How much do we know about the people that we entrust to care for our elderly relatives and vulnerable members of the community? Are we in a position to trust the regulatory bodies whose duty is to safeguard the welfare of those who are defenceless?
The British media has long scandalised the way that millions of elderly and disabled people are cared for and sadly this treatment has come to be a social reality.
Around £3,500 of the taxpayer’s money is used each week to cover the cost of the care given to a single resident of the average care home and yet there are still numerous revelations as the violent and barbaric treatment of defenceless residents by those who have been entrusted to provide care continues to be exposed.
The regulatory body known as the Care Quality Commission has a duty to undertake the vital role of acting upon any concerns or complaints and stamping out the appalling and inhumane treatment that is all too often documented in the media. The Chief Executive of the Commission is reported to enjoy a £195,000 per year salary. Unfortunately, this six-figure level of remuneration was not enough to ensure that growing concerns about care homes were investigated.
One undercover reporter secretly filmed senior nurses at a care home in Bristol repeatedly goading its elderly residents to commit suicide whilst another nurse dragged an autistic teenager into the grounds of the home in temperatures just above freezing and threw cold water over her despite her screams pleading with who she thought was her mother to stop.
The Care Quality Commission received reports about the abuse at this care home but decided to ignore the concerns raised. This meant that the lives of those with nobody to turn to were endangered and derided for even longer.
It is no wonder, then, that public confidence in the care provided by the State continues to drop. There are now calls for more robust investigation and for unannounced inspections to feature in the plans of the Care Quality Commission moving forward. These changes will be welcomed if the credibility of the Commission and our system of care is to be restored.
If any member of your family has suffered as a result of poor levels of care in a home, then please get in touch with our partner, Nathan J Hennah.