Abuse Of The Vulnerable In Care Homes

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Having seen the horrific footage from Winterbourne View Hospital and how some care staff mistreat and abuse vulnerable people, we need to reassure families that this is hopefully an isolated incident and not representative of care institutions nationwide.

All care homes will have difficult-to-deal with residents, but controls and safeguards should be in place to ensure that abuse never takes place. In our elderly care home, as in all those properly run, staff training and protocols are at the hub of how we set in place an ethos of proper care.

Constant monitoring and appraisal of staff is also a vital part of the process to ensure they have sufficient training and understanding of their roles and to provide support if they are finding anything difficult to deal with.

If there are ever any indications, no matter how small, that something may be wrong, spot checks should be made at times when least expected. We should also encourage staff to report any incidents they witness in the care home to the management, without fear of negative reprisals. It is a small minority of care home staff who abuse their position as carers, and they should not be allowed to continue such behaviour when it could so easily be prevented by simple internal procedures being implemented.

The care of elderly, vulnerable people is just as challenging as the care of younger people with learning disabilities and there are no differences in the way staff are expected to behave in providing care. It should always be to the best of their abilities and training must be offered to ensure there is constant improvement among staff.

Sometimes people with the wrong aptitudes and attitudes end up in jobs they are not really suited to, this is just as true of jobs in care. Proper recruitment practices and staff training should be able to ensure this does not happen or at least, does not have any adverse effects.

There are 500 care homes in Surrey alone, the number of workers in the care industry is in the hundreds of thousands. This is a massive challenge to employers in making sure the right people are in care jobs and maintaining proper training processes.

Perhaps schools or colleges can do more in educating the young in dealing with behaviours that they are not familiar with. We have to understand that just because most of our communication is effective in our daily lives that there are some instances where we need to learn a completely different method and not make assumptions about how others see things.

The only way to tackle events that happen behind closed doors is to ensure there is an “open door” monitoring and control practice in place to make daily life transparent to a range of people who are responsible for care.

At least some benefit will now come from what has happened, thanks to the actions of the person who made the secret film. The CQC and government departments have been forced to look more closely into care practices, although it could be some time before we see the effects.

Kevin Malone, a reputable journalist, is currently writing about care homes Surrey. Please go through the website for more information on elderly care homes in Hampshire & Surrey.

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