18 December 2023
Tonight, the BBC is set to air a programme looking at issues facing the social care sector in a care home, covering social care workforce, quality and safety of care concerns. Undercover footage highlights exploitation and failings in care. The Social Care Institute of Excellence (SCIE), with extensive experience in supporting social care bodies to improve safeguarding in practice, advised BBC Panorama on safeguarding practice and its importance in care homes.
Kathryn Smith, Chief Executive Officer of the Social Care Institute of Excellence, said:
We are deeply concerned regarding reports shared in BBC Panorama’s investigation alleging that people experienced neglect and substandard care when at their most vulnerable. While there are many care homes providing care in a safe environment, sadly not all do, and the goal has to be that every care home resident is kept safe from harm, neglect and abuse as a bare minimum, and receives caring, compassionate treatment.
The ‘leaky bucket’ of the social care workforce, with supply insufficient to meet the demands of care, is widely recognised – overseas recruitment is an important consideration, but care homes must ensure they have safe and supportive recruitment practices. Actions such as improving pay and working conditions, as proposed in the recent Skills for Care report, need to be put into place swiftly. Evidence, including from the Care Quality Commission, shows that good leadership and a strong culture that values staff and gives them time to listen to residents are essential to deliver better and safer care.
It’s essential that all care homes ensure they have safe and supportive recruitment practices, both overseas and at home. Staff should be provided with ongoing skills training necessary for their caring roles. They should also have information about external support agencies to contact for advice and guidance.
Care settings need to have a safeguarding culture that is open and supportive so that employees feel confident in raising concerns and asking questions when unsure, without any repercussions for them. and residents feel safe in their home. Every care home needs to review their safeguarding practice on a regular basis, and we urge them to seek help when they need – we are here to support any care home or provider requiring support to improve in this area.