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Previously unseen official data obtained by the Daily Express showed concerns raised by hero care workers increased by 66 percent in a year. Those battling on the front line made 2,043 complaints to the Care Quality Commission between March 1 and May 21 – the latest figures available – a total equal to 25 a day. During the same period last year the watchdog received 1,230 complaints. Alerts on safeguarding issues and alleged abuse and improper treatment totalled 2,945, or 36 a day, a fall from 44 a day in 2019.
Former minister and older people’s champion Ros Altmann said: “The shocking rise in whistleblowing complaints is clear evidence the worst fears of these families are not unfounded.
“If those within homes are raising real concerns that the care of the most vulnerable people is not adequate, then this must be taken seriously.”
Jayne Connery, founder of Care Campaign for the Vulnerable, said: “We are not at all surprised by these findings, albeit saddened many of our worst fears have been realised.”
Care providers faced extreme financial pressure during the pandemic as admissions fell and costs – including on extra PPE – soared. Councils were given £3.2billion by the Government to support them.
Kate Terroni, the CQC’s chief inspector of adult social care, said: “Staff have been going to extraordinary lengths to deliver good, safe care. If they are experiencing barriers, we want to hear from them and are encouraged that so many have been brave enough.”
Comment by Jayne Connery
We believe the decline in safeguarding is only because professionals were not visiting care homes and vulnerable adults at this time.
The crux of the matter remains that no independent agency has any regular oversight. The Care Quality Commission’s approach is simply nowhere near proficient.
The idea one inspection a year is representative of the service residents receive every single day is just nonsense.
The entire sector needs restructuring. Sadly we see from these figures apathy is still the order of the day.
Government, regulators, local authorities and clinical commissioning groups appear only to want to maintain the status quo. That way no jobs will be lost and no transparency created around shambolic care provision.
Vulnerable people in care seem dispensable. Shameful.
Jayne Connery is the founder of Care Campaign for the Vulnerable
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