By Geoff Hodgson
We are hearing a lot of late about new ‘fundamental standards’, a more powerful and tougher regulator, new criminal offences of ill treatment and wilful neglect, of a ‘duty of candour’ and a higher level of corporate accountability. So much so that insurers, never up for anything less than the safest of bets, now seem to rank care homes with paragliding and rodeo work.
What we don’t hear much of is the lack of accountability of the plethora of public agencies involved in the investigation of safeguarding incidents. In a letter published in the June issue of Caring Times, Paul Simic of the Lancashire Care Association recounts the sorry saga of Palatine Lodge in Burnley where a patient died in early 2012. The home had been cleared of any fault by the Coroner, the police, CQC and the local authority, but as a consequence of the safeguarding investigation, all the residents were moved and the proprietor of the home, its reputation in tatters, was compelled to sell the business at a substantial loss.
In his letter Mr Simic asks: “How can it be that all this time on – with what happened to the other residents, to the proprietor, to the manager, to the staff, to any family and friends of Mrs A who also may have had to travel this unhappy road to the Coroner’s verdict – that no fault is found in a provider with an established good name, those who made such consequential judgments en route are subject to no independent review or scrutiny or consequence?
“Where is the justice or fairness in this instance? Without the right checks and balances in place, the SME provider sector is too easily a secondary level victim.”
“All are punishéd,” said the Duke in Romeo and Juliet after the lovers’ joint demise. Not so in the safeguarding scenario.
- The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.