When I read the headline Powers needed to stop Scottish gangs running care homes on Vern Pitt’s Adult Care Blog, I was startled.
When I read the full article in The Herald, I was even more startled.
Illegal gangmasters are expanding into new industries such as care homes, construction and the restaurant trade to take advantage of a loophole in the law.
“There is opportunity within this for people to be involved in serious organised crime because so much ready money is passing through their hands. This is my personal opinion, but it is extremely frustrating that illegal gangmasters can stop working in agriculture and move into another area for which we don’t have legislation. I would be looking to regulate the care sector and service industry.”
But I still couldn’t work out why I was so startled.
Then I remembered.
I remembered asking the Managing Director of the care home provider to prove to me that the staff working in a certain care home were all above-board, genuine, quality assured, legally employed, references checked, and so on … nurses and care workers. He couldn’t do that, because ‘apparently’ the laptop containing all that vital information had been ‘stolen’.
Then I was startled too.
Now, I remember another of those staggering stories, from 2008. Care home workers don’t have full criminal record checks. “…. migrant workers who may have committed a crime in their home country are not being vetted to same standard as British colleagues.
From next year, a new body called the Independent Safeguarding Authority will check applicants for jobs working with vulnerable people against barring lists and criminal records.
However, a report on the new system by Cheshire Chief Constable Peter Fahy and North Yorkshire Chief Constable Grahame Maxwell warned it would not address the problem of the lack of checks on migrants, with some foreign countries not even holding a record of convictions.”
I remain startled.