BASW: Care staff need better regulation that remembers personalisation
As an FOI request from BBC Inside Out programme to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) reveals that 217 care home providers in England have been employing staff who do not have the proper qualifications, BASW is calling for a better system of regulation that also pays attention to the personalisation agenda.
The FOI also discovered that many convicted criminals had been working unsupervised as carers in people's homes, including Birmingham based Care 4U, which allegedly employed 23 carers who had criminal convictions for offences including theft and assault.
According to the BBC, Care Minister Norman Lamb has said that there is "a clear system (the CQC) that holds providers to account", and he has indicated that he would reject calls for further legislation, saying "I don't think you can say that because something happens that is unacceptable that the whole system has failed."
Commenting on the figures, BASW chair Fran Fuller said:
"I don't think any of this is a surprise. We have been campaigning for a long time for staff who work with vulnerable people to have appropriate qualifications.
"It is not just about protecting the service user; it is also about staff protecting themselves.
"If you are the owner of a business that works with vulnerable people you should do everything in your power to make sure you have the best staff. It shouldn’t be possible to employ someone without carrying out the checks.
"The question I would always ask is would I want someone looking after my mother or father or any relative of mine, if they didn't have the sufficient skills or temperament to give people care?
"In adult services, we know people can walk straight into a job with no qualifications at all. That can't be right.
"There is limited legislation, but it doesn't go far enough. Unless it is legislated for, owners of private organisations aren't going to adhere to it, because it is a cost to their business and it is often not one they see as a priority.
"We need to see some form of legislation that will protect vulnerable people, but that will also bear in mind the personalisation agenda, and allowing service users the freedom to choose their care providers."