Andrew Lansley has come up with the revolutionary concept that there will be a code of conduct and minimum training standards for all care workers operating in the field of adult social care. Or is it perhaps a slow evolution of care?
He said, allegedly: “Good local supervision offers support every day. Distant national regulation can often only react after the event. Employers must always take responsibility and be accountable for the staff they employ. But, we recognise that more can be done to support employers in this and a code of conduct and clear minimum training standards will provide important clarity in this area. These measures will help employers to better consider the skills profile of potential employees and ensure that patients and service users get the care and support they need.”
Somewhat late in the day, for some of us, so forgive me for shouting ABOUT TIME TOO!!
But, it’s the response from Care UK and its Managing Director of Residential Care, Toby Siddall, that has caused me great discomfort :
“Directors at Care UK see codes of conduct as only part of the solution. Matters of technical competence and behaviour are already an important part of the employment contract for Care UK employees. Whether or not a member of a care home team treats people with dignity is about the leadership, training and recruitment of people with the right personal values – not about a line in a contract.”
Well, well, well!!! Perhaps, Mr Siddall, you would care to explain just how long it is that ‘matters of technical competence and behaviour’ have been an important part of the employment contract for Care UK employees. Since when? Tell me the date!
They certainly weren’t in place in Care UK and at Lennox House care home at the end of 2007 and in 2008, when Lennox House was ‘investigated’ twice within 8 months and not allowed to accept new residents for a year while a whole host of measures enabled Care UK to drag itself from the gutter to an acceptable standard of care provision.
As for treating people with dignity – that was absent too when those residents were left dead in their beds for days, as the Islington Tribune reported.
Of course, the Reports of three (or more?) investigations are all held behind closed doors – far away from daylight, so as to protect the best interests of Care UK. The best interests of the Leadership of Care UK including Mike Parish, Chief Executive, and the then MD of Residential Care Tony Hosking, and the Managers and Deputy Managers of the whole not-fit-for-purpose care providers, of those in Islington who commissioned and allowed Lennox House to function when it was not fit for purpose, the then CSCI (now CQC) to name but a few. Their best interests are forever preserved by the hiding of those reports.
If leadership can be held responsible, as Care UK now seems to understand, how come heads never roll when people die as a result of sloppy leadership and sub-standard care?
Unless and until it is a requirement for all those Reports, and others too of similar investigations, to be published and available in the public domain so that everyone can see what went on behind closed doors – nothing will ever change.
Or could it be that too many Directorships spoil the concentration? 9 for Toby Siddall alone. And for Michael Robert Parish …….