Inspectors accused of leniency towards residential care homes

The National Care Standards Commission is being too soft on care
home owners whose staff neglect residents, Action on Elder Abuse’s
chief executive told a fringe meeting.

Gary Fitzgerald warned delegates that the NCSC was “colluding” with
care homes during inspections rather than closing down those where
abuse had taken place. He is also “concerned that the NCSC is not
making an impact” and that “it might be part of the problem”.

He said: “When an elderly resident has a grade five sore, why is
the NCSC working with the care home to improve [it] and not closing
it down?”

The NCSC confirmed that it preferred to “work with people to
improve practice rather than shut a home down”.

“It is important we don’t go in there with both feet,” a
spokesperson told Community Care. “We’re in the business of people
receiving good quality servicesÉbut this year we are going to
be focusing a lot more on inspections and taking appropriate
enforcement action.”

Fitzgerald has put his weight behind the campaign by the Community
District Nursing Association for mandatory training for all
domiciliary care staff in identifying and managing signs of elder

He added that there was a need for a national register of
domiciliary workers who had been convicted of abuse.

“Older people are at the bottom of the pile. At the rate of current
capacity [of the General Social Care Council register] we are
looking at 10 years before we get domiciliary workers registered,”
Fitzgerald said.

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