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Panorama programme highlights importance of training and supervision

Panorama’s shocking investigation into the treatment of adults with learning disabilities at a care home in Bristol highlights the increasing overreliance on unqualified, often poorly trained staff to look after the most vulnerable members of society.

Support workers are an essential part of the workforce, but only when properly trained and supervised. Apparently many of the employees at this home had only received around a week of on-the-job training, even if they had no previous social care experience. Why weren’t they being more closely supervised? Worryingly, the most serious abuse was apparently carried out by a senior member of staff.

This kind of practice needs to be stamped out now, because social care employers are increasingly reliant on unqualified staff to keep things going at a time of cuts.

Kirsty McGregor

About Kirsty McGregor

Kirsty McGregor is Community Care's workforce editor. She reports daily on social workers' pay and conditions, education, training, career progression, registration and fitness to practise. This includes issues affecting newly qualified social workers across the UK and the recent development of the assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE) in England. She is also responsible for producing job hunting and career progression advice.

3 Responses to Panorama programme highlights importance of training and supervision

  1. keith 11 April , 2013 at 11:28 pm #

    The whole care system is a joke. I work in the community doing domciliary care, and our company can’t get the staff; they do a weeks training and then they’re on their own. Until care workers are recognised as a professional body, given proper training and proper wages, the care system will fail miserably. My wife and I have worked out that the time we’re out of the house until we arrive back puts us under the minimum wage. We have no union and so nothing gets done, nobody wants to do anything, its a farce and that’s why you have thugs doing a very important job. It’s sickening.

  2. Rolf Groth 11 April , 2013 at 11:28 pm #

    Do you really seriously think the actions of these highly abusive staff is a training and supervision issue!!?? These sadistic monsters have no business walking the streets let alone being left to support vulnerable adults. They may want to think about their recruitment program that lets these people through the net.

  3. Rosemary Hurtley 11 April , 2013 at 11:28 pm #

    The individual perpetrators’ behaviour is criminal. Of that there is no doubt.
    But just as horrific is the culture of the organisation which allowed this behaviour to flourish.
    Past scandals in older people’s care settings – nursing and residential homes – have demonstrated the need for an organisational commitment to the overall experience of the individual being cared for. This includes a commitment to the training and development for staff that is required to achieve this experience.
    The quality standard I am privileged to have co-developed with Pat Duff OBE helps owners and managers of residential and nursing homes create a culture of continual improvement in the care they provide, by engaging and developing staff at all levels.
    I suggest it’s high time a similar approach is introduced into care settings for people with learning disabilities.