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Sunday, 20 November 2016

Is it the best we can do

Is it the best we can do, to close care homes down?

In the Care Industry, one of the biggest Industries in the UK, bad care is endemic, and from the considerable research undertaken over many years, has long been known.

All services are duty bound to cherish the people in their care. Yet Health and Social Care, in its current configuration, does little to stop leaving people living in care fearful of facing their own fate, alone and frightened.

The concept that lack of money and limited resources being the main cause of failing care services, are disingenuous. Bad care will be found where management leadership systems are professionally dysfunctional, and disconnected, are not closely linked to the shared respect, value and support of its staff and where they are not making the best use of practical hands on training and new research, education and development.

According to Sir Robert Francis “the following accumulation into the warning signs of a culture of abuse and neglect
  • A negative culture
  • Disengagement and not listening to those being cared for or staff,
  • Poor governance
  • Lack of nursing and care standards in service
  • Lack of openness to criticism
  • Lack of consideration for those receiving care
  • Defensiveness and secrecy,
  •  Acceptance of poor standards*
(* Taken from Sir Robert Francis QC- Summary of The Mid Staffordshire-NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry).

Management cannot guarantee any good quantified experience and will struggle when systems show all the risk of safeguarding issues where:
  • It has failings at organisational levels
  • Hasn’t the presence of an effective staff team,
  • Staff struggle to cope without united guidance, support and encouragement
  • It does not enable good management and leadership practices to prevent the disregard of the welfare of the people receiving care
  • You cannot have good care because not everyone works together.
Such care systems will stifle innovation; it leads to poor attitudes and approaches that demotivate staff and leads to staff resigning because they cannot deliver the standard of nursing and care they would wish.

Therefore, care providers become reliant on good care from individuals, rather than cohesive team work.

In the Foundation’s opinion, it is not an acceptable answer to unsafe care, to simply close services and move people out. Within the Foundation’s own core values, it must stand up to challenge any philosophy that appears to support care by punishing people who have been abused, but not the people that have carried out the abuse.

To extract people who have been abused and neglected out of their care service, and to move them into others, having no guarantees that these care standards are any safer, is surely not the right directions for improving the protecting frail and vulnerable people. Particularly if at a later date that care service too is deemed unsafe and requires closure.

Neither, in such circumstance, should good care workers be punished by having their reputations tarnished when they have done no wrong, and for them to find themselves jobless, when their services are closed.

In care, today it is not enough to simply rely on current systems of Legislation and Regulation to improve care, as they do little to address the many conflicts of interest that exist, and merely promote systems that are not fit for purpose.

In any industry staff will struggle to be motivated, and to do what they want to do best, if they don’t always receive the value, support and training from their own work environment. They will lose confidence in their own skills, management leadership, and in the direction of their organisation.

The Foundation believes that if all care services reflected best practices and high standards of The Edith Ellen Foundation’s holistic kindness training in care attitudes and approaches, it would eradicate most of the abuse, neglect, and social isolation still being ignored, or as yet laying undiscovered in some services.

Prevention not reaction is the answer to more improved and consistent care. The real alternative to abuse and neglect in care is through training supporting, nurturing and growing those caring people who dedicated their care for others.

The Edith Ellen Foundation exists because we all deserve better care. 

Together by looking at care differently and through involving and supporting everyone delivering and receiving care, the Foundation’s Purple Butterfly is the signatures for making safe and improved care happen, for all people.

The bigger the problem
The greater the opportunity to ensure that human warmth, compassion and kindness is sustainable in all social care services

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