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THE BIG QUESTION

The big question: how can quality of care be improved in care homes?

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In the recent Panorama programme, “Behind Closed Doors: Elderly Care Exposed”, care home residents were roughly handled, taunted and one was slapped.

Eight staff members have been suspended and seven have been sacked following the undercover investigation by Panorama at the Old Deanery in Essex.

Andrea Sutcliffe, the Care Quality Commission’s chief inspector of adult social care, said:

“This programme raises important issues about the quality of care in care homes. The care shown in the Panorama programme is unacceptable. My sympathy goes out to the people affected. I am angry that the good care we know is provided is undermined when people are failed in this way.

“The people who run care homes and who work in them are responsible for the care they provide each and every day. It is their responsibility to make sure the care they provide is safe, effective, caring and responsive to people’s needs.”

What can be done to stop abuse happening in the care sector?

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Readers' comments (3)

  • Having worked in nursing homes for a number years. I can point to a few issues that seem (to me) to keep reoccurring. The first is leadership. Too many times i have found the atmosphere in a home reflects the attitude of the person in charge. If the manager has a bad attitude, shows disrespect to patients, staff follow suit.

    Another aspect is the type of person who is often recruited to work in these places. Nursing homes don't pay very well. Many staff appear to actually dislike working with the elderly or vulnerable people.

    Also, these aren't farms, but I've often wondered what the owners intension was behind running a home.

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  • many home managers are just that. their purpose is to run a business like any other, applying business practices, for better or worse, to the organisation. it matters little to some what type of goods or services they are dealing in or providing. their prime target is to make a profit. they get away with poor standards and running on the cheap as their 'customers' are not all in a position to complain.

    it is up to qualified staff to point out poor leadership, poor attitude and any poor practice, not just writing NT comments about it, and if they cannot change it they should not be working there and perpetuating this type of treatment to the elderly.

    they should report it to the authorities going up the ladder as required and even to government level, if this has no effect they should go to their local newspaper, the police if necessary, and to all members of their local community to ensure that the reputation of the care home is widespread.

    dangerous or abusive care is never admissible and staff remaining in the organisation are simply and inexcusably condoning it.

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  • michael stone

    Anonymous | 1-May-2014 12:52 pm

    'they get away with poor standards and running on the cheap as their 'customers' are not all in a position to complain'

    Indeed - but most of us will eventually become old, and many of us will end up inside a care home: sorting this out, is something that almost everyone should be interested in.

    At least the Care Quality Commission does seem to be looking at this problem: and as the first poster pointed out, it can't be helpful if some of the care staff do not really want to be doing that work.

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