Another side to the Panorama story, where proprietors, home managers, carers and volunteers work to ensure that those in their care are treated well and enjoy a great quality of life.
The recent BBC Panorama programme that uncovered the abusive and undignified treatment received by some residents in an Essex care home highlighted the vigilance required to maintain excellent standards of care for older people who can no longer live independently. There can be no room for complacency but let's not forget that there is another side to the story, where proprietors, home managers, carers and volunteers work tirelessly to ensure that the older people in their care are treated well and enjoy a great quality of life.
Let's hear from Rahul Jagota of Corner House Care who took prompt and decisive action following that harrowing TV programme:
The programme was difficult to watch but rather than condemning isolated homes and citing their management controls and lack of action as the cause, we asked ourselves: could this be happening here, could this be our staff?
This was tough to contemplate as we pride ourselves and our employees as being the best; nevertheless we took immediate and positive action by:
- Printing and circulating the press coverage of the Panorama programme in our staff handovers, posting copies on noticeboards alongside internal posters urging our carers to ‘Keep up the good work’ and ‘Ensure this is not us’.
- Engaging our staff in a questionnaire to gather and collate any daily practices around personal care that they considered did not meet the standards of dignity that we aspire to deliver, and we ensured that the findings were shared.
- Reminding everyone of our whistleblowing policy and how to use it.
- Using our newsletter to inform and reassure the families of our residents of our commitment to the highest quality of care and dignity for their loved ones.
It was right for us to tackle head on the thorny issues raised by the TV programme. Our response does not replace good recruitment, management controls and effective training but it’s always good to involve our employees to reinforce their role in maintaining high quality care.
I hope I can inspire others to share their news about how they are fighting back to ensure that poor practice is exposed and stamped out. My Home Life would like to hear from you so please get in touch as we can learn and gain confidence by working together.