried on as before, waiting until a crisis emerged in a care home, then responding as they always have - with the same worn out platitudes and apologies - then changing absolutely nothing systemically, that could prevent the re-occurrence of similar abuses at other sites.
For those who call for care homes to be the preserve of the public sector and that these shortcomings are the result of profiteering, please be mindful that several the providers in the opening paragraph are NHS/public sector agency owned and operated.
This is not about whether a facility is state-owned or owned by a corporate, it is not about staff remuneration being insufficient (given recruitment pools of people do not exist and paying abusive staff more money is unlikely to make them less abusive), it is not about the use of monitoring systems being too expensive (one provider charges £10 per registered bed per week for monitoring services) and it is not about privacy/dignity legalities.
It is about providers not wanting anyone to look too closely at their care services and it’s about a regulator who is reactive and not mandating the one thing that can address all these issues i.e., an overt independent safety monitoring system. CCFTV is astounded that CQC has not adopted such systems directly, given the access they could have to troubled homes on a randomised basis. They have written and re-written new policies sought to introduce new measures that would improve safeguarding, changed the method of inspection, etc. etc. and all to no avail. Why? because nothing they have done has acted as a deterrent. A preference exists to leave the change that’s needed to the providers, who in turn do nothing.
CCFTV will continue to call for this change and will continue to call out failing providers. We will urge the regulator to modernise and consider the use of such systems as part of a mandatory toolkit. Repeated failures to protect vulnerable people simply cannot be accepted and if the current officers of the regulator remain ineffective, then Government must replace them with Executives who will bring about real change and not maintain the ‘business as usual approach to regulation.

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CCFTV Partners with Signature Care Homes - supporting independent safety monitoring systems to protect the vulnerable elderly looked after in long-term care facilities.

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Care Campaign for the Vulnerable is learning of the pressures faced by conscientious led Care Providers striving to offer a caring and safe environment to both service users and staff. Safety monitoring is proving to be a invaluable care assist tool - bringing a more open and transparent culture into care homes as well as saving valuable resources within the care home sector and the NHS

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