Wednesday, 1 June 2011


The FM has been reading about the Panorama program about abuse at Winterbourne House. After reading about it and watching some of the clips she doesn’t think she could watch the program - it would be too much. But unfortunately the FM is not surprised. This type of thing is common and the FM believes part of it is due to the private sector being involved in the providing of care to vulnerable adults.

The FM has briefly blogged on this before. A significant part of it is due to staff being on minimum wage and a high staff turnover. And my next statement may seem judgemental, but if you pay minimum wage and as a society give the impression that care work is not worthwhile then you will attract the “wrong” type of people for the job.

Private care homes are very good at telling the regulatory bodies what they want to hear. The only way to reduce the amount of abuse is to have inspections that are completely unannounced and at random times.

But that won’t be enough, let’s face it the vast majority of people don’t give a dam about people with profound learning disability or mental health problems. We simply don’t consider them a worthy part of the population. We are more than happy for an important job such as being a care or support worker to be done by people who have relatively few qualifications and a poor educational background to do this job for pittance.

Coupled with the fact we are happy for private companies to provide the relevant training. And what will they do? Do it as cheaply as possible

1 comment:

  1. It's completely due to the private sector prioviding care. They knock up these "institutions" in 18 months, fill them with vulnerable adults, unqualified carers, out of sight, out of mind and left to their own devices. The level of training these staff get.... well it begs belief. I "signed on" at a private agency a while ago as a bank carer. Apparently you don't have to really have an interview anymore to be a carer and be trusted to go into people's homes and care for the most vulnerable... you just need to have "some experience, though not essential" in a caring background, a clean CRB then you go the manual handling and a hygeine course (took a whole day) and voila, you are apparently fit to take care of the most vulernable people out there. Wether it's in a NHS hospital, or a residential home, or a patients private residence. Boggles my mind. I didn't take any shifts on with them in the end.

    Oh and just because you have a clean CRB doesn't mean you're not bad news. What there needs to be, is a much more detailed and through screening for applicants who want to care for vulnerable adults (and children), a government guideline if you will that includes the private sector especially.

    Why isn't this being discussed now that the government are bidding off a huge chunk of the NHS to the private sector? Honestly, the worst forms of care I've ever seen have all originate from the private sector. We'll get the odd bank carer from some private agency on our ward, who doesn't even enjoy the job but irregardless enjoys being paid £9 an hour on a monday morning and they don't even know how to do a fucking observation properly. Or move the patient safely from A to B, or clean up a spill, or fill in a chart properly.... minor compared to the level of abuse at winterborne but bad habits spread much quicker than good habits and that home is the prime example. You get the cheif bullies then the sheep that fall in line and do the same, because it's sink or swim in that kind of (isolated and fragile) environment. Management will have already sold their souls so will turn a blind eye to any kind of issue so long as it's profit ££££. It's really that sinister in the private sector.